Categories Hardwood

Reducing Gapping in your Hardwood Flooring

Regardless of what flooring specifies of wood you have it is important to remember that wood is an organic product and is affected by the water present in the wood at any given time. The fibers within the food are constantly changing because of the solidity, flexibility and tension of the fibers.

The conditions in your home are constantly changing and can have an affect on the wood in your home. The outdoor temperature, the HVAC system in your home and the tightness of your home can all affect your wood. Changes are commonly seen in hardwood flooring during the winter because of the heating system. The wood loses moisture during the winter which causes it to contract and create gaps.

Acclimating the hardwood is a big part of preventing gapping. Allowing the hardwood to match the ambient humidity and temperatures of your home before installation is vital. If there is a difference between the moisture content in the sub-floor and the flooring is is more likely to cause shrinking and gapping or even buckling in some situations. The duration of the acclimation process varies based on the season, air tightness of your home and the local weather.

In home humidity factors are also a big element in gapping. The humidity of your home is most likely to cause expansion and contraction in your hardwood. Keeping the temperature and humidity constant can best decrease the risk of gapping. A humidifier is a great way to keep the moisture level in your home higher during the drier months.

Gapping is not the end of the world but by acclimation and humidity control you can keep your gapping to a minimum.

Categories Hardwood

Caring for Hardwood Floors – 3 Easy Tips

Hardwood floor care is not complicated but there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Hardwood is an investment and caring for it properly extends its life span and beauty. These three easy tips will keep your floor in good shape for years to come.

1- Clean the Floors Regularly
Hardwood flooring is pretty easy to maintain but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need regular cleaning and care. You will need a few cleaning tools and regular maintenance to keep your floors looking good and help extend the lifespan of your flooring.

You will want to keep the indoor environment stable to best protect your flooring, the indoor temperature should be between 60-80 degrees and the relative humidity should be between 30-50% all year. The floors should be cleaned regularly to remove debris. Sweeping, vacuuming or dust mopping are all options for regularly cleaning your floors. When needed you will want to clean your hardwood with an approved floor cleaner. The manufacture of the finish or pre-finished wood may have suggested a specific cleaner that works best with their product. Remember to never wet-mop your floors. Wet-mopping can damage the floors finish and cause wood to cup.

2- Protect the Floor Against Pets
Hardwood is great option for homes with pets but there are some measures you will want to take to protect the floor. Keeping your dogs nails trimmed is a vital step to preventing scratching on the floor. Also keeping dog water bowls of the wood or on a mat to protect the floor is important as well.

3- Prevent rug backing from scratching or discoloring the floor with a floor protector
When adding rugs to your home you will want to choose rugs with a natural backing instead of a synthetic backing. Synthetic backings can damage and discolor wood flooring. There are floor pads you can purchase that create a barrier between synthetic backing rugs and the floor if you cannot find a rug with a natural backing.

Similar to the backing of a rug you will want to added non-abrasive felt-backed pads or floor protectors under furniture. Rubber or plastic backed products can trap moisture and discolor the floor.

These three simple maintenance tips can protect your floor and help increase the longevity of your investment.

Categories Hardwood

How to fix Hardwood floor scratches

While hardwood flooring is durable it can scratch. Pets, animals and other factors can cause scratches. There are some options that can help treat scratches and repair small imperfections without a drastic measures like refinishing the floor. *Please note: some “scratches” are not scratches and are depressions in the wood and can only be fixed with a refinish of the floor.

Surface scratches-

Very light scratches can be repaired with a good cleaningproduct. If you have a prefinished floor you will need to ensure that the products are compatible with your floor. Next you will thoroughly clean the area  with a micro-fiber towel. This will get any dirt out of the scratch and possibly make it not visible from a standing position.

Deep Narrow Scratches-

If the scratch has penetrated the stain and finish layer and is exposing bare wood you can likely make the scratch look better. A stain pen or stain product can help conceal the different color of the natural wood. This technique wont conceal the dip or imperfection from the scratch but will make it less noticeable.

Wider scratches or gouges can be difficult to cover without professional help. A patch can help make the gouge less noticeable. This process will require more products like wood filler, sandpaper, and finish product. This process will not be flawless but can help to make a wide gouge from a distance.

If a scratch cant be fixed with these options a professional can help. A buff and coat is an option for a surface scratches and doesn’t take much time. A refinish will remove deeper scratches, dents and other imperfections.

Categories Hardwood

Carpet Vs. Hardwood Flooring Debate – Choose Hardwood!

If you are considering and new flooring and looking to weigh the odds between carpet and hardwood we are here to help you figure out the best option.

Carpet is a classic flooring option that is soft under foot and great for families with small children. One area that concerns a lot of homeowners is the allergens, mold and mildew that can be concerning. A carpeting system includes backing, padding an glues. These products can emit VOCs which can be detrimental to your health. Consistent, deep cleaning of the carpet will not solve the problem. Also dust mites, mold, dirt and other contaminants can infiltrate the floor and cause additional issues. Lingering odors and must smells are a sign of concern.

Carpets also need to be replaced every 10 years. Even with proper care carpet needs to be replaced regularly. Over time signs of wear in high traffic areas will begin to show and the padding will lose its support. Signs of wear include matting, color fading and wrinkling.

Hardwood floors can last a lifetime. Hardwood floors when properly maintained can last 100 years or more. Maintenance starts with cleaning floors properly. Sweeping the floors regularly helps to keep dirt and dust off the floor. A professional deep cleaning every once in a while is also a great way to keep your floors extra clean.

Hardwood flooring also yields higher sale prices. The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report stated that hardwood is one of the top features homeowners are looking for. Additionally, 54% of buyers surveyed said that are willing to spend thousands more if a home has hardwood flooring. The NWFA also did a study saying the 82% of Realtors have seen hardwood flooring help a home sell faster and for more money.

If a homeowner is considering hardwood for their home it can have health benefits and financial benefits.

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