Hardwood Flooring BasicsHardwood flooring adds warmth and beauty to your home. Real estate agents will tell you that houses with hardwood flooring will sell for more easily and will sell faster than houses without hardwood floors. They always say that you never get out of your house what you invest in it in terms of additions and upgrades. However hardwood floors could be the one exception. Most people today would prefer hardwood flooring in their homes for many reasons. We will cover some of the the Hardwood Flooring Basics in this post.

Hardwood Flooring Basics – Low Maintenance

Hardwood floors are not high maintenance. In fact they are less maintenance than rug floors and do not get near as dirty. If you have allergies, switching to a hardwood floor will make a huge difference for you, especially if you install a central vacuum system that has the exhaust outside of the home. The finishes are tough and of course like everything in your home, you need to take care of your floors. They will last for many years!

Regarding the environment, wood is actually much better than using rugs for your floors.  Wood is also a good choice for allergy sufferers since its surface doesn’t collect dust, dander and other allergens. Would can be regrown in the forest and it lasts for many years with proper care.

Types and Styles of Hardwood Floors

There are many types and styles of wood floors and many types of wood can be used in them. The most common styles are:

  • Strip – A floor made up of wood strips averaging 2″ in width. Strip flooring is ideal for small rooms as it makes the room seem larger than it actually is. Place the strips with the grain running lengthwise to make small rooms look even larger.
  • Plank – Plank flooring uses larger wood boards ranging from 3″to 6″ in width. Same thing applies in terms of direction to run the planks.
  • Parquet – This popular style is made up of wooden pieces that combine to create an attractive pattern. The simplest parquet pattern is a 6″ x 6″ checkerboard design, but there is really no limit to how complex a parquet floor pattern can become.

Wood floors can be protected by a transparent varnish that lets the wood’s natural tint show through or they can be stained any color you like to compliment any decor scheme. Over 50 different species of woods are used in wood flooring, including familiar domestic woods such as Pine, Oak, and Maple as well as more exotic woods like Bamboo, Mesquite and Teak. All of these woods vary in hardness and wear resistance, so consider the traffic patterns where they will be installed.

With all the flooring options available for the homeowner to consider, wood flooring remains a very popular choice. They’re more affordable than you might think.  with the increasing cost of oil and other materials, wall to wall rugs are coming close to the same costs as hardwood flooring. They maintain their beauty and value as time goes by. As the expression goes, “It’s the wood that makes it good!”

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floor

A hardwood floor will last many years if maintained properly. Always remove your outdoor shoes before walking on your floor. Leave them at the entrance to your home and have a mat to step on when you come in from outside. This mat will trap all kinds of loose particles and grit that could scratch your flooring.

Vacuum often, at least once a week to remove all dirt and grit that could scratch your floor. If you feel that a lot of grit is being tracked into your home from outside, vacuum these areas more often. Pets can bring a lot of dander, pollen and dirt into the home if they are outside a lot.

Install a central vacuum with the exhaust outside to remove all dust particles, even the fine  ones to reduce the dust in your home and also to reduce the impact on allergies if someone in your family suffers from allergies.

With proper care your flooring will last many years without the need to refinish your hardwood floors.