Tips for Choosing Your Perfect Hardwood
Understanding hardwood is key to your happiness with your floor. Hardwood only defines the fact that the tree is broad leaved typically diciduous and slow growing. While some are harder than others, wood is still a soft product and will dent as "life" happens on your floor. There are several different types of wood within a tree and like people no two trees are the same. What this means is that you need to understand and expect that there will be variation of colour throughout your floor. This is the beautiful character that Mother Nature provides and makes each floor unique.
With so many options of species, colour, style, construction and finishes, the job of selecting your hardwood can be a difficult task.
Our job is to guide you through the selection process by asking the questions that will define your wants and your needs.
Types of Hardwood
Solid Wood Floors
Solid wood floors are one solid piece of wood and are generally 3/4″ thick. Mohawk Solid Hardwood Floors are produced from the finest domestic and exotic hardwoods including red & white oak, American cherry, hickory, maple, and Brazilian cherry, and are available in several widths. Because solid hardwood floors are more susceptible to humidity and temperature changes than engineered wood floors they should only be installed above grade over approved wooden subfloors and must be nailed or stapled down. Solid wood floors can generally be recoated and refinished several times.
Engineered Wood Floors
These floors are produced by laminating several hardwood plies together to form the planks. Most engineered floors can be glued-down, stapled-down or floated over a variety of subfloors including wood, dry concrete slabs and some types of existing flooring. Engineered hardwood floors have cross-ply construction which reduces the expansion/contraction of planks caused by variations in humidity and allows these floors to be installed on any level in the home. Available in plank and longstrip format, Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Floors come in a wide variety of widths, thicknesses and colors in both North American and Exotic hardwoods.
Where is the room?
Knowing where the floor will be installed is essential. Before choosing a floor, determine if the room is above, on or below ground level (grade). Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Floors can be used in most areas in the home including rooms below, on or above ground level. Solid wood floors are approved for above ground-level installations only. These floors perform better in humidity-controlled environments.
Is your sub floor concrete or a type of wood substrate? Engineered floors are ideal for concrete slabs. For remodel projects you may want to consider Mohawk Engineered Hardwood floors that can be floated directly over the existing floor which eliminates the mess and additional costs of tearing out the old floor.
While we offer quality installation , we understand that there are many DIY'er's ready to take on the job themselves. It is critical that you follow manufacturers instructions for the successful installation of your hardwood floor. This is an investment in your home that will give you years of enjoyment if installed correctly.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Hardwood Care
While hardwoods are brilliant performers, they aren’t indestructible. You can help maintain their strength and lasting beauty by following these general guidelines, and helpful Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when treating your Hardwood Floors
- Do vacuum and sweep your floor frequently, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Do keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil, and stains.
- Do use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight, and rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help your floor age evenly.
- Do remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on floor.
- Do use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and maintain proper relative humidity (between 35% – 55%).
- Do use specially formulated hardwood floor cleaners as required.
- Do not wet-mop, damp-mop, or clean your floor with water or other liquids.
- Do not use hardwood floor-cleaning or buffing machines or steam cleaners.
- Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax or other household products containing oil (such as citrus, lemon or tung oil), silicon or ammonia to clean floor.
- Do not use harsh cleaning aids such as steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal or scouring powders.
- Do not use 2-in-1 cleaners with polish that may contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.
A Clean Routine
Vacuum or sweep with a soft-bristle broom, dry swiffer or dust regularly, especially before using floor cleaners, to prevent gritty dirt and particle buildup that can scratch the wood’s surface. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. Wipe up spills and spots immediately. Use ice to harden tough substances such as candle wax or chewing gum and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.
Floor Mats Protect Your Floors
High-quality floor mats at entrances and exits are key to reducing wear. They collect and trap all the corrosive substances that can be tracked in from outdoors, including dirt, sand, grit, oil, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Also use mats in areas of constant pressure, such as in front of vanities, kitchen sinks and stoves.
Protective Pads On Furniture — A Must
Attach felt or similar protective pads to all furniture legs, particularly heavy pieces. When you’re moving furniture, appliances or other heavy objects, use a dolly; never slide or roll anything across the floor. If furniture has hard plastic or metal casters/wheels, use protective mats underneath.