Everything You Need To Know About Hardwood Flooring
Do you understand everything you need to know about hardwood flooring? Laminate versions of this timeless look are widely available, and they offer lower-priced versions which carry some benefits. However, hardwood flooring is still a very popular choice for homeowners and designers who want that timeless, high-quality effect of real, solid wood. Chestnut Flooring’s experts invite you to come in and see the beautiful possibilities of hardwood flooring for your home.
Engineered or solid hardwood can be green choices
Engineered wood planks can be created from fast-growing and less expensive wood species or contain a high-end wood layer on the surface. It can be created from other wood by-products which means it’s a recycled and efficient material. The cost is also lower than hardwood. On the downside, it can’t be refinished by sanding down the surface more than once in most cases, if at all. Traditional hardwood is considered to be environmentally friendly too. The safe and sustainable forestry practices that the top brands adhere to mean that old growth forests are protected. Once a real hardwood floor is installed in a home, the longevity of the product outlasts most others. Refinishing is possible multiple times over the years if needed, and the wood will age well if cared for. That means that decades and generations can enjoy the flooring without the need to replace the boards. Eventually, when old hardwood planks are replaced, they can be recycled and reused.
The finishing and style options for wood are endless
With more exotic and long-wearing wood options available in Canada now than before, buyers can choose whatever species or aesthetic they want for their home. However, if the finish you like is not available, or if you’re matching floor design to other design elements, the ability to stain your wood floor offers further possibilities. The wear layer of hardwood planks is the portion above the tongue and groove which can be sanded and refinished. Some engineered boards may not be sandable while other more expensive varieties allow for one refinishing. With hardwood, when you want to change the tone and finish, you can, without replacing the whole floor. Hardwood in Vaughan comes in any width or length to suit your style. Today’s fashion trends mean that more widths from thin to thick are in-demand. The look of a floor can be completely customized with this high end, timeless material. If you’re shopping for a lasting, luxurious floor for your living space, we’ll be pleased to show you the best of wood options available. Call today to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members.
Wire brushed, oil finished, or distressed?
A distressed floor is the result of using wood scraping, etching, liming, colour washing, and other techniques to make the surface look weathered and rugged. It is similar to wire brushing in that the end goal is to create a more rustic-looking surface. It is also similar since distressed floors are likewise good at covering up scratches or dirt. The practice differs in that a distressed floor has likely undergone more work than a wire brushed one. Wood scraping, for instance, is a meticulous process that aims to make each plank appear handcrafted. Whereas wire brushing strives to make the wood appear aged, distressing techniques strive to invoke the feeling of a unique, rare piece. You can, for instance, get distressed floors that mimic the board-to-board differences of a classic farmhouse. There is a lot of variation to be had and distressing techniques can be used in any number of combinations to make the effect as subtle or apparent as you wish.
A wire brushed finish is the result of applying stain with a thick-bristled brush. The process leaves careful scratches in the wood that add a sense of age and rustic quality. It’s similar to the visual effect of pre-worn jeans: a means of making the floor look rugged and lived-in rather than glossy and crisp. The wire brush look makes a room look more “homey” or welcoming. As an added bonus for, the wire brush scratches do a surprisingly good job of hiding newer scratches along with dust and dirt. This alone makes a wire brush finish worth considering for anyone with small children or pets that like to scamper across hardwood flooring in Toronto.
To understand the stylish benefits of oil finish, it helps to get a refresher on how typical urethane finishes operate. Urethane finishes rest on top of Toronto hardwood flooring and forms a protective barrier. This guards the wood underneath but can obstruct the wood’s natural appearance, usually by altering the colour or texture. Oil finishes do not rest on the surface. They soak into the wood and bond with the material at a molecular level. This impregnates the wood with the resilience of the finish but without interfering with its natural appearance. As an added benefit, oil finishes can create a patina that will age alongside the wood, meaning it will never dull in the same manner as urethane finishes. These properties mean oil finishes are ideal for any homeowner that enjoys the natural look of their hardwood floors but still wants the protection of a good finish
Pre-finished vs. site-finished
As the name suggests, pre-finished hardwood flooring is just that; it’s flooring that has been sanded and sealed at the manufacturer. The choice of wood, the coating and the subfloor it will be placed upon, once determined, will be processed by the manufacturer. It’s an ideal solution for Vaughan hardwood flooring customers who don’t want the extra labour and inconvenience of doing that labour in their home.
Site, or, on-site finishing means installing the floorboards then sanding and sealing them after. While pre-finished can be more expensive because work is being done for you, in the long run, it may be cheaper, as experienced technicians doing the heavy lifting and handling the mess lessens the chances for error and time-consuming cleanup.
Where to install hardwood floors
Hardwood floors can be used in any above-grade part of the house, which usually means the ground and upper floors. Depending on your climate, it is also possible to use solid hardwood in the basement so long as moisture content is below 4%. Popular locations for solid hardwood include dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms.
The adequate moisture levels for your wood
Radiant heat will contribute to drying out your wood. Ensure the plank moisture content is roughly 6-9% before and after you install it. A humidification system inside the home may be necessary to maintain the adequate moisture levels for your wood. Aim for an indoor relative humidity of 30-50% all year. During the floor installation, reduce floor heat to 65°F. 2 days later, you can slowly raise the temperature to its preferred level over a gradual, 5-day period. Your floor’s surface temperature should never be above 85°F. Try to avoid turning the system completely off as well, or shocking the floor with rapid temperature fluctuations. Failing to maintain humidity, or applying heat quickly could lead to cupping, curled edges and other visible damage for your wood floor.Note that even when using the correct wood flooring type and careful heating, small surface splits in the wood- particularly at plank ends- are common.
Hardwood flooring has the potential to outlive you
When properly maintained, hardwood flooring in Toronto can easily last fifty years or more. Some historic buildings even have these floors that date back over a century. Although they do not have the lowest up-front cost, their unmatched lifespan means they are a better investment for anyone with a long-term view. This longevity is especially valuable for homeowners who anticipate the house being inherited by a family member. Basic maintenance like routine cleaning and proactive steps like putting padding on furniture legs goes a long way to securing your investmen. It will also be important to recoat the floor every five years or so and have the surface refinished about once a decade. This will allow your floors to look brand new even if they’re older than some of the people walking on top.
A good investment
Even if you don’t plan on settling down in your current home, it can still be a good investment to get hardwood flooring in Toronto. This is because it can significantly improve a home’s resale value—adding up to 2.5% to the sale price by some estimates. This may not sound like a large portion but with houses easily going for six figures or more, that 2.5% will be extremely noticeable. Homes with these floors installed have an average ROI of between 70% and 80%, more than justifying the value of the initial investment.
Hardwood floors offer another advantage when selling your home: they make it more popular to buyers
There are two major reasons for this. The first is that the flooring simply looks better and makes a home more attractive, especially when compared to surfaces like carpet that are more likely to show their age. Second, home buyers prefer properties that are move-in ready.If a potential buyer likes your home but knows they’ll end up replacing your floor with hardwood, they’ll be less likely to place a bid. In a way, installing it in living rooms or bedrooms is similar to repainting the walls—an investment that appeals to buyers because it’s a renovation they won’t have to do themselves after purchase. If you want to maximize the value these floors can bring to your home, pay attention to the species of wood you use. Ash is particularly popular but oak, maple, walnut, and cherry are also strong contenders that will further enhance your home’s appeal.
Debunking hardwood flooring myths
A quick online search might lead you to some concerning questions, ‘They’re too expensive, they’re hard to maintain, and they don’t belong in every room,’ you may read about wood floors. Stop worrying and take a few minutes to read up on how the flooring experts debunk commonly held myths about hardwood flooring.
Maintaining hardwood floors is tough
Not so! Consider the last time you emptied your vacuum cleaner’s canister; was it full of dust and grime? Carpets harbour much more dust, pet hair and allergens than a hardwood floor can, and they are much easier to remove, with merely a sweep.
Hardwood floors scratch easily
Not necessarily. If you choose your wood species carefully, you can reduce the chances for deep gouges or scratches. The hardest species of wood that make excellent choices for hardwood flooring are hickory, oak or maple. Of course, any type of floor is going to show wear and tear over time; that’s all part of having a home as opposed to a house. A home gets lived in. So, if the dog likes to chase the cat through the hallways, trim his nails. Put floor protectors on furniture feet when the kids are rearranging the couches to build forts. Hardwood floors are just as susceptible to dogs, kids and spills as carpets and ceramic tiles are.
Hardwood flooring isn’t appropriate with pets
You certainly can. Pets are no respecter of floors when it comes to having an accident or leaving scratches. Toronto hardwood flooring customers who are also pet owners will be advised to wipe up accidents right away to avoid letting liquid soak in. A good protective coating helps seal out temporary spills. Conversely, when carpets are soiled, you may need a steam cleaner, or worse yet, removing the entire carpet. Take into consideration the liveliness of your home when you choose the species of wood you want and go for hard, resilient options.
Hardwood floors don’t go in the kitchen
Designers and homeowners have changed their minds on this. What better way to showcase your stylish, inviting kitchen than with beautiful lengths of hardwood? If water damage is a concern, engineered wood flooring is a durable option that gives you peace of mind while creating meals. To further safeguard your floor against accidents spills and splashes, place a rug in front of the sink or workstation.
Hardwood flooring comes with a high price tag
The species of wood used for hardwood flooring affects pricing, but don’t be discouraged; there are a lot of beautiful—and affordable woods out there. Typically, exotic woods are more expensive than local species. Consider the longevity of your investment compared with lower cost materials that are replaced more often. If you still aren’t sure it’s in the budget but have your heart set on the warmth and beauty of hardwood floors, there is a myriad of engineered hardwood to give you an equally aesthetic look at a lower cost. Visit the experts at Chestnut Flooring to see all the exciting options for your home.
Warps and Cupping Are a Sign of Defect
If a wood floor cups or warps then the cause has nothing to do with the product itself. The most common culprits are excess humidity, leaks from nearby plumbing, or moisture infiltrating from another space in the home.
Wrapping it up
We hope that this article has helped you gain a deeper understanding of all aspects of hardwood flooring. If you seek to learn more or are in the market for hardwood flooring materials, please do not hesitate to contact our flooring experts at Chestnut Flooring.
See our other flooring articles and collections.
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