Hard wood floors are a beautiful addition to any home of any style, and besides adding beauty to a home, they add value. There is a wide choice of colors and types of woods to choose from to suit any style of decorating.
Here are just a few of the many types of hardwood flooring that are available today:
-Plank. This is a wide strip of wood, between 3 to 6 inches wide. It easier and faster to install than other types, and suits a certain look like colonial.
-Strips. Smaller strips of wood (about 3 inches wide) serve to make a room appear larger.
-Solid. This is one large piece of wood to cover the entire floor. Usually custom made and very durable.
-Parquet. These are squares of wood about the size of tiles. They can be either glued down or nailed down and are laid in different patterns to create interesting designs.
Hardwood floors are available finished or unfinished. Finished floors have the finish put on at the factory. This makes them easier to install, but it also makes them more expensive. Many people, however, feel the time saved on staining and sanding may be well worth the extra cost.
An unfinished floor is laid down and then the wood is stained, sanded and varnished. Since a number of coatings are required, and each coating must be dried and sanded by floor sander, this takes at least a few days.
IF you are ordering wood flooring for your home, one of the most critical steps is to measure properly. You must make sure the sub floor is perfectly level, or you must place asphalt tiles to level it sufficiently. For a finished, professional look, remove the moldings and baseboards before installation. The boards should be installed starting from the center and working your way out. Using a saw, cut the planks or strips to fit corners. Seams should be staggered as each piece is laid. Whether you are laying hardwood, bamboo, cork or pergo flooring, these steps should be taken.
Hardwood floors should be nailed to the dub floor and into the joists so prevent he floor from moving. This will prevent the floor from squeaking.
The floor has to be sanded after it has been laid. You can rent a floor sander at a rental center or a home improvement store. Be careful to sand evenly by keeping the sander moving; otherwise you may have unevenness.
Take proper care of you hardwood floors by following the manufacturer's directions. If the floor has a urethane finish, sweep it frequently to remove dust and debris that can cause scratches. Spills should be wiped with a damp towel, not soaked with a mop since excess water can damage the floor.
If your floors are waxed, you will have to wax and buff the floor periodically to maintain the shine. Use area rugs and mats to protect your floors. Also consider putting pads on the feet of your furniture to prevent scratches to the wood.
Being very passionate about parquet flooring and installing flooring, Leroy Calstard was publishing large numbers of reports in the field. His articles on hard wood flooring are published on his webpage as well as other web pages.