Eclectic Homes

Contractor Tips: Smooth Moves for Hardwood Floors

If your place does not have hardwood floors, you probably want it did. Wood makes amazing flooring. It’s amazing, long lasting and easy to wash. The Victorians weren’t too fond of it (they covered with rugs and oilcloths the same floors people are now refinishing), and I appear to remember wall-to-wall carpeting everywhere in the ’80s. But hardwood floors have almost always been in style for the past couple hundred decades, so they stay a smart investment.

If you are thinking about installing or refinishing your existing flooring, then read on for some insight from a contractor which can help you get the most from them.

Jordan Iverson Signature Homes

The region where you can lay the flooring affects the sort of flooring which can be used. If you’ve got hot-water or electric radiant heat, you can install wood floors, but you must follow the manufacturer’s directions, and you will likely be limited to engineered timber.

Main living areas such as the first flooring, kitchen and family room advantage from a more challenging wood, such as oak or walnut. In a bedroom on a third floor, a softer wood (such as pine) will hold up just fine.

Design Manifest

Wood is a nice option for floors at a kitchen, and though I don’t suggest it at a full bath, it holds up nicely in a powder room. But in both of these places you’re exposing the wood to water, which means you’ll want to clean up spills straight away.

Tip: In the event of a disaster — such as a leaky dishwasher supply hose which floods the floor — stay calm and be patient. Mop up as far as you can and operate fans to dry out the floor.

The planks will likely buckle from the moisture. Don’t attempt to sand down the surface to fix the problem. It might take several months, but given sufficient time to dry out, the flooring should go back to normal.

Coggan + Crawford Architecture + Design

When you see a wood floor that looks like it’s past its prime, the wear you’re seeing is most likely the end on the wood. Most floors nowadays are finished onsite with some sort of polyurethane.

Prefinished floors that are completed at the factory will also be offered. To protect the finish on your floors, sweep and dry mop often, and be certain there is a mat in front of and inside every door.

Buckminster Green LLC

I encourage everyone to consider the environment and the health of your family when doing renovations.

Installing a wood floor is a green option as it can easily last 200 decades, but to ensure that your choice is as responsible as possible, start looking for FSC or SFI tags on the timber, which attest that it had been chosen in a sustainable manner.

The walnut floors pictured here came from city trees which had to be cut, but timber from storm-damaged trees can typically be found. These days, logs which have been submerged for decades are being turned to floor, too. Wood holds up just fine in the bottom of a river or pond, because it is deprived of oxygen.

Crisp Architects

Salvaged timber is a great alternative for flooring that is wood. Having a salvaged floor you are becoming true personality — not fake hand scraping or nail holes. You’re reusing floors, therefore there is less labour and shipping involved, and no virgin timber is used.

Installing prefinished floors does frequently involve more labour onsite, however. Anticipate 10 percent to 30 percent more time spent on the task to cull unusable boards, pull stray nails, cope with wonky boards and so on.

In my view it is worth it, however. And remember, using your buying power to support the local labor force is among the most sustainable choices you can make.

Sroka Design, Inc..

This herringbone wood flooring brings to mind the other chance: using salvaged timber which was not originally used for floors or can not be reused for its original function. This will take even more labour, but sometimes the cost can be offset by decreased material costs.

My firm recently bought about 300 square feet of the older Palestra basketball court in the University of Pennsylvania. Because of the manner it was removed by the demo crews, it required several days to turn the pile into usable planks, and even then they were 2 to 3 feet long (too brief for a conventionally laid flooring). The tiny boards will be ideal for a herringbone design.

I can not stress enough the importance of reading the manufacturer’s directions when installing new floors. You may like to read — according to your reading a dry post about floors — but that does not mean that your installer does. If you’ve got your doubts, look up the directions online before install day.

Tip: Some manufacturers recommend you orient the floors based on the dominant light source inside the room. In this picture front door casts a flood of light on the floor. This bamboo floor has been sanded and completed onsite, so the way the boards operate in seems great. However, some prefinished floors look better if the planks run together with the light.

LKM Layout

Maybe you have hardwood flooring and they simply want some help. Or perhaps you just uncovered old floorboards underneath several other floors and you wonder whether they are turned into a beautiful flooring.

If your house is older, you might have uncovered the subfloor. These days, we use plywood for our subflooring, but in the past in my area they used old-growth pine and fir.

Can there be anything wrong with using this as your completed flooring? Not automatically. Just keep those items in mind: Gaps between boards will be open to the distance or joist bay below. Subfloor helps to stiffen the end floors above, so be certain the floor isn’t too thin to support daily usage.

Check how much repair will be needed, too. You’ll want to add in planks that are salvaged to make repairs. This can be labour intensive, and you’ll want to source the timber. After repairs, you’ll sand, but if glue or paint is built up on the floor, this could use up more sandpaper and time than it is worth.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Once your floors are sanded, they need to get completed. A full discussion of these available finishes might easily fill its ideabook, but here are a few points of conventional wisdom:
An oil end might be more durable, however you will have to cope with odors and VOCs when it’s installed. The glossier a end, the better it will hold up to traffic. Of course it is also going to show that traffic much greater than a matte finish. Polyurethanes, the very popular flooring finish, can not be touched invisibly, which means you have to refinish when the wear gets too bad.

Bona Naturale

Since many of my clients are asking to get a textured floor finish that seems like there is absolutely no end on the floors, I have been searching for a floor finish that holds up but still matches this description.

I simply used Bona Naturale for the very first time on a old white oak strip floor. It is the least glossy end I have seen, and predicated on Bona’s reputation for excellent products and also my observations employing the product, I recommend trying it if you are searching for the natural appearance.

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