WOOD FLOOR CARE
The following list will provide you with helpful links to wood flooring related information.
www.woodfloors.org - National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)
www.goldenstateflooring.com - Premier Floor Material Distributor for Northern California
www.hardwood.org - Useful advice, facts and tips about hardwood products, including different types of floor coverings
www.thehome.com - How to care for your hardwood floors
The following questions are usually asked by clients wanting to know more about what's required to install new wood flooring or refinishing existing flooring. If you don't see a question listed, feel free to email us. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
do I clean my wood floors?
2. What finish is best for my wood floors?
3. What is the difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring?
4. What is the difference between laminate flooring and wood flooring?
5. My floor has cracks in it. Is this normal?
6. Why is my wood floor cupping?
7. What are the acceptable guidelines for the appearance of the finish of my wood floor?
8. How do I sand my floor?
9. What are the advantages/disadvantages of prefinished and unfinished wood floors?
Q: How do I clean my wood floors? top
If the finish manufacturer is known, follow the manufacturers recommended cleaning procedures and products. However, if the manufacturer is not known…
For surface finishes, including urethanes:
Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth. Use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills.
For general cleaning (if the manufacturer is not known), use a generic hardwood floor cleaner, available at your local retail wood flooring store. If the luster does not return to traffic areas, the floor may require recoating. Consult your wood floor professional for this process.
Do NOT wax a urethane finished floor. Waxing a urethane finished floor will cause the wood floor to be slippery, requiring continuous waxing as your maintenance, and any re-surfacing will require a full sanding process.
Acrylic impregnated floors require a spray and buff system as recommended by the manufacturer.
For waxed floors:
Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel, use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills and buff with a dry cloth to restore luster. When the floor looks dull, buff first to see if luster can be restored before waxing. When areas of heavy use no longer respond to buffing, wax only those areas and buff the entire floor to an even luster.
When the whole floor needs attention, clean the floor with a solvent based wood floor cleaner and then wax. Your floor should only need to be completely rewaxed once or twice a year depending on traffic.
Cleaning a waxed floor with water will leave white water marks.
Q: What finish is best for my wood floors? top
The finishes on the market today are all good finishes, however, your life style and specific needs may dictate the best finish for you.
Following are some general comparisons:
WATER BASE URETHANE
Durability Very Good
Clear to Amber Color
Satin to Gloss Finish
OIL MODIFIED URETHANES top
(Solvent evaporates to cure)
Durability Very Good
Amber in Color
Satin to Gloss Finish
(Absorbs moisture to cure)
Clear to Dark Amber Color
Dries Quickly in high humidity conditions
Satin to Gloss Finish
WAX OR OIL FINISH top
Slight Amber in Color
Dry Time Varies with Product
Very Strong Odor
Clear to Slight Amber in Color
Slow to Fast Drying
Satin to Gloss Finish
Consult Roy's Woodcraft Flooring for recoats. Use finish products designed for hardwood floors. Use manufacturer's recommendation for proper amount.
Q: What is the difference between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring? top
Each have their specific uses and is dictated by your lifestyle and specific needs.
Solid wood flooring can be used on grade and above grade, but not below grade. Solid wood should be in a moisture-controlled environment. Solid wood strip or plank is nail down only and requires a wood subfloor. Solid wood parquet can be glued to a variety of subfloor materials.
Engineered wood flooring consists of a multi-plied, cross-stacked backing with a veneer top layer of a selected species. Engineered wood flooring can be used on grade, above and below grade.
Engineered wood flooring is more dimensionally stable so it can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible due to moisture. Engineered strip, plank and parquet are glue down applications over various subfloor materials. Some engineered strip and plank can be nailed down which requires a wood subfloor. Engineered includes floating floors where the tongue and groove are glued together, but the floor is not anchored to the subfloor.
Q: What is the difference between laminate flooring and wood flooring? top
Laminate flooring consists of synthetic backing with a high-pressure laminate surface. Laminate is not renewable and therefore has a short usable life span.
Wood flooring consists of wood backing with wood wear surface or solid wood. Wood flooring with proper care will last generations. Wood floors can be refinished, re-sanded, and re-coated to look like new.
Q: My floor has cracks in it. Is this normal? top
Because wood is a natural product it will react to changes in its environment the floor.
The most common causes of separations are Mother Nature and dryness. The loss of moisture results in the most frequent reason for shrinkage of individual pieces and cracks. Most cracks are seasonal – they appear in dry months, or the cold season when heating is required, and close during humid periods. This type of separation and close is considered normal. In solid 2 1⁄4" wide strip oak floors, "dry time" cracks may be the width of a dime’s thickness (1/32nd"). Wider boards will have wider cracks and the reverse is true.
The cure is to minimize humidity changes by adding moisture to the air space during dry periods. A constant Relative Humidity (RH) of 50% with a temperature of 65-75 degrees (Fahrenheit) provide stability to the floor.
Q: Why is my wood floor cupping? top
Cupping, or "washboard". Across the width of one piece of the flooring material, the edges are high, the center is lower. Generally develops gradually.
Moisture imbalance through the thickness is the only cause. The material was manufactured flat and was flat when installed. Job site or occupant provided moisture is greater on the bottom of the piece than on the top. Find the source of moisture and eliminate it. Common moisture sources and their corrections are:
- Airborne Relative Humidity– dehumidify air space or– humidify air space during the heating season;
- Wet basement – ventilate, dehumidify;
- Crawlspace – total groundcover with black plastic 6 mil; vents; add exhaust fan on timer;
- Rain handling provisions – correct to drain away from house;
- Reduce excessive lawn & garden moisture, waterproof foundation;
- Repair leaks, i.e. plumbing, roof, doors;
- Don’t hose patio,
- In kitchen, the dishwasher and icemaker are notorious leakers.
Expansion is also the result of site moisture and may have moved the floor tight to vertical surfaces. If so, remove flooring along the wall, or saw cut, to relieve pressure.
Allow time. Time for the corrections to take effect – to permit the floor to improve on its own. It may become acceptable After stabilized, sand flat and finish.
Q: What are the acceptable guidelines for the appearance of the finish of my wood floor? top
Inspection should be done from a standing position with normal lighting. Glare, particularly from large windows, magnifies any irregularity in the floors and should not determine acceptance.
No matter how hard the professional tries or how well experienced they are, there are some things you should not expect.
1. A tabletop finish. Each piece of wood flooring sands differently depending on its grain type (plain or quartered) making it virtually impossible for a completely flat surface.
2. Dust-free finish. Since your floor is being finished in your home it is not possible to achieve a "clean room" environment. Some dust will fall onto the freshly applied top finish.
3. A monochromatic floor. Wood, as a natural product, varies from piece to piece. Remember it is not fabricated – it is milled from a tree and will have grain and color variations consistent with the grade and species of flooring selected.
4. A floor that will not indent. In spite of the tern "hardwood", wood flooring will indent under high heel traffic (especially heels in disrepair). The finish that is applied will not prevent the dents.
Again, when inspected from a standing position these irregularities may be present but should not be prominent.
Q: How do I sand my floor? top
There are four (4) pieces of equipment, edger, belt sander, drum sander, and buffer. There are up to five (5) different grit patterns that must be selected depending upon finish and/or condition of the floor as well as the species. It is strongly recommended that you contact the professionals at Roy's Woodcraft Flooring for sanding and finishing. Doing the job yourself could cause irreparable damage to your wood floor.
Q. What are the advantages/disadvantages of prefinished and unfinished (site finished) wood floors? top
* Little or no color variation
* Surface not as smooth
* Factory controlled finish+Limited colors available
* Faster InstallationLimited custom options
* Dust & Odor free
* Immediate use
* Easier to Repair
UNFINISHED (SITE FINISHED) ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES:
* Custom color selection
* Longer time to install & finish
* Continuous Finish
* Dust & odors
* Smoother SurfaceNot as easy to repair
* More custom option
Questions? For more information about our services please contact us.