So you’re thinking about getting hardwood floors installed. What should you expect? At SVB Wood Floors, we put together a little information to help you know what to expect with a hardwood floor installation. We have found that when our customers are familiar with the process, everything goes a little more smoothly, and we end up with happier customers.
Five FAQs When Installing a Hardwood Floor
At SVB Wood Floors, we get lots of great questions from customers who are considering installing a hardwood floor in their home or business. If you’re thinking of enhancing your home with wood floors, these answers will help you decide which kind and learn about some of the other options you may not have even thought about yet. Here are the top five Frequently Asked Questions we hear:
1. What Are the Main Advantages of Hardwood Floors?
- · Value – Hardwood floors may be a little more expensive to install initially, when compared with other flooring options, but no other floor covering lasts as long. Hardwood floors last for decades and can be refinished several times in their lifetime.
- · Low Maintenance – Hardwood floors are easy to take care of. Today’s stains and finishes simply require regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product.
- · Sustainability – Hardwood floors are renewable and recyclable. Recent trends include “new” wood floors that are actually made from recycled wood from old ships, barns, and other structures. Wood can carry a history with it that adds character and value.
- · Allergy Friendly – Because hardwood floors don’t collect dust or other small particles, they are much better for allergy sufferers.
2. What’s the Difference between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Floors?
Solid hardwood floors are made from a solid piece of wood from top to bottom and end to end. Engineered hardwood floors are created by stacking multiple layers of wood together in various directions and binding them into a solid form with heat and pressure. A thinner hardwood veneer is glued on top. Both wear evenly (since both are solid hardwood on top) and today’s engineered planks have a deep enough wear layer to allow them to be sanded and refinished many times like a solid hardwood floor.
The main advantage to engineered hardwood is its strength and stability especially when exposed to moisture. Solid wood will warp along natural grain lines when exposed to moisture. Engineered wood does not contain natural lines and therefore won’t be prone to warping or bending. Engineered hardwood floors (both unfinished and prefinished) are best used in lower levels and areas where moisture or humidity might be present.
3. Which Is Better to Install – Prefinished or Unfinished Wood Floors?
Both have advantages. It depends on what you’re looking for. Prefinished has a more durable finish because it is created in a controlled environment in a factory. You can also avoid fumes, mess, and a longer installation time with prefinished wood floors. It will also save you a little on installation costs because it will take less time. Pre-finished floors will also be more tolerant to humidity changes.
Unfinished may work best if you are repairing or expanding an existing wood floor and want to “lace-in” or seamlessly match the existing floor or if you want to match cabinets or trim. Also, if you are looking for an unusual wood species or width, it may not come pre-finished. You may not like the look of the beveled edges that accompany pre-finished planks, so unfinished would be best for you.
4. How Long Will my Wood Floor Last?
The NWFA (National Wood Floor Association) says – “Simple care and maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors need only to be refinished every 10-15 years or 10-12 times during a floor’s life.”
5. Is a Wood Floor Durable Enough for a Kitchen or Bathroom?
Yes. The finishes on most new wood floors stand up to heavy traffic, making wood flooring fine for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing, and no waxing. Of course, if water is allowed to sit for long periods of time, it could cause damage. But, with proper care, there should be no problems.
The SVB 5-Step Wood Floor Installation Process
Step 1: Free Wood Floor Consultation
Every wood floor installation starts with a free in-home design consultation. This is important because we want to make sure your hardwood floor is exactly what you want. We offer many different types of wood floors – different species, plank widths, stain colors, patterns, etc. Because there are so many choices when it comes to hardwood floors, we want to make sure you know all of your options so you can make an informed decision down to the smallest detail. We can bring in samples so you can see them in your home with your cabinets, other flooring, etc. to make sure that it will blend with your home. We can even custom mix stain to give you exactly the shade you want.
We Create Custom Designs for Your Wood Floor
Once we know what you want, the real fun begins. Our expert installers can create any kind of custom wood floor design you can dream up. You can make your floors unique to your home. We can add beautiful inlays, intricate medallions, decorative borders, and more.
Step 2: Wood Floor Preparation
The only thing you need to do before the installation is remove as much from the room(s) getting new floors as possible. This requires removal of the furniture, drapery, and anything hanging on the walls. This minimizes the risk of any of your furnishings getting bumped or broken during the installation process. We will let you know when to expect us so you’ll have time to get ready.
Step 3: Sanding
Before sanding, we repair any cracks, holes, or gouges that we find.
If your floors are being sanded, be prepared for some noise, but not a lot of dust. Our dust containment system eliminates the dust and cleanup of regular sanding. With dustless sanding, the dust is whisked away to an outside container before it has a chance to spread all over your home. This makes for a faster, dust-free installation.
Related Read: All “Dustless Sanding” Is Not the Same
Step 4: Hardwood Floor Installation
This is the most disruptive part of the process. Expect some noise and traffic in your home as our crew installs the planks. Once the planks are in place, they are sanded for smoothness. There is no need to vacate the home because we use a dustless sanding method that contains the dust and whisks it outdoors to our truck-mounted container.
This dustless sanding process is great if you are refinishing your floors as well because it requires no chemicals to strip the old finish. It’s environmentally friendly, and very convenient because you won’t have to seal off the room or leave the home. We make sure the wood planks we are installing have had time to acclimate to the temperature and moisture levels in your home so they fit perfectly.
Step 5: Staining and Finishing Your Hardwood Floors
Our multi-step staining & refinishing process ensures a fabulous final product. We carefully apply the stain which really brings out your floor’s personality. When the stain is dry, we finish the floor with several coats of an environmentally safe, durable, and quick-drying topcoat. You can choose from low luster to high gloss or anywhere in between. We screen, buff, and vacuum between refinishing coats for the absolute best results possible. Two to three hours after the finish is applied you are able to walk on the floor with stocking feet. No pets for 48 hours or furniture for 7-10 days (until the floor is fully cured).
Our wood floor installers are experts in the industry. In fact, we’ve won many local and even a national award for our wood floor designs and installations. For our installers, it’s not just a job, it’s an art form.
How to Keep Your Hardwood Floor Beautiful
Because hardwood floors will last for decades, you’ll want to know what to do and what not to do once you have them in your home to keep them looking their best. Here are a few dos and don’ts for hardwood floor care:
- · After the floor is ready, you can move your furniture back in. We recommend putting felt pads under your furniture legs and feet to reduce any scratching.
- · Sweep or vacuum your floor often to get rid of dirt and grit that scratches the floor.
- · Place mats at entrances to catch dirt and grit. Don’t use rubber-backed mats as these may discolor your floor.
- · Remove spills promptly with a soft damp or dry cloth. Sweep or vacuum for dry spills.
- · Always avoid walking on hard wood floors with cleats or high heels.
- · Trim your pets’ nails to avoid scratching.
- · Never slide furniture when moving or rearranging it. Lift and carry it instead.
- · Never use cleaning products not recommended for wood floors.
- · If your floor starts to look dull after a few years, call us for hardwood floor cleaning. It’s non-abrasive and removes the toughest dirt and grime from your hardwood floors without hurting the finish.