Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ten Questions to Ask Before Buying Wood Flooring! (Part Two)

From pets to installation, find out the remainder of the 10 questions to consider before buying wood flooring! 

6. I’m concerned about pets scratching my floors. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

There are definitely measures you can take to minimize pet scratches. Placing area rugs in parts of the room that receive alot of traffic or where your pets tend to congregate will help keep scratches down. Also, keeping your pet's toe nails trimmed will allow scratch free pet frolicking!

7. How do I keep my floors looking new?

The key to keeping your floors looking new is to clean them regularly. This will remove any abrasive dirt or sand that may scratch your finish. This can be done by vacuuming with a hardwood safe extension and my damp mopping.  Weekly cleaning paired with area rugs in high traffic areas will go a long way in keeping your wood floors brand new!

Another easy one that will make a big difference in the life of your floors is keeping your high heels at the front door. Heels put an incredible amount of pressure per square inch. The National Science Foundation put it in perspective: "What exerts more pressure-per-square inch when walking a 100 lb woman in high heels or a 6,000 lb elephant in bare feet? Stiletto heels have an area of about 1/16 of a square inch. Elephants, unlike humans, walk with two feet on the ground at a time. Each foot is about 40 square inches. Thus, the woman "wins" by far more than 1,500 psi versus 75 psi."

8. How long after I order my floors will it take before they are installed?

This answer will vary. All flooring (pre-finished or unfinished) need to be left on site for a period of time to acclimate to the conditions of the home. Pre-finished floors can be installed and used almost immediately. On-site installation and finishing takes a bit longer but the quality and control over the process makes it worth the wait! The floors will have to be sanded first and then multiple coats of finish will be applied. Each coat takes at least a day to dry and then needs to be sanded again before another coat is applied.

9. I’ve seen instances where wood floors fade over time. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

All flooring will change color over time, especially if it is real wood. However, this change adds color and beauty to most floors as time goes on. The type of wood is really what determines how quickly the color changes. Woods like oak and hickory will change color slowly through the years, while exotic cherries tend to change color more quickly.

The two factors of color change are: sun exposure and the type of finish used. Prolonged sun exposure will darken lighter floors. Minimize this effect my moving rugs and large furniture periodically to minimize a drastic color difference. As for the finishes, oil based finishes will yellow over time and give the floor an amber color (which is still beautiful) and water based finishes have a tendency to stay clear.

10. Installation is so expensive. Why can’t I just do it myself?

If you are spending thousands on a custom made flooring and you are not a floor finisher/installer by trade, it is worth hiring a professional. The material is not as easy as going to pick up another gallon of paint and the waste factor is taken up by lots of variables. That along with knowing about certain cuts for framing the room, special tools needed, checking for a flat sub floor, ensuring low moisture in sub floor, etc makes hiring a professional  more and more appealing. An experienced installer can put down a floor and finish it to your specs and the results will be stunning!