2. Sorting Hardwood Fact From Fiction
MYTH: The choice of wood species is very limited.
Not true at all! Both solid and engineered hardwood floors are available in a wide range of species ranging from the most domestic, tree-next-door red oak to exotic imported teak, ebony, or mahogany. Whatever your preference and décor scheme, there’s a hardwood floor that’s right for you.
MYTH: All wood species and hardwood floors have the same level of hardness.
Incorrect. All hardwood is measured using the Janka Hardness Scale to determine their density. Let’s look at pine, which is well-known for being a soft wood. Pine has a Janka rating of 690, where red oak has a Janka rating of 1290 and Brazilian cherry has a Janka rating of 2350.
MYTH: Hardwood floors are difficult and cumbersome to maintain.
With a bit of basic minimum care, keeping your hardwood floor spic and span is easy as pie! Regular sweeping and dusting and the occasional damp mop (Never wet mop!) will ensure a long, beautiful life with your hardwood floor.
MYTH: My floor has more colors and grain variation than the sample I ordered. I must have received the wrong floor by mistake.
One of the many great things about hardwood is its uniqueness. Every tree is an individual, just like every person! This is one of the reasons every hardwood floor is special and will be a custom, one-of-a-kind floor for your home!
MYTH: A hardwood floor will never scratch or dent.
Hardwood of all species can make tough, reliable floors, and modern hardwood flooring technology has certainly evolved. Manufacturers use durability measures like aluminum oxide coatings for extra protection, but hardwood floors can still be scratched, dented, or marred under harsh enough circumstances.
MYTH: Vinegar and ammonia cleaners are good for hardwood floors.
False! Ammonia will leave an unpleasant residue, and vinegar, while great for myriad uses all over your home, is not suitable for hardwood floors. Your best bet is to check the manufacturer’s instructions to see what type of cleaner they recommend, or use a water-based pH neutral cleaner that’s neither acidic (like vinegar) or basic (like ammonia).
MYTH: Hardwood floors cup or warp because they are defective.
Cupping and warping aren’t caused by defects or faulty products. Unlike porcelain or vinyl, hardwood floors are not waterproof, and prolonged exposure to moisture leads to these sorts of problems.
MYTH: Knots, wormholes, and mineral streaks mean my floor is defective.
We’ve already talked a little about the uniqueness of every tree. These aren’t flaws, they’re character marks. Wood, being a natural product, is prone to some natural variations, known in the industry as character marks. If you don’t like the look of a character mark on one of your floorboards, be sure to point this out to your installer so this board is not installed in your floor. Alternatively, ask your installer if the board can be cut to remove the offending section, or if it can be installed in a less visible area such as in a closet or under a couch.
MYTH: My new hardwood flooring can be installed on the same day it’s delivered.
On one hand, it is indeed physically possible to install your brand new hardwood on the day it arrives. On the other hand, it’s a very poor idea, because all types of new flooring, especially hardwood, needs time to acclimate. Once hardwood flooring reaches equilibrium and adjusts to its new environmental conditions (moisture and humidity in particular), it’s ready to be installed. Allowing your floor to properly acclimate will help ensure a long and happy life with your hardwood.
MYTH: Hardwood flooring will not be damaged by high heeled shoes.
Unfortunately for the Louboutin lovers and the Manolo maniacs, that gorgeous new pair of stilettos can absolutely damage hardwood floors. The higher and sharper the heel, the worse it is for hardwood, so exercise caution and keep your footwear sensible on hardwood floors. Don’t worry, fashionable friends! Flats can be just as beautiful, stylish, and luxurious as heels.
MYTH: I should be able to use every piece of wood that is included in my purchase.
As we’ve said before, wood is a natural product, so it will have natural imperfections. The grade of hardwood you order will determine your ratio of imperfect planks to ideal planks. For first quality hardwood we recommend ordering an extra 10% to account for waste factor or any imperfections, and for cabin grade hardwood we recommend an extra 20%.
MYTH: My garage, basement, or shed are great places to store my hardwood flooring before installation.
False. Hardwood should never be stored in places where it’s susceptible to moisture, since moisture and hardwood is a big no-no. The best place to store your hardwood floor prior to installation is in the room you want it to go, so it can properly acclimate to the temperature and humidity.
Got questions about finding the perfect hardwood floor to suit your home, your needs, and your lifestyle? Contact the trained flooring professionals at Floors To Your Home today!
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David is has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with W. David Lichty
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