Flooring Advice

Flooring Advice

Whether to choose engineered wood flooring

posted 4 years ago

Home renovations are usually full of hard decisions. The stress associated with those decisions and the financial outlay the usually involve can be considerable and unpleasant. Sometimes, however, you happen upon products that suit your needs quite nicely and leave you wishing the entire renovation process could be that easy.  When that occurs, you can breathe a sigh of relief and move on to the next job knowing that you made a good decision of which you will reap the benefits for years to come.

In terms of flooring options, one of those decisions could just be as simple as choosing engineered wood flooring for your home renovation.  There are numerous benefits associated with this type of flooring that was first invented more than half a century ago.  The design of this flooring provides strength and eliminates expansion and contraction.  These qualities are achieved in part by stacking layers of wood in opposite directions.

Engineered wood flooring can be used in areas that would not be viable for traditional hardwood such as damp areas or near radiators or other ambient heat sources.  Another benefit is that there is no need for sanding when you install this type of flooring.  It is also quite easy to install yourself which can be a great money-saving option.

You have the option to choose among three installation types – floating. nailed and glued .  You also have a wide array of timber species, sizes, styles and grain patterns from which to choose.  Add to this, the relative sustainability of engineered wood flooring when compared to other flooring options especially when sustainably harvested or reclaimed wood is used to make the key and very visible veneer layer.  This flooring option will suit many tastes and last for many years after its easy installation process is complete.

7th July, 2010

Looking after the floor under your feet

posted 4 years ago

Once solid wood flooring has been manufactured and installed, there are the important tasks of finishing, refinishing, sanding and caring for this precious floor.

Sanding is used to level the floor, compensating for the unevenness of the primary floor below. Another use for sanding is to renovate an existing floor so that it can once again be given some finishing or refinishing. Sanding is done by using increasingly finer grade of sandpaper to help eliminate the signs of the courser paper initially used, as well as to allow for even stain penetration should a stain have been used.

The two most popular ways of doing finishing and refinishing are oil and polyurethane.

  • Oil finishes (and refinishes) are the most commonly used.  This is because the oils used are 100% natural and derived from vegetables etc.  This makes is VOC free and very environmentally friendly.
  • The 1940’s introduced solid wood flooring to polyurethane finishes.  Although there are various kinds of polyurethane finishes, the most commonly used are straight polyurethane and oil-modified polyurethane.

Straight polyurethane finishes produce a harder finishes, but offers a higher abrasion resistance. This makes it is easier to maintain and provides the floor with a variety of glosses – from a matt gloss, to high mirror gloss. However, as it ages, this finish may darken.  It is also very vulnerable to scratches which are not easy to repair. Expect some malodorous air in your house while this finished is being applied to your floor.

The oil-modified polyurethane has similar properties to the straight polyurethane and is also quite abrasion resistant. It provides a different gloss to that of the straight polyurethane –its gloss being smoother and could be described as satin. This finish may also require more frequent maintenance.

Solid wood flooring is a hardy floor and with proper vacuuming, sweeping and washing, the floor will remain scratch free and easy to maintain. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s advice on which floor soap to use when washing the solid wood floor and to avoid any oil-based soap.

Flooring Advice

When maintaining the floor, it is important to remember that heavy traffic on the floor, along with dust and dirt will affect the quality and the appearance of the floor.  This may result in more frequent refinishing than could be desirable. The use of linseed oil on an oil-finished floor will also help to keep the floor in good condition.

With a well-kept, cared for solid wood floor, there is no doubt that you will have many pleasurable moments just walking on your floor.

18th June, 2010

What You Need to Know About Wood Flooring

posted 4 years ago

There is something about wood flooring in a home that brings a sense of warmth and cosiness that cannot be found with any other type of flooring material. Using the natural beauty of wood to enhance the look of your home is something that many homeowners install. There are a few things that you should know about wood flooring before you get started though. Once you learn what you can about this type of flooring and its care and maintenance, you will be able to make an informed decision for your home.

The first thing that you should consider is whether you want to use laminate flooring or real wood flooring. The laminates are much cheaper and easy to install. However, many people prefer the natural wood in their home. Be warned that natural wood requires a bit more work and expense to look great in your home.

The area of your home where you plan to install the flooring material is another consideration. Wood flooring is not an appropriate choice for a bathroom or a room where there is frequently water on the floor. Kitchens are one room that is difficult to use wood flooring in because of the chance of spills and water from the sink. Consider carefully before you decide to install wood flooring in either of these rooms. You may end up with damaged floors quickly if you install it in a place in the home that is not appropriate for wood floors.

Neither laminate flooring nor natural wood flooring is completely waterproof. You will have to take care to clean the floor without saturating it and wipe up any spills immediately. Wood expands when it becomes wet, which affects the actual construction of the floor. When the wood becomes dry, it will contract and could leave cracks behind. It is essential that hardwood floors be installed in the appropriate conditions to prevent mistakes in measurements because of swollen wood .

Laminate wood flooring is able to withstand water a little bit better than natural wood. It will take a good deal longer for laminate flooring exposed to water to become damaged and buckle.

Laminate flooring is a bit stronger than hardwood floors. You can drop heavy items on laminate wood flooring with much less of an impact than is possible on natural wood floors. Consider the kind of activity that will be done on the floor. A playroom for the kids may be more appropriate for laminate flooring than natural hardwood.

Hardwoods can also stain easily if a spill is not wiped up immediately. The finish will protect the wood a bit, but it can cause an ugly stain in the floor if the material is not cleaned up quickly. Laminate wood flooring can stain as well. There are cleansing products, however, that will clean the stain from a laminate wood floor that cannot be used on a natural wood floor.

Always make sure that you use cleaning products made specifically for hardwood floors. With laminate flooring, you don’t need to purchase special cleaning products to give the floor a wash.


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