Guide To The Best Hardwood Floor Tips And Save Money Too

When shopping for do-it-yourself or pre-finished hardwood flooring do you know what type of hardwood flooring products you want to buy? Most consumers choose hardwood flooring for the feeling of warmth and comfort it gives a room. Hardwood floors offer an amazing array of aesthetic options, too.

Consider the fact that hardwood flooring costs about the same amount as high quality carpet installation, so it becomes a relatively easy decision to make if you’re a long term homeowner. And solid hardwood flooring has a soothing natural warmth and beauty that just can’t be compared to any other type of flooring today.

Hardwood flooring is a good solution for people who have allergies or asthma. Allergy professionals will recommend to their patients that they remove any carpeting in their home, if possible, to help lower exposure to irritants. Many people with dust, dust mite and similar allergies prefer wood flooring.

If you own an older home and if the floors are structurally sound why not refinish them and bring your old hardwood floors back to life. And for new flooring keep in mind that the flooring you choose must not only be right for your tastes, but also for your lifestyle and finances.

Hardwood flooring is so easy to clean and can’t accumulate a large amount of dirt and debris that other flooring solutions seem to hide. In many cases, refinishing any hardwood floors that you already have by repairing, stripping, sanding and staining will no doubt increase the value of your home, not to mention, adding a nice style and flair to your home’s interior. And there is certainly no need for cleaning chemicals, carpet shampooing, or replacement carpets whenever you have big spills.

If you’re looking for great ideas get a hold of a current issue of Hardwood Floors magazine. It’s sent to more than 24,000 hardwood flooring professionals throughout the world, including contractors, dealers, distributors, manufacturers, builders, architects and many other related industry professionals. When you’re trying to decide on what type of flooring is the best for you and your home, the first step is to make sure it’s really right for you by asking yourself questions and answer with complete honesty.

If you have small children, pets or a lot of visitors, you don’t need to worry about any accidents or spills on your floors anymore – just wipe them up with a clean cloth. You may be able to get your flooring or pre-finished planks through a hardwood floor lumber liquidator or supply store.

Shop around for deep discounts and low cost flooring buys. If you’re still considering hardwood flooring but need to think about the cost, you can do-it-yourself and save quite a bit of money but if not, you can hire a hardwood floor contractor and ask for a good discount and if you’re a senior ask for a senior discount. If you’re in business ask for a business discount. If you are a health professional ask for a health professional’s discount. In any case ask for a discount. You can also ask what kinds of discounts are available.

You can easily check online today for all types of hardwood flooring including: red oak, white oak, American cherry, Brazilian cherry, maple, red birch, ash, hickory, walnut and even bamboo. For truly natural flooring plans, wood has been a long-time winner with many homeowners because of its long-lasting nature. For the healthy-minded, there are much, much lower levels of chemical emissions from natural wood products than from new carpeting.

Hardwood floors have many benefits, such as the added value to your home, the easy care and cleaning, the great style combined with durability plus they’re natural and safe for the environment. If you’re looking for a great way to improve the look, durability and value of your home, hardwood floors are absolutely the way to go.

With today’s advanced wood flooring stains and finishes, the cleaning of wood floors has never been easier. Besides being beautiful and hardwearing, hardwood floors are environmentally friendly. Hardwood floors are one of the most important design elements you can have in any home or business.

Floor Wax for Hardwood Floors: Protecting Your Investment

The beauty, elegance and grace of a hardwood floor can only be described with the warmth an inviting nature that is reflected. Adding significant value to the interior or any home or place of business, hardwood floors are rapidly becoming the flooring selection of choice, replacing its predecessor, the carpeted floor.

Hardwood floors, un-finished, finished or engineered, require daily cleaning with a periodic annual maintenance program to retain the luster, deep rich tones and the overall beauty of any wood floor. Contrary to popular belief, these floors do require occasional waxing, depending on traffic flow across the floor, with specialized cleaners designed to seal and protect the floor from scratches and abuse. In the past, presumptions have indicated that all the maintenance that is required for a wood floor is light sweeping and mopping. Although, there is some truth to this theory, depending on the selection of flooring material, failure to provide adequate protection to any floor will result in deterioration and damage of the flooring surface at an accelerated rate with possible replacement in as little as five years.

Water and sunlight is a wood floor’s worst enemy causing more damage to all layers of the flooring material than all other elements combined. Mopping wood flooring surfaces with excessive water in the mop head, allows water to seep in between the seams of the flooring material gradually but eventually destroying the substructure of the hardwood flooring material. Mopping a wood floor with excessive amounts of water also institutes possible mold infiltration under the flooring surface, which will continue to grow unnoticed, a major health hazard in any home. Application of a manufactured recommended sealer and wax combination, seals all joint and seams, preventing water damage to under layers while adding brilliant luster to the finished top layer.

Ultraviolent rays of the sun exposed to hardwood surfaces for long durations, fade and dry-out, crack and cut wood flooring material at accelerated rates. Direct rays of the sun often produce extreme temperature build-up on hardwood flooring material surfaces not blocked by modern advanced engineered glass of today’s windows. Closing of drapes to protect wood material contradicts the original intent of installing such flooring material, to reflect light in an otherwise dull and dark room. Adequate application of an approved wax, protects the top and under-lying surfaces, blocking all harmful expose to sunlight, maintaining and protecting the flooring surface with an coating of the top layer continuing the warmth and relaxing nature that hardwood floors provide to any interior room.

Choosing the correct hardwood floor wax is best determined by the composition of the hardwood material installed. Using an unapproved wax with harsh cleaners creates counter- productive results damaging hardwood flooring material surfaces, of which may become permanent. All floor waxes and cleaners are not designed for all wood floors. New wood floors are often sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic sealers designed to protect the top finished surface. Application of an inappropriate or unapproved hardwood wax/cleaner combination will damage the manufacturer applied sealer dulling the luster, leaving steaks that are clearly noticeable. Seek out professional experienced advice when selecting a hardwood floor wax and cleaner designed to protect and beautify the particular hardwood material installed prior to application of any such substance.

Hardwood floors, regardless of finish or manufacturer’s specifications require periodic maintenance including the application of an approved wax/polish designed for a particular wood flooring material species. Hardwood floors left unprotected will in time, fade, discolor revealing signs of visible deterioration under normal daily use. With proper care and maintenance of all hardwood material, the original beauty and luster can be maintained with reflections of pride in your home while protecting your investment.

Hardwood Floor Care Will Keep Your Hardwood Looking Fantastic

Hardwood is still the homeowner’s favorite choice of flooring and caring for it takes minimal effort. Unlike laminate or engineered wood, hardwood can be refinished many times, and will add years of beauty and warmth to your home, as well as increase its value and speed its resale. Ongoing floor care is needed to keep your hardwood looking its best, however, and there are four major aspects of hardwood floor care:

1. Hardwood floor cleaning

2. Hardwood floor repair

3. Hardwood floor refinishing

4. Hardwood floor protection

Clean Your Hardwood Regularly

Knowing how to clean hardwood floors is important because the bane of hardwood is dirt and grit, which will scratch and mark the floor if not removed promptly. As well, dust is seen more easily on wood floors than it is on linoleum or on carpet, especially in the sunlight and especially if the floor has a dark stain. Hardwood floor care, therefore, means sweeping and dusting regularly – once a week, at least, and after any event that leaves dirt and grit behind. Regular household dusting and cleaning products will cause damage, however, and you must use only products specifically designed for hardwood. Vacuuming is preferable to sweeping because it allows the dirt and dust to be pulled from between the boards, but use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment, not a beater bar, which can damage the wood.

When a more in-depth cleaning is required, use a cleaning method appropriate to the finish on your floor. If your floor has a glossy finish, it means that polyurethane, or a water-based urethane, or a similar finish has been used to form a protective barrier over the hardwood. If it has a matte finish, it means that the floor is protected with a penetrating seal of oil and/or wax. On neither of these finishes is water an acceptable cleaning agent, but both of them can accept a surface, damp-mop cleaning, which means the mop is not wet but only damp to the touch. You are cleaning only the surface and not using enough water to penetrate even the oiled-and-waxed hardwood. When using a damp mop on oil and waxed hardwood, you can add a little neutral ph hardwood floor cleaner to the water before dipping the mop into it. A floor with a protective glossy barrier can accept a generic hardwood floor cleaner providing it doesn’t contain any wax or oil.

The don’ts are every bit as important as the do’s in hardwood floor care;

1. Don’t use ammonia, regular floor cleaners, household cleaners, or dusting products on hardwood.

2. Never use wax on a floor with a urethane or other glossy finish.

3. Never wash hardwood; use only a slightly damp mop.

Repair Any Damage to Your Floors as Soon as Possible

In most cases, when your oil and waxed hardwood floors have suffered surface damage, you have to remove the finish with a wax or oil stripper before dealing with the damage. After completing the repair, you then re-wax or re-oil the area. Surface damage occurs less often on hardwood protected by polyurethane or a similar type of sealer, and when it does, the damage is not as obvious. When repairing floors with such finishes, strip the finish from the entire board or boards where the damage has occurred. Make your repairs and then apply a finishing product to those boards that is consistent with the rest of the floor.

1. Water marks: Remove the protective finish, rub the marks with fine grade steel wool. Repeat if necessary, clean, and then refinish.

2. Burn marks: Lightly sand the area, use a damp cloth to pick up the grit, and then refinish as desired.

3. Scratches and gouges: Conceal shallow scratches with matching wood putty or a putty stick. After the area is dry, sand and refinish.

Refinishing Your Worn Hardwood Floors Will Recapture Their Original Beauty and Value

In a home with shabby hardwood floors, the biggest improvement you can make is to refinish the floors. Begin by making any necessary repairs, and then removing all the furniture and drapes and sealing the vents and registers in the room so that you won’t spread dust throughout the house. Sanding floors is easiest to do with a drum sander and an edging machine for the sides and corners of the room. You can rent these machines, and it is a good idea to rent a buffer or floor polisher at the same time. Plan to make three passes with your sanding equipment, using increasingly finer sandpaper each time. Vacuum carefully and pick up every bit of fine dust and grit with tacking cloths. All dust and dirt must be removed. You can now apply a stain if you wish or you can leave the natural color and design of the wood – such as the popular oak, maple, or cherry – to be displayed.

Polish and clean the dust and dirt from the floor again, and then apply your sealer – a polyurethane or a water-based urethane that provides a protective barrier, or oil and wax, which penetrates the wood and protects from within. Carefully read all the information accompanying each product, follow the safety advice, and apply as many coats of stain or sealer as suggested by the manufacturer of the products you are using.

Hardwood Floor Care Means Providing Ongoing Floor Protection

As well as regular cleaning, and repairing and refinishing when necessary, there are a number of protective measures you can take to preserve the beauty of your hardwood:

1. Use area rugs and mats in high traffic areas and sites of frequent spills (e.g., in front of the stove, sink, and refrigerator). Move these rugs frequently so that these areas of the floor remain the same color as the exposed floor. As well, it is best to choose cotton mats as they do not trap water under them as rubber or vinyl might.

2. Keep high-heeled shoes in good repair and avoid using stiletto heels.

3. Keep nails trimmed on pets.

4. Clean up spills immediately with a paper towel or dry cloth. A damp cloth can be used for sticky spills, but dry the spot immediately afterwards with another towel or cloth.

5. Lift rather than drag furniture when moving it and use felt contacts under furniture legs to prevent scratches and gouges.

6. Use sheers or blinds to protect your floors from the discoloration caused by direct sun rays.

With proper care and maintenance, your hardwood floors will retain their beauty and enhance any d├ęcor that you choose. When your floors become worn, or if they become damaged, they can be restored to their former glory with a little time, effort, and money. Use the Internet to check out quality products, read the information on how to use them, compare prices, and place your orders. We can help with all your hardwood floor care needs – everything from discount hardwood flooring to hardwood cleaners – and all items can be purchased online and delivered to your door. Let us help you keep your hardwood floors looking their best.