Looking for a new floor? Here are five things you should know before you buy!
Your floor will NOT always look exactly like the sample.
Wood floors are like snowflakes. No two trees are alike, so no two boards will be alike. The floor in your home could be made up of over 1,000 different pieces of wood! A small sample containing only a few grain patterns and shades of a species could never fully represent your completed floor.
What can you do? If you find a floor you like, try purchasing a box to see what kind of variations you could expect. Do you still like the color? The graining? The varying lengths? Stained floors will offer a more uniform color if that’s the look you want.
Expect 5 – 10% waste.
Wood is a product of nature – it’s not perfect! The industry allows a tolerance of 5% defective boards, natural or manufacturer related. Some exotics will have 8 – 10% waste. Pinholes, mineral streaks and knots are allowed in most grades.
What can you do? If you dislike a board, ask your installer to cut it out or put it aside. If board width seems to vary, place boards of the same width together in the same row.
Hardwood is NOT indestructible!
Any hardwood floor could scratch or dent, and manufacturers do not warrant against these issues.
What can you do? Try to have a no shoes policy as much as possible. High heels strike the floor with more force per inch than an elephant’s foot! Keep the floor clean. Dirt and debris get tracked in and can scratch your floor. Use mats by all doors to minimize it. Use cleaners that are safe for your floor. If the finish gets damaged by a cleaning product it may weaken, and your floor may be more likely to damage.
All wood floors can experience color shade changes over time.
Many species are photosensitive and will gain a richer, darker “patina” when exposed to sunlight. There are no known values established for this natural condition.
What can you do? This process can be rapid the first 3 months, less in 6 months and finishing off in about 1 year. Periodically rotate large area rugs and furniture to even out areas that were not exposed to light. Try to avoid large area rugs for the first 3 months.
There are DOs and DON’Ts to cleaning!
Water and wood do not mix. Water causes deterioration of the wood itself, as well as the finish.
What can you do? Throw away the bucket & mop! Never clean the floor with vinegar, ammonia or abrasive cleaners – they can dull or damage your floor and void your warranty. Always use cleaning and maintenance products that are safe for urethane finishes. Read 10 Incorrect Ways to Clean Your Floor + 1 RIGHT Way to learn more!