How do I properly clean my wood flooring?
You should sweep or vacuum floors with a flooring attachment frequently to keep abrasive materials from coming in contact with it. You should mop only with a damp, cool mop. Avoid excess moisture and never mop with hot soapy water as it can cause damage to your floor. Avoid getting water down in eased edges. Never apply a wax finish unless recommended by the manufacturer.
How can I get the longest life out of my wood floor?
There are several steps you can take to help maintain your wood floor besides regular maintenance.
- Use a doormat outside your home to help collect any dirt, debris, moisture or other abrasive substances that can damage your floor.
- When mopping use a cool damp, not soaking wet mop and keep liquid off the floor as much as possible.
- Use felt or other approved floor protectors on furniture to reduce scratching or gouging.
- Wood floors are affected by direct sunlight and are prone to color darkening or fading. Keep blinds closed and direct sunlight off the wood floor on sunny days when possible or install UV protection on your windows. Rearrange furniture often to give your floor even exposure.
- Keep large animals with long nails and spike heels off the floor as they can scratch and damage wood.
- If you are moving appliances or heavy furniture never slide them across the floor.
- Use area rugs or mats with rug pads that are approved by your manufacturer on high traffic area.
- Keep the room temperature and humidity controlled all year round. Use a dehumidifier in hot, humid weather and a humidifier in very dry weather.
Is it possible to sand and refinish my wood floor?
Yes, a solid wood floor can be refinished several times depending on the thickness of the wear layer, while an engineered wood floor can be refinished a few times depending on the thickness of the top, or veneer layer. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to do so. Studies show that even though you can usually refinish solid wood a few more times than engineered wood, the vast majority of hardwood wood floors are never refinished even once by their owners.
Can I repair a gouge or deep scratch in my wood flooring?
If the damage is smaller than the size of a quarter you can usually use a repair kit recommended by your manufacturer to repair the damage. If it is any larger, the plank or strip should be replaced. If unsure, consult your manufacturer for the best solution for your situation.
How do I remove stubborn stains from my wood flooring?
Use and a soft cloth and a solution recommended by your manufacturer or mineral spirits. Never poor the solution or mineral spirits directly on the flooring.
Why are there gaps between the planks or strips on my wood floor?
Your wood floors can expand and contract due to changes in humidity. Because of this it is common for cracks and small gaps to appear between the planks or strips in your wood floors, especially floors with wider planks. Try to keep the room at a constant 45% humidity level using an air conditioner, humidifier, or a dehumidifier when needed. Also, prior to installation, let your floor acclimate to its surroundings. See the manufacturers recommended acclimation time before installation.
Where can I install solid wood flooring?
Solid wood can be installed on or above grade, but not below grade. Basements usually have high moisture levels and fluctuations in temperature making them a poor area for wood installation. Bathrooms are also a poor choice as well as any other room that may experience pooling liquid. Nail-down installation methods can be installed over wood subfloor. Glue-down and floating installations can be installed over wood, concrete or one layer of existing flooring as long as it is clean and firmly attached to the subfloor beneath. Neither should be installed over carpet and glue down is not recommended over particle board or chipboard. When installing over concrete, it is recommended that you check with your manufacturer’s recommendations and always use a moisture barrier. It is not recommended to install solid wood in tropical climates with high humidity.
How much wood flooring do I need?
- Divide the floor into rectangles.
- Measure the length and width of each individual rectangle.
- Multiply the length by the width of each individual rectangle.
- Add your total for each rectangle together to get the total square footage.
- Add an additional 5-10% (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations) of the total square footage to cover the waste factor. Waste factors are needed to estimate for cutting the flooring, additional material to select out pieces that don’t match (wood is a natural product and can have pieces that don’t match the majority of the floor).
- Use our flooring estimator tool.
How can I test my room to find out if there are moisture issues with the subfloor before installing wood flooring?
There are professional devices that can be used, however when these are unavailable, tape a piece of clear plastic sheeting (Plastic) to the floor and leave it for 24-48 hours. Make sure the edges of all sides of the plastic are sealed tight to ensure that air and moisture can’t escape. When you take it off, if there is moisture on the plastic (condensation) or the floor is discolored where the plastic was, there are probably moisture issues. Consult a professional flooring installer for options before proceeding.
How is solid wood normally installed?
Solid wood often comes in nail down or staple installations. There are also floating installation methods which are not affixed to the subfloor and may or may not require glue. These are rare to find due to the fact that wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture and temperature. A floating floor is locked together in one complete unit instead of being affixed to the subfloor making contraction and expansion very difficult.
Is solid wood flooring recommended for a self-installer?
Solid wood is moderately difficult to install and does require patience, skill, and special tools. If you attempt a self-installation it is recommended that you carefully follow your manufacturer’s recommendations and also purchase a pre-finished product that does not involve glue for an easier installation. Sanding and finishing a floor can be difficult for the non-professional. If you are unsure of your skill, it is always best to consult with a local floor installation professional.
Can solid wood be installed over radiant floor heating systems?
Some solid woods can be installed over radiant heating but it is generally recommended that you use engineered wood flooring because it is less sensitive to moisture and temperature changes. If using solid wood be sure to coordinate the installation of the radiant heating and with installation of the wood to ensure there will be no issues. Of the different flooring installation options, the best installation method to use over radiant heating is a floating installation without the use of nails or adhesives which if often hard to find in solid wood. The maximum temperature of the subfloor should never exceed 80 Degrees F. It is not recommend that you use maple or pecan.
Is it important to acclimate my solid wood flooring with the room in which it will be installed?
Yes, extremely. You should let you solid wood flooring sit unopened and flat in the room in which it will be installed for 1-2 weeks before installation. If you are installing in a room that has humidity issues, you may need to use a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Do I need a moisture barrier when installing my solid wood flooring?
Whether you are installing your solid wood on or above grade it is almost always recommended that you use a moisture barrier to protect your floor from any potential damage. A moisture barrier is absolutely essential when installing solid wood over a concrete slab.
Can I install solid wood flooring on steps?
Yes, you can install solid wood flooring on steps using a stair tread and stair riser. In some cases you can use your flooring as the stair tread along with a trim piece called a stair nose to create your own stair treads.
Do I need to leave an expansion gap when installing wood flooring?
Yes, it is vital to the life of your floor that you leave an expansion gap of at least ¾"around the perimeter of the room and all obstructions. Check with your manufacturer as you may need a larger or smaller expansion gap depending on the geographical region, interior moisture and temperature, and time of the year.
Is one width better than another when it comes to wood floor planks and strips?
No, it comes down to what you prefer. Most people say a narrow board will give you a formal look and a broad board will give you a more country feel.
How do I remove dried adhesive from the surface of my wood flooring after installation?
If the adhesive has dried, use a little drop of mineral spirits and a soft cloth to wipe off. Do not pour the mineral spirits directly on the floor. Wipe off with a damp cloth afterwards. If the adhesive is still wet, simply use water and a soft cloth.
Can I walk on my wood floor and mop it immediately after installation?
If the floor was prefinished and no glue was used in the installation it is okay to walk on or damp mop it immediately after installation. However, if you had to finish your floor after installation or if it was a glue down installation, you should not walk on or mop it for as long the manufacturer recommends.
What is solid wood flooring?
Solid wood flooring is a made of wood from the timber of solid woods, or of softwood like spruce or hard pine. Common species used are Oak (red and white), Maple, Cherry and Ash. It is one solid piece of wood with tongue and groove sides and comes in a wide variety of traditional and exotic species.