Flooring Surfaces and Stains
One of the advantages of wood flooring is the variety of surfaces and stains for finishing the floor that are available. Some flooring is planed to a smooth surface. It is the most popular finish selected by consumers. However, one surface that is gaining in popularity among home owners and professional installers is hand-scraped hardwood flooring. This is floor is made using planks that have been worked by hand rather than machine, giving the wood a more lived in rustic type finish.
More variations can be obtained depending on the type and colors of the stains used on the wood. Some stains are made to bring out the natural beauty of the wood itself. Other stains are made to change the color and caste of the flooring completely. This is usually done to make the floor look like it's made from one kind of wood when actually it is constructed of a different and lesser variety wood.
Another distinct advantage of wood flooring is the comforting integration into almost any design scheme in home or office décor. It adds a structural strength that is not apparent with other types of flooring.
Popular Choices for Hardwood
Red and white oak are popular choices. Both are pale in color with the slight pink color running through the red variety. Both are known for their ease of use across all different types of projects. White oak is harder than red oak. But red oak is easier to saw and nail than white oak.
American Cherry - Primarily used for cabinet making, can be used as flooring and is known to be easy to work with. American cherry wood comes in a pleasant range of colors, from light creamy pink to deep red and brown depending on the age of the wood. It also has fine grains that create a lovely pattern on the wooden floor. This wood works very well also on furniture and interior trims for interior decoration.
Hard Maple - This is an excellent choice for flooring. It is harder than oak with a naturally abrasion resistant surface. It is extremely durable.
Brazilian Cherry or Jatoba - The most striking feature of this wood is its color, a rich reddish brown which ages to a luxurious burgundy over time. What makes it so expensive is the fact that it is harder than some mahogany woods. This is a durable type of wood flooring that is resistant to dents and to scuffs unlike other types of woods. This can be used in different floorings of the house and it can also be used on stairs.
Some Do's and Dont's
Do- Choose a wood that will stand up to everyday traffic in your home. Read your warranty carefully about care and maintenance. Hire a professional to do it for you if you have no clue or are not a do it yourselfer at heart, because the mistakes can be costly.
Do- Install a moisture barrier between the subfloor and flooring for added protection. Open all boxes of wood in order to see the color variations from box to box. Allow your wood to acclimate to the climate where it is being installed. Once installed, use a dry mop or vacuum to clean the surface.
Don't- Install hardwood flooring in an area subject to excessive moisture. Don't install in a summer home or cottage that you only visit a couple of times a year. Wood flooring needs regular attention. Harsh or wax based cleaners will dull the finish. Don't use steel wool or other hard abrasives either.
Never- Use an unecessary amount of water to clean the flooring. Any sports cleats or high heel shoes will hurt the wood floors. These types of shoes will mar the floor causing dents or scratches. Clean up all moisture laden spills as soon as they happen. Moisture will seep into the wood, drawn like a sponge and cause major headaches down the road.
As always, when in doubt, seek advice from your local flooring store.
The Best Buy Flooring Team