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How to Choose the Best Flooring?

What is hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is any flooring product made of real wood sawn from timber and manufactured for use as a floor. Hardwood is available in a wide variety of different tree species and can be manufactured as solid hardwood (the planks consist of one solid piece of wood sawn from a single timber) or as engineered hardwood (a planks are made from multiple layers of wood adhered together). Hardwood flooring can come in planks, strips, parquet patterns and other shapes. Generally hardwood products come prefinished from the factory with stain and a wear layer to protect it, but in some cases the wood is installed without a factory finish and the finish is applied onsite. Some hardwood floors can be sanded or screened and refinished overtime to return a more pristine look and feel, however this process can be expensive, time consuming and messing. As a result the practice of sanding/screening and refinishing is becoming less common as consumers more often opt to replace older and worn out hardwood floors with entirely new ones. Hardwood floors typically feature a tongue and groove construction so that the planks lock together. Hardwood floors are often nailed or stapled into the subfloor for installation. In some cases engineered wood may be glued to the subfloor. Before installing any hardwood floor a moisture test must be done to ensure the moisture rising from the subfloor does not warp or damage the floor after installation.

How to select hardwood flooring?

When you’re choosing hardwood flooring for your home, you have quite a few decisions to make. Engineered, or solid hardwood? Hand-scraped, smooth, or wire-brushed? Stained or unstained? Prominent grain pattern, or one that’s barely noticeable? Creamy yellow, deep mahogany, or somewhere in between? We’ll help you select the right products for any room in your home, breaking down key factors like your budget, your timeline, your design preferences, your lifestyle, and the amount of flooring you need installed.

Is it hard to install hardwood floors?

Some flooring projects are more complex than others, but all should be handled by qualified professionals. Even a tiny mistake could radically change the finished look of your floors (or the associated price tags), leaving you with a nasty surprise after all your hours of work and planning. When you let a team of experts handle the job for you, you can expect work that’s done right the first time, without any stress or mess. If you need help installing hardwood floors, contact us online, or simply walk into any one of our conveniently located retail stores.

What are the different types of floor cleaning methods?

There are as many methods for cleaning your floors as there are types of flooring to choose from. What works great on one type of floor could ruin another, so it’s critically important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before you get started scrubbing. Depending on whether your floors are made from hardwood, luxury vinyl, ceramic tile, linoleum, wall-to-wall carpeting, or other materials, recommended cleaning methods might include vacuuming, sweeping, using a wet or dry mop, using steam, avoiding steam, or (in smaller spaces) simply hand-cleaning with paper towels or microfiber wipes.

What are the different floor cleaning machines?

Homeowners have thousands of choices when shopping for floor cleaning machines. From basic vacuums and steam cleaners, to specialized industrial equipment like high-speed buffers and rotary floor scrubbers, there is no shortage of options to choose from. The best choice for you depends on what sort of flooring you have (or intend to install). While high-end cleaning machines can cost thousands of dollars, most homeowners do not need fancy or expensive equipment to achieve good results. Unless your floors are extensively soiled, simple maintenance with a combination of mopping and vacuuming is likely sufficient. Of course, the manufacturer’s recommendations are always the most reliable source for care and cleaning advice.

Is engineered hardwood waterproof?

No. The natural enemy of wood floors is water and other forms of moisture. Prolonged exposure to water or fluctuations in humidity can cause hardwood floors to swell or warp, often causing irreversible damage to the floor. In some cases engineered hardwood may resist damage due to moisture better than solid wood floors, but good maintenance of engineered hardwood still requires diligent cleaning up of any spills on the floor and only dry-mopping. It is also important that moisture testing be done on the subfloor before installing any hardwood floors to ensure the conditions of the floor will not damage the wood over time.

Should I install engineered hardwood myself?

In general, we recommend against installing engineered hardwood on your own. Wood is one of the trickiest types of flooring to install, and it’s easy to make a tiny mistake that could ruin the look you were hoping for. By hiring a professional, you’ll get peace of mind that the job is being done right, with no need for costly fixes or do-overs. Plus, hiring a professional allows you to kick back and relax while the pros handle all of the hard work and clean-up.

How durable is engineered hardwood flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is very durable as it is constructed with multiple layers of wood. The top layer is a veneer of solid wood that can be finished in a variety of species. The exact durability is determined by the hardness of the hardwood veneer species, as some species are harder than others. To increase your flooring’s durability, try capping your furniture with felt pads, which will reduce damage from friction and scraping.

Do dog's nails scratch hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors are naturally resistant to wear-and-tear, including damage from scratching and scraping. That’s especially true for species of wood that rank high on the Janka hardness rating scale, such as mesquite, mahogany, Brazilian cherry, and hickory. However, even the hardest wood can be damaged by repeated scratching, like daily wear-and-tear from your dog’s nails. Fortunately, there are several solutions to this problem. For example, you may wish to apply a protective wax to your floors, or other protective sealants. However, you should consult an expert first to avoid accidental damage. For help restoring old floors (or installing new ones), visit a Flooring America retailer near you, or contact us online to get started.

How do I know my floor cleaner is pet safe?

Your pet is a member of your family, which means their safety is a top priority. Unfortunately, many household cleaning products are dangerous to our furry friends. Most cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested — and if you have the kind of pet who likes to nibble on everything, that’s a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are plenty of floor cleaning products that are pet-safe and effective, leaving your flooring glossy and gorgeous without exposing Fido to harm. Look closely at the labeling and ingredients, check out product reviews online, and ask the experts at your local vet office or pet store about what they recommend.

What kind of flooring is best for dogs?

This question has two meanings. First, what sort of flooring is most pet-resistant, or the most resistant to urine and scratch marks? Second, what sort of flooring will be most comfortable for your dog? As a pet owner, you’ll want to choose a product that checks both boxes, offering durability and comfort. For example, you don’t want anything that will be too slippery for your dog to walk on or anything that will be too hard on their paws (especially if your dog is a senior or has any joint health issues). As both pet lovers and flooring experts, our team can help you choose a cozy, comfortable product that will also stand up to staining and scratching.

How do you remove dog urine stains from hardwood floors?

Cat or dog urine can damage hardwood floors, creating dark, blotchy stains. Staining is especially likely if spills are left to sit and soak into the wood — for example, if Fluffy has an accident during the middle of your workday. The good news is that there are ways to repair the damage and turn back the clock, restoring your hardwood floors much closer to their original appearance. DIY blogs suggest a wide range of treatments, but the best approach is simply to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which are tailored to the product and based on extensive testing (unlike DIY solutions). Need help finding answers? Ask the friendly experts at Flooring America for assistance. We’re here to help make your floors shine like new, even if they’ve been damaged by pet urine.

How do I start a home renovation?

Renovating your home is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t have a solid gameplan in place. We know you’re probably itching to dive in, but it’s critically important to spend time on the planning and preparation phase, which is where is any home renovation project starts. Think of your plan like the foundation of your home: it supports everything else, so it has to be done right. Once you’ve identified your top tasks and priorities — for example, whether you need to get any permits, or how you’re going to allocate your budget — you should hire an experienced professional for help executing your vision. Hiring a professional, such as an electrician, plumber, or flooring installer, ensures better safety, better efficiency, and in the long run, better value.

What order should you renovate a house?

Depending on your renovations, upgrades to one room could impact another — literally. For example, removing a wall will affect other rooms, which makes it important to get the order right. However, the “best” or “correct” order is different for every project, because every renovation involves different steps and tasks. Some renovations are deep and extensive, while others are light and cosmetic. Whether you just want to spruce things up with some style updates, or you’re looking for a complete home makeover, your flooring is a great place to start. Floors tie a room together, set a mood for the space, and in some cases, even increase property values. At Flooring America, we offer hardwood, ceramic tile, bamboo, carpet, luxury vinyl, stone, and more. For a free estimate on your home renovation project, contact us online today, or visit one of our convenient retail locations.

How long does it take to replace flooring?

The timeline to replace flooring depends on what types of floors are being covered or removed, what they’re being covered or replaced with, and the size of the affected area. Our professional carpet and flooring installation team will be in and out of your home before you know it. We work around your schedule, making the carpet installation process stress-free and convenient to fit your lifestyle. If your home is ready for a makeover, ask Flooring America about our carpet installation services at a store near you today.

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