Hardwood Flooring Frequently Asked Questions...
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How do I choose a Hardwood floor species, color and board size that is right for me?
Can I install a Hardwood floor in any room in my home?
What is the difference between an engineered wood floor and a solid wood floor?
Which is better, Prefinished wood floors or Job Site finished wood flooring?
Can I install Hardwood Flooring in high traffic areas?
What is the difference between square-edge and eased-edge Hardwood Flooring?
Which Hardwood Flooring installation method is the best?
Can I sand and refinish a prefinished Hardwood floor?
Which hardwood floors work best with installation over radiant heat?
Will the color of my wood flooring change over time? What can I do about the difference in color under my rug?
What are "natural characteristics"?
Should I expect color variations in my Hardwood flooring?
Will my Hardwood Flooring dent and wear?
Will my dog ruin my wood floor?
Should I expect my wood floor to splinter or chip?
Will my Hardwood floor be perfectly flat?
Protecting and Cleaning your New Hardwood Flooring
Are hardwood floors hard to maintain?
Can I wet-mop my Hardwood flooring?
Can I touch-up scratches and dents?
Should I wax my urethane finished floor?
What can I do if the finish becomes dull?
How do I clean my wood flooring and remove heel marks?
How can I keep furniture from scratching my floor?
What is in a warranty?
Is Hardwood Flooring a Green Enviromentally Friendly Product?

How do I choose a Hardwood floor species, color and board size that is right for me?

You need to consider the style you're trying to convey in the room:

  • If your tastes are more Traditional, you may want to use a narrow 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide board in a lighter natural color of the wood, like Bruce Dundee Strip.
  • If you like a more Contemporary look, then you may want to use a 4" or narrower board width with a medium to light color, like Somerset 4 IN. Solid Oak.
  • If you are looking for a more Country style, then you may want to use a 5" wide board with a darker to light color with possibly a lot of character such as lighter and darker boards with knots and pin (worm) holes, which has become extremely popular, like Hartco Rural Living.
  • If the flooring is going to be Heavily Trafficked, then we may suggest using a handscraped style, which would camouflaged normal wear and tear over time, like Vintage Red Oak Sculpted 5 IN.  

Decisions seem endless when selecting just the right hardwood floor for the rooms in your home. There are a variety of wood species, colors and grain patterns to consider and the wood floor area is one of the largest expanses of color or pattern in a room. Your hardwood flooring should compliment the fabrics, furnishings, and cabinets already present in the space, all while enhancing your unique personality.

The most popular wood species used in hardwood flooring is Red Oak Or White Oak in either 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide boards. However, these days anything goes and a lot more people are choosing exotic wood species such as Brazilian Cherry or Santos Mahogany -- with dark, rich, reddish colors. Bamboo and Cork flooring are also becoming more popular due to their environmentally friendly nature and unique appearance. Darker colors are most often used in formal or traditional interiors, while lighter colors work best in country, casual and contemporary settings.

 

Can I install a Hardwood floor in any room in my home?

Hardwood flooring can be installed on any grade (level) in your home. If you're installing below grade (in a basement), or over a concrete slab on any level, you'd need to use an engineered floor. Engineered wood floors are manufactured with cross layers of plywood as a stable base, and then a top layer of real wood is placed on top (called a wear layer). Because these engineered wood floors are often more stable than solid wood floors, they can withstand minor moisture level changes better than solid hardwood flooring can. A solid wood floor could possibly cup and buckle in high moisture prone areas like basements.

The only exception would be in bathrooms. We do not recommend any type of hardwood floor in a full bathroom where water will be splashed or spilled on it. Hardwood or Laminate flooring can work well in half-baths where there is no tub/shower or high humidity. The best option for full baths would be Ceramic Tile or Waterproof Vinyl flooring.

Although engineered wood floors are more stable in below ground situations, you will still need to use an appropriate underlayment with a moisture blocking pad when installing using a floating method. If you are using a direct glue-down method for installation we recommend applying a coat of MVP (moisture block) over the concrete to block out moisture before putting down the adhesive.

 

What is the difference between an engineered wood floor and a solid wood floor?

You can find a detailed analysis of these two types of flooring at: All About Solid Wood Floors and All About Engineered Wood Floors.

Solid Hardwood flooring is milled from the log as a solid piece of wood. These boards expand and contract with relative humidity changes within its environment. In extreme relative humidity changes within your home, the solid boards can expand causing cupping and/or buckling of the floor boards. If the homes environment is too dry, the solid boards can contract (shrink), leaving gaps between the floor boards. Solid wood flooring is not recommended for below grade installation and must be nailed down or glued down. We recommend keeping the homes relative humidity level between 40-55%.

In comparison, Engineered Hardwood flooring is manufactured with multiple cross layers of plywood to increase stability with a thinner real wood top layer. This construction counteracts the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Engineered wood flooring can be installed in any room in the home, whether on grade, above grade or below grade. Engineered wood floors are generally nailed, stapled, direct glued or floated (gluing seams together over an underlayment). We recommend keeping the homes relative humidity level between 30-60%.

Another popular option for hardwood flooring, is Click Lock. A click locking engineered floor literally clicks together for a floating installation over a recommended underlayment. Click Locking hardwood makes DIY engineered hardwood installation incredibly easy. One of the very best flooring brands for click lock engineered options is Kahrs Wood Flooring. Kahrs is continuously updating and improving their click lock technology and surface treatments, ensuring beauty and style for years to come.

There are pros and cons when using either solid or engineered floors. Obviously stability is an advantage of using engineered flooring because of the cross layers. A disadvantage is that some engineered flooring styles have a very thin veneer wear layer, which cannot be completely sanded and refinished if ever needed. In heavy traffic areas of your house, you might want to consider an engineered floor with a thicker wear layer. Vintage Wood Floors makes an unparalleled Northern Solid Sawn Collection, which is a 3/4 IN. thick engineered floor with a 4mm wear layer. The Vintage milling and finishing precision cannot be beat.

 

Which is better, Prefinished wood floors or Job Site finished wood flooring?

Purchasing "Quality" Prefinished Wood Flooring allows you the durability of the ever improving finish technology that can only be applied and dried in a factory setting. These are super durable finishes with specific nano-particles mixed with the finish to make them incredibly tough and abrasive resistant. These additives can keep prefinished hardwood looking newer much longer than site finished flooring. Additionally, installing a prefinished wood floor eliminates days of waiting for the finish to dry, the dust/odors and sanding machine marks associated with the on-site sanding and finishing of an unfinished wood floor. A prefinished hardwood floor can be installed in a day and then you can move right back in. An unfinished flooring installation may require up to 3-4 days along with staying off the floor for days while the finish dries.

 

Can I install Hardwood Flooring in high traffic areas?

No matter how durable the finish is, grit, stones, and water tracked onto a wood floor can cause premature wearing and scratching of the finish. High heel shoes can indent the wood's surface. To make a hardwood floors finish last the longest, we suggest using heavy mats outside all exterior doors with small rugs on wood flooring at all entrances and in front of sinks and stoves. Regularly vacuum the hardwood flooring using a soft bristle brush and install felt chair glides on the bottoms of all chairs and furniture. Clean wood flooring with a Hardwood floor cleaner formulated specifically for hardwood flooring. We do not recommend using any oil soaps, furniture polish, wax or vinegar and water -- they can damage and dull the finish over time.

 

What is the difference between square-edge and micro-bevel Hardwood Flooring ?

These days, prefinished hardwood flooring is most commonly found to have some version of a micro-beveled edge and end. You may also find some cases of a square edged prefinished floor, although square edges are generally found in unfinished hardwood options. The micro-v between planks help to mitigate any unlevel subfloors, subfloor defects or discrepancy between planks in hardwood flooring milling. Square edge Hardwood flooring has no beveled edges, the top surface edges of each wood plank or wood strip are milled square. The disadvantage of square edges is that if the subfloor is not perfectly flat, or if a particular floorboard has a slight difference in thickness, you may or may not feel the edge of a board when walking on it with stockings or bare feet. This is why some sort of bevel is preferred.

Different hardwood flooring brands will have different types of bevel. Most popular types of beveled edges and ends are: Micro-Beveled, Eased Edge, Full Beveled, Handscraped Bevel and Pillowed Edge. 

More details on edge styles can be found in our Plank Edge Styles section. The bevels in this list are the most popular but this list is not exhaustive. The bevel helps form the style of particular hardwood flooring collections so flooring brands are constantly trying new bevel styles and shapes. 

 

Which Hardwood Flooring installation method is the best?

There are basically four ways hardwood flooring can be installed depending on hardwood plank construction, subfloor and grade level. Always read the flooring manufacturer's installation instructions prior to an install. The flooring installation instructions will list the required subfloor prep, job site conditions and approved installation methods for your particular hardwood floor.

Nail or Staple down Hardwood Flooring installations - This type of installation is been used for centuries and is the traditional way of installing hardwood flooring. Each floor board is nailed or stapled at an angle just above the tongue of the floor board down through to the wood subfloor using a manual or pneumatic flooring nail gun or stapler. Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 5/16 – 3/4 inch thick tongue and grooved hardwood flooring.

Direct glue down Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – Glue Down installs is where each tongue and grooved floor board would be laid into a bed of adhesive that was spread out onto the surface of either a wood subfloor or a concrete slab using a specific sized notched trowel. This type of installation is more complicated due to the boards having to be inserted together in wet adhesive, aligned and kept together as the floor is installed. The adhesive is expensive and it can get messy. Hardwood Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 1/4 – 3/4 inch thick tongue and grooved engineered hardwood flooring that states it is allowed to be direct glued down by the manufacturer.

Floating (glue together) Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – Floating installs have been around for approximately 35 years and during a floating install, planks are not attached to the subfloor at all. Instead, an approved foam or felt or cork underlayment pad is rolled out over the subfloor and then the tongue and groove of the planks are glued together with T&G glue and tapped together using a hammer and tapping block. This method counteracts each board’s ability to expand and contract, as the entire floor is now moving as one unit during seasonal relative humidity changes. This prevents the typical slight separation of individual floor boards during these seasonal changes. A floating installation is very easy, quick and accessible to homeowners looking to save on installation costs with an easy DIY install. Hardwood Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 5/16 – 3/4 thick tongue and grooved hardwood flooring that is approved for floating installations by the engineered hardwood manufacturer.

Click Lock Floating Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – The Click Lock design offers an even easier installation method. Click locking installs are similar to floating engineered installs mentioned above, but without the tongue & groove glue. This glue-less flooring installation method involves rolling out the approved underlayment and then either tapping the boards together until they lock in place OR more advanced click lock technology involves just folding the planks together until they are locked together tightly. Click Lock hardwood flooring is very easy to install and is extremely popular with DIY lovers and professional installers alike. Approved underlayments for click locking hardwood floors are typically made of foam, felt or cork. Click Lock flooring is an engineered floor construction and can be installed through out your home or in the basement. Hardwood Flooring that is available with this type of Click Lock or Lock and Fold technology would be 5/16 – 3/4 thick and will specifically be labeled as "click lock." Laminate Flooring and Waterproof Vinyl Flooring Planks also offer click locking installation options. 

 

Can I sand and refinish a Prefinished Hardwood floor?

Over time there are going to be accidents where unprotected furniture legs are going to be dragged across the surface of the wood flooring causing scratches, heavy items are going to slip out of someone's hands denting your wood floors and grit or stones are going to be brought into your home and ground into the surface of the wood floor. Prefinished engineered wood flooring can either be lightly hand sanded and recoated or, if the engineered flooring has a 1.5 or thicker mil wear layer, it can also be professionally machine sanded to clear the old finish and scratches off then refinished new again. Most of the high end engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished at least once, some up to 5 times depending on the thickness of the veneer wear layer and if sanded correctly. 

Solid wood flooring can be sanded and refinished new again 4 -7 times depending on the thickness of the solid wood flooring.

While sanding a refinishing your prefinished hardwood floor can be an option, it has to be said that prefinished hardwood flooring typically stands up to normal every day wear and tear pretty well and sanding and refinishing in the near future shouldn't be an expectation or a concern after installing new prefinished hardwood floors. Additionally, sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor will void any manufacturer's warranty that is included with your initial purchase of the hardwood flooring.

**Please note: Laminate Flooring, Rolled Vinyl Floors and Vinyl Planks or Tiles cannot be sanded and refinished.**

 

Which hardwood floors work best with installation over Radiant Heat?

Installing wood flooring over a heated surface must be planned out carefully, as the direct heat source can cause the wood flooring to dry out (lose moisture) within its cell structure and the board(s) can contract in size leaving open gaps between floorboards. Excessive heat can also cause cupping, checking and splitting within the boards. That being said, hardwood flooring over radiant heat is done all the time. 

Floating Engineered Hardwood Flooring is the absolute best choice of hardwood flooring to use for installations over radiant heat systems. Floating wood floors are the most stable to use because of their 3 to 7 ply cross layer construction and because the floating installation requires the boards to either be clicked together or glued together to themselves and not individually nailed or glued to the subfloor. Because the boards are locked together, any expansion or contraction within the whole floor would typically occur around the edge of the floor area where it is hidden by the baseboard or 3/4 round molding. This is very important with radiant heat systems, as fluctuating temperature changes can affect individually installed (nailed or glue down) floor boards wildly. With floating floors, board separation (shrinkage), cupping due to a higher in-floor temperature is rare. 

Other non-floating styles of engineered flooring can also be installed over radiant heat, although it isn't the best option. A direct glue down or nail down installation can cause the boards to be more prone (if a higher than 80 degree surface heat is used) to show gaps between the boards and (some) adhesives applied to exposed radiant piping may cause premature degrading of the plastic piping and cause difficulty if any repairs are needed later to the heating system. 

If a Solid Hardwood Floor is desired to use over radiant heat, we would recommend wood flooring that was milled using a quarter sawn cut which is more stable than the common plain sawn cut.  White Oak Quartersawn Hardwood Flooring in particular is one we use or suggest the most as the White Oak Species is in it self a more stable and hard wood species. Any gaping between the boards with a quarter sawn floor would be minimized because quarter sawn expands and contracts less and differently than regular plain sawn boards. An engineered construction is still preferred, though, when installation over radiant heating systems.

IMPORTANT: The temperature of a radiant heat system at the surface of the subfloor should not exceed 80 degrees. If the surface temperature is higher, permanent damage to the finished wood flooring could result and any warranties would be voided by the manufacturer. Some wood flooring manufacturers do not allow their flooring installed over radiant heat systems. Some wood species like Maple, Hickory/Pecan or Brazilian Cherry are not recommended to be installed over radiant heat systems because of the less stability of these wood species. Some of the more stable wood species we have found are American Cherry, White Oak, Santos Mahogany. 

Further information All About Installing Hardwood Flooring over Radiant Heat

ALWAYS consult the flooring manufacturer's installation instructions prior to even purchasing a prefinished hardwood floor to go over radiant heat. Their installation instructions will let you know if the specific floor you're interested in is approved for installation over radiant heat, what jobsite conditions need to be met and what precautions you need to take. It's better to go into a radiant heat install prepared than suffer fallout from going rogue.

 

Will the color of my wood flooring change over time? What can I do about the difference in color under my rug?

Most all Hardwood species will change color to some degree over time -- this is called patina or aging. It is 100% natural and not a defective product. This is mostly caused by Ultra Violet Rays (sunlight) beaming in on the furniture and bare flooring. Brazilian Cherry and American Cherry are noted for having the most color change and will turn a (very desired) deep rich reddish color as they age and are exposed to light. Their color change is usually the greatest within the first 2 - 3 months.

Any areas of a wood floor that were covered with an area rug or furniture will not darken as quickly as an exposed area of flooring.  Once the rug or furniture is moved, these areas will catch up in time to the same shade as the exposed area is. To slow this from happening we recommend using directional mini blinds to direct the sunlight upwards towards the ceiling and off the furniture and flooring, doing this will help reduce color changes in both your fabrics and hardwood flooring over time.

 

What are "Natural characteristics"?

Natural characteristics of wood could include small knots, pinholes, or brownish/grey/black mineral streaks with the grain of the wood. They are a result of the growth process of the tree in the forest and are influenced by sunlight, soil and climate. Flooring is graded based upon the number of these variations. Clear grades exhibit the least number of natural characteristics many of the top manufacturers (Vintage, Lauzon, etc.) offer different grades with varying character amounts. Rustic grades will show the most amount of character and are great for country homes or rustic aesthetics. Rustic grades are still produced with the highest quality and shouldn't be confused with "2nds" or "tavern grade" hardwood flooring products which are basically leftovers from 1st quality factory runs. A Rustic Grade hardwood floor is just as beautiful and top quality as a Clear hardwood floor, it's just got more character.

 

Should I expect color variations in my Hardwood flooring?

Each real hardwood floor board is like a finger print -- NO two boards are exactly alike. This is what makes wood flooring so appealing! Wood is a natural material, with color and grain variations from board to board. Each floor board will accept stain differently, some boards being lighter or darker. The lighter the color used on the floor, (depending on grade of wood chosen) the more prominent the natural characteristics will show on the flooring plank. Lighter stains will let the most variation show through. Darker stains have a tendency to mask the natural variations in the wood. The higher or better the grade, the less color variation you will see also. For more on grading see Customer Expectations.

 

Will my Hardwood flooring dent and wear?

Most normal residential wear and tear over the years will include scratches in the finish or dents in the wood. You can prevent these from happening for the most part with some Hardwood Flooring Protection Tips, but since hardwood flooring is a natural product, it's not indestructible.

With today's technology, hardwood flooring manufacturers are able to strengthen their surface finishes with everything from Aluminum Oxide, Titanium to Ceramic particles mixed with the finishes applied and dried at the mill. Quality hardwood flooring manufacturers use 6 to 10 coats of these durable finishes on their flooring. These finishes create a very wear resistant, durable surface for normal foot traffic for many years. Regardless of the brand of wood flooring or finish, though, all wood flooring can be scratched or indented if something heavy and/or sharp is pushed, dragged, rolled over its surface. This includes stiletto heels or even a pebble stuck to the bottom of your shoe. The most important prevention tips when it comes to living with hardwood flooring are: Keep your floors free from dust and dirt, Chair Glides for all your furniture and mats at doors leading to the outside world.

The higher a particular wood species is on the Janka Hardness Scale, the more resistant that particular wood will be to dents, yes -- but, ultimately, no matter what the hardness rating of the wood species, wood is wood. Wood is made up of millions of cell structures that were once filled with water making it harder to crush or dent before the tree was cut from the forest. Once that tree becomes lumber and is kiln dried at the mill, the moisture in those cells is dried out leaving hollow cell structures that can compress when something heavy is dropped or rolled on the floor leaving dents within the surface of the wood. Again, hardwood flooring is a natural product and not indestructible. Before choosing a particular floor, think about the room you'll be installing in. It doesn't make sense for a softer Cherry floor to be installed in a busy kitchen prone to everyday use and falling utensils. Hickory, however, will be able to take a bit more abuse since it's higher up on the Janka Scale.

If scratches and dents are super bothersome, there are touch up kits available that include color putty sticks, vials of stain and urethane that can be used sparingly to cover blemishes. 

 

Will my dog ruin my wood floor?

Dogs that are extremely large and actively run in the house will dig in to get traction, possibly scratching the surface of any wood flooring. There are also a lot of dog owners that have hardwood flooring and have no problems with their pets. Usually pets do not like the feel of wood flooring under their feet because they have a tendency to slip when they try to run so they usually learn quickly not to run on them. It is important to keep dogs' nails trimmed and to possibly limit their areas. There are companies out there that make dog booties that will protect your hardwood flooring. Also, make sure your pets are house broken. Pet urine is an acid and will damage the natural color of the wood flooring if not cleaned up right away, leaving a black stain that does not always sand out.

 

Should I expect my Hardwood flooring to splinter or chip?

All wood is an imperfect natural product and the fact that there are hundreds of boards that make up an entire floor. You may (although very rare) encounter an edge or end of a board that has splintered or checked (split). We would suggest that you examine the floor boards as you are installing them to weed out any boards that you may encounter with these natural inherent character prior to them being installed. If you should encounter any after the flooring has been installed, you can use the edge of a fine grit sand paper to sand off the splinter and touch up the area with some matching finish. You can also use a matching colored wood filler to fill in chips or small holes in the wood. A last resort is to cut out the defective board and replace it with a new one. It's recommended to save a carton or two of the flooring for any future repairs. I cannot tell you how many times people have called us asking if their particular flooring is still made or will it match their older flooring because they took down a wall and need a few boards to patch in. Having some extra planks around can save a lot of hassle in the future. 

 

Will my Hardwood flooring be perfectly flat?

Any Hardwood Flooring is going to conform to the shape or flatness of the wood subfloor or concrete slab under it. The flatter the wood subfloor or concrete slab is, the smoother and flatter the wood flooring will be. Although we have yet to see a perfectly flat subfloor in all the years we have been in business, you do want to try to make sure that the subfloor has no high or low spots that are more than a 1/4 inch in 6 - 8 feet. To do this lay a 6 foot wood or steel level (or straight edge) on its edge on the subfloor in several different areas in the room. If you can see more than a 1/4 inch or more space anywhere under it then you "may" want to try and fill that area up either using a concrete leveler mix for concrete slabs or shimming up a plywood subfloor using wooden carpenter shims from below the subfloor which can be time consuming. For marginal low spots you might also be able to add several additional layers of the felt paper used as an underlayment paper for nail down flooring to bring the low spot up a bit. For high spots you would have to sand these areas down.

Generally, if a subfloor has minimal deflection you will not notice it after the flooring has been installed.

For rooms where the subfloors slope, there is little one can do to correct it. You would either need to pour new concrete over the entire concrete slab and re level it or in the case of a wood subfloor jack that side of the house up. Both can be very expensive to do and are as complicated as they sound.

 

Protecting and Cleaning your New Hardwood Flooring

No matter how durable a hardwood floor's finish is, it's still important to protect your new hardwood floor. Hardwood Flooring really is one of the easiest types of flooring to take care of and it's beauty can last a lifetime. Ultimately, it's always most important to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance directions when cleaning their hardwood flooring. Using an inferior brand or a harsh cleaner could cause damage to the finish that could be irreversible. Not abiding by the manufacturers cleaning recommendations could possibly also result in the warranty being void.

We recommend Vacuuming the Hardwood Flooring at least weekly using a soft bristle brush. When washing Hardwood Flooring, lightly sprits’ the floor area using the recommended Hardwood Flooring spray cleaner then wipe or mop dry in the same direction of the grain of the Hardwood Floor.
We recommend wiping up any spills as soon as possible, as allowing any liquids to sit and seep into the seams of the wood over time can cause delamination of the wood or finish.

We recommend Taking care when moving furniture, using felt chair glides on all your furniture which will protect your hardwood flooring for many years. Chair glides also allow you to easily slide the furniture out on the floor for cleaning.

We recommend Placing quality mats at all entrances to collect dirt, grit and moisture which could get ground into the surface of the hardwood floors finish and damage your hardwood floors. Place scatter rugs in heavy traffic areas or where twisting and turning is frequent in such areas as at kitchen sinks or at refrigerators etc.

We recommend Using directional blinds on windows since direct sunlight (UV- rays) can cause hardwood floor finishes to change color. Deflect the sunlight upwards onto the ceiling. Some exotic wood flooring may naturally darken over the years.

We recommend Maintaining a normal relative humidity level of between 40-60 percent which will limit expansion and contraction of hardwood flooring. During drier winter months, use a humidifier to add moisture into the air. During the humid summer months, use a dehumidifier or air conditioning to remove excess humidity.

We recommend Keeping large dogs' nails trimmed especially if the pets are very active and run around in the home. They have a natural tendency to dig into the woods surface to try and get traction, which will cause scratches in the hardwood floor surface.

Never use a beater brush vacuum (carpet) attachment on your wood flooring, it could damage or mar the finish.

Never use rubber foam back or plastic padding under an area rug, as they may discolor the hardwood floor's finish.

Never  wet mop any hardwood or laminate flooring, as the water can seep down between the seams of the boards and cause the board edges to cup upward or cause delamination and discoloration of the finish. Using tap water alone can also contain acidic minerals which may leave a film or damage the finish. Never use Vinegar and Water.

Never use any furniture polish or oil soaps as most contain wax or silicones that will attract dirt and leave a sticky film residue that may be difficult to remove. If you used any of these types of inferior cleaning products and have problems we would recommend calling them for advice on how to remove any film or residue cleaner before using any recommended manufacturers cleaners that we offer here.

Never use any type of steamer on your hardwood flooring, as it will damage the wood and possibly cause the finish to peel off.

Fixing scratches in wood flooring: If you should have to fix a scratch in your hardwood flooring simply light sand the area using 220 grit sand paper to remove the scratch from the wood and rub a little bit of matching stain (if the wood had been stained a color) onto the area. Once the stain has dried apply several coats of a water based finish in the same sheen with an artists brush. Many hardwood flooring brands offer touch up kits for their flooring. 

 

Are hardwood floors hard to maintain?

Hardwood Flooring is one of the easiest types of floor to maintain. We recommend vacuuming regularly using a soft bristle brush, and using the recommended cleaners when needed to restore the shine. We would also recommend using tap-in or self-adhesive chair glides to protect all flooring from becoming scratched by legs of furniture.

 

Can I wet-mop my Hardwood flooring?

Water and wood do not mix. Never wet mop a wood floor -- excessive water can seep between the boards and discolor the wood. Always use the recommended cleaners specifically for hardwood floors.

 

Can I touch-up scratches and dents?

Most hardwood flooring manufacturers offer touch-up kits for their own collections. There are also colored putty fillers available in hardwood stores, which can be color-matched to your wood species and stain color. These products can help mask minor scratches and blemishes.

 

Should I wax my urethane finished floor?

Never wax the urethane finish on a hardwood floor. It will cause it to become slippery and leave a film which will dull your factory applied finish causing dirt tracked in to stick into the film. Using a wax will also void most finish warranties.

 

What can I do if the finish becomes dull?

Screening and re-coating is needed when the existing finish has gotten dull from foot traffic. You can lightly sand the hardwood floor using either a floor buffer with a 220 grit sandpaper type screen or a small hand sander to roughen up the surface of the existing finish. Then recoat the floor with a fresh coat of finish. It is important to know that this method usually does not remove embedded dirt, scratch marks or any dents within the surface of the wood, but it should delay the need for a full sanding and refinishing of the wood floors. There are also fast dry “Refresher coatings” that will temporary make the floors shine. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations pertaining to their flooring.

 

How do I clean my wood flooring and remove heel marks?

Wood flooring is easy to maintain, but they do have to be cared for. Vacuum the Hardwood floor using a soft bristle brush. Wipe up spills immediately before they dry using a damp cloth or paper towel. Use the recommended cleaning kits specially made to keep hardwood floors clean and let the natural shine come through. Do not use vinegar and water -- it could damage and dull the finish over time. Never wet mop a wood floor -- excessive water can seep between the boards and discolor the wood. Never use oil soaps or furniture polishes -- they can make the floor slippery and/or leave a sticky residue that will track dirt. A trick we have used over the years to remove black heel marks is to lightly rub a large rubber school eraser over the mark.

 

How can I keep furniture from scratching my floor?

Furniture legs can scratch and gouge your wood floors very easily. Using felt chair glides under the legs of all furniture will save you from fixing scratches on the floor and will make sliding furniture out for cleaning behind a lot easier. Use glass or plastic cups under all furniture and pianos that have metal or plastic casters. When moving refrigerators or other heavy items over wood flooring move them over two pieces of 4’ x 4’ x 3/8" thick plywood (one sheet at a time). Let the plywood get gouged up - not your expensive wood flooring. We do not recommend using scrap carpet for moving heavy items.

 

What is in a Warranty?

Warranties are important, but they should not be the #1 reason to choose a particular floor. More important is that the floor you choose is one that best fits your needs and preferences. Purchasing from a well known manufacturer is also important. Remember that wood floor warranties will only cover what may arise within the guidelines of that particular warranty. 

As an Example - Hardwood Flooring Warranties DO NOT COVER - damage to the wood flooring caused by abnormal environmental issues such as higher or lower than normal moisture conditions within the home which causes the wood flooring to buckle, cup or contract in size. They also do not cover improper installation or indentation damage (including from spiked heels), scratching or any damage caused by items being dropped, rolled or dragged on the flooring. Wood Flooring is a product of Nature and can contain tiny impurities in product milling/finishing. Warranties do not cover color changes or fading within the floor, this is caused by direct Ultra violet (sunlight) light and age. Differences in color between boards are common and are part of nature. Finish Warranties typically will only cover if the finish is worn off over 10% of the purchased floor area and only if the flooring was properly maintained.

Reputable Engineered Hardwood Flooring Manufacturers WILL COVER any delamination within any of the ply layers in their engineered wood flooring (which is somewhat a rare occurrence) if this delamination was not due to excess moisture or flooding. Hardwood Flooring manufacturers will also cover any boards (prior to them being installed) that may fall out of that particular hardwood floors grading if the amount exceeds the expected 5% waste factor when one orders flooring. Also defects in the finish including mars or bubbling are cover by the pre-installation warranty. **It's important to note that once a board is installed, it is deemed accepted by the homeowner and installer.**

 

Is Hardwood Flooring a Green Environmentally Friendly Product? 

Bamboo and Cork flooring are not the only Green friendly flooring alternatives. Hardwood flooring harvested in the US and Canada is one of the best renewable materials to use when thinking green flooring. Harvesting lumber today is not like how it was in the old days --- when timber used to be clear cut from our forests leaving large tracks of baron land. Most all US manufacturers within the last 75 years have stepped up their campaign to harvest only selected areas of our forests and are replanting more trees now than there were 100 years ago. Their continued business and their conservation methods depend on it.

Hardwood flooring manufacturers have made significant efforts to use every piece of the tree that was harvested; even the bark is recycled as bark mulch or used to heat the mills, saving thousands of gallons of our precious oil. These quality brand name flooring manufacturers and their suppliers are continuously replanting trees, making sure there are enough to be harvested in the future. Manufacturers have to think about 200 years from now. There are still some manufacturers large and small who do not follow ethical standards in the industry and that can give the industry a bad name. Hosking Hardwood Flooring promotes wood flooring from only reputable manufacturers who have a solid conservation practice of harvesting timber. Some manufacturers go a step further and belong to the Forest Stewardship council The FSC sets forth principles, criteria, and standards that span economic, social, and environmental concerns. The FSC standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes.