The Beauty Of Hardwood Floors
Category : Hardwood Flooring
There are homes that adopt a modern look and, therefore, use modern materials and designs. They may look a little futuristic and metallic, using only the finest concrete, steel, or fiber glass available. However, there are also those homes that stick to the conventional way of building; that is, by using wood. And for purists like these, hardwood floors are almost always a staple.
What is it about hardwood floors that never go out of style no matter how the times and interior design principles change? Hardwood floors offer a kind of natural sturdiness and reliability that cannot be found in most home building materials. Sure, concrete is great, but nothing beats a well finished hardwood floor to get that truly natural touch.
Hardwood floors are pretty expensive compared to most types of wood. However, they last a whole lot longer with proper care. The types of wood for such are oak and maple, but if you’re under a budget, you might want to work with the latter, as oak woods are relatively expensive.
Having a hardwood floor in your home is an investment, but it is a one-time expenditure. This means you shell out a large amount only once because all you have to do is make sure the floor is clean and its finish its intact to for the next generations to benefit from it. Diligent waxing will do; so will constant cleaning.
But, perhaps, the best benefit you can obtain from hardwood floors is the natural look. You see, concrete gives off this cramped and stuffy atmosphere. But if you see wood in your home, you won’t feel as trapped. Another is that no two hardwood floors are exactly alike. Because they come from a living thing, you are assured that each plank is unique.
You can’t help but admire the history of each hardwood floor plank, and that’s, perhaps, why it is comparatively pricey. If you want your home to have this rich old-house feel, use hard wood for your flooring. Surely, as human beings, we want some semblance of nature in our surroundings to keep us sane. Too much artificial building materials might seem ho-hum in the long run.
Finally, in order to enjoy the full benefits of hardwood floors, proper care must be employed. They should be cleaned out constantly and maintained with waxing and refinishings to protect their quality. Hardwood floors, because they are organic, can decay if left unattended. But if treated well, hard wood can last a lifetime, or five.
Hardwood floors are an excellent investment for any home, promoting resale value and interior warmth. However, if the floors are not properly cared for, this investment won’t yield as well. Hardwood floors are not hard to maintain, and compared with carpet and other surfaces that are more difficult to clean or require replacement, hardwood floors can be considered relatively low maintenance. But proper care is essential to keep the floors in good shape, and to give them a nice shine.
As with all flooring, hardwood floors must be cleaned, but they must be cleaned correctly. The correct way to clean urethane-stained floors is to mop them with a damp mop. Using vacuum and bristle brooms daily will help keep the floor clean. But when it comes time to really clean the floor, use a damp mop. Allowing dirt and grime to collect on the floor, and walking on this grime over as period of time can damage the finish. Using a small amount of water shouldn’t hurt the finished wood, but don’t pour out water and mop it like you would with kitchen tile.
A damp mop or dust rag is all that should be needed, and it should be light enough in water that it will dry in minutes. Be sure to understand what type of finish your floor has, and what the suggested cleaning methods are. Using soaps and oils can void manufacturer warranties on many floors. Another way to protect hardwood floors is to use throw rugs or walk-off mats in areas of high traffic. For example, in the entry way where people come in through the house, the traffic is likely to be greater in an isolated spot, and thus the floors will wear unevenly in this spot. This would make a great place for an area rug.
Watch your floors over time, and consider putting some sort of rug or other type of protection on areas that receive more wear. It is especially important to use rugs on wood floors in kitchens in front of sinks and stoves. Floor protectors on the bottom of furniture is highly recommended. You will want to pay special attention to rolling chairs with rubber wheels like those often found in offices. These chairs have a tendency to leave rubber trails on the wood floors. If you have such a chair, consider putting a rug underneath it.
There are two primary finishes on hardwood floors: urethane finishes and wax. You should never wax a urethane finished floor. If your urethane floor is extremely worn, you may need to refinish it which will involve sanding and applying sealer. However, if you clean the floor regularly, using only soaps recommended by the manufacturer, and you protect problem areas, you should avoid needing to refinish the floor for many years. Wax floors require occasional waxing. It really isn’t a lot different than cleaning and waxing your car.
You will need to clean the floors first, and buff areas that are worn with high traffic. Occasionally, you will need to buff on additional wax in the worn areas. With wax finished, just as with urethane finishes, you should know the manufacturers recommended care procedures. With proper maintenance, your hardwood floors should last for the lifetime of your house, and look shiny and new for many years.