3 Tips for Maintaining Your Hardwood Flooring

15 08 2012

Hardwood Flooring can be one of the biggest investments you, as a homeowner, will have to make for your home. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing new hardwood flooring, or you are looking for advice on how to maintain your home’s current flooring, check out these 3 tips:

1. PROTECT YOUR FLOOR FROM EXCESSIVE MOISTURE

Hardwood or bamboo flooring and moisture are like water and vinegar: they don’t mix. Hardwood is porous and when exposed to excessive water, such as flooding or spills, the flooring will absorb the water and cause the floor board to swell, which can lead to buckling or warping. Be sure to clean up spills immediately and only install your flooring where there is proper moisture control for hardwood flooring.

2. ADD ACCENT RUGS

Accent rugs can not only spruce up your space, but they do a great job at protecting your floor. Use  accent rugs for high traffic areas in your home such as the doorway or the area near kitchen sink. When people first enter a home, they have a tendency to wipe their feet and can trek in dirt, grit, sand or other abrasive elements from outdoors. Over time, these things will most definitely scratch up the surface of your floor. Throw an accent rug in front of the door, and you’ll save yourself the headache later.

3. USE FURNITURE PADS

Use floor protecting felt pads underneath your furniture ends. Place the pads underneath the legs of your chairs, tables, couches, or any other piece of furniture with sharp edges that come into contact with your floor. The pads come in varying sizes and adhere to the bottom of your furniture surface. No excuses here- You can get a whole set of varying sizes on Amazon for less than the cost of a cup of coffee!





Don’t Be Fooled: The First Question You MUST Ask Your Flooring Retailer

26 03 2012

Ever wonder why certain retailers can offer the same wood flooring at extremely discounted prices?  The answer lies in the wood grading.  Even though the species (e.g. Brazilian Cherry) may be the same the grade of wood can vary significantly hence the difference in pricing.  Don’t be fooled by the price alone, in every case, you get what you pay for. The good news is all of America and most of North America follows the same grading system when it comes to wood and it’s relatively simple to understand so make sure that the first question you ask is about the grade of the wood.

CLEAR GRADE 

This is the highest grade of wood.  Clear grade can be characterized by the uniformity of the wood.  When you inspect clear grade wood you will not see unsightly knots and messy specs about the face of the wood.  Clear grade wood flooring is “highly selected” this means the pieces that are too light or too dark are thrown away and down-graded.

SELECT GRADE

This is the second highest grade wood.  Select grade wood generally has more of a range in color and grain.  No real defects are found in select grade wood and the range of color and grain is never anything major but slightly more noticeable than clear grade.

NATURAL GRADE (A.K.A. No 1 Common)

Natural grade wood has a wide range of color and grain.  Unlike the higher grades there is a propensity for some defects in the wood such as knots, splits, worm holes, and mineral streaks.

RUSTIC GRADE (A.K.A. No 2 Common)

This is one of the lowest grades of wood and makes for an extremely natural looking piece of wood.  All of the natural colors and grains are shown clearly in this grade.  Defects in the wood are also very common including big knots and mineral streaks.

Keep in mind that there are different grades of wood when you are looking for a new wood floor.  Many people see a difference in price for what seems to be the same product but if you know what to look for you will better understand the price differences.  Also, beware of false claims made by companies claiming to have the top grade wood, ask for samples and don’t be afraid to ask questions!