Hard wood flooring is a very popular choice for home decoration. The beauty of hard wood adds to the aesthetic value of a house. The customized patterns of hard wood flooring are very popular like medallions, borders, motifs, painting, hard distressing, stains and mixed media. Nowadays, due to advance technology, hard wood flooring becomes very cheap and it is also very easy to clean and maintain. Some people think that hard wood flooring is a luxury and it is just the wastage of time and money. But the hard wood flooring gives your home a unique look. Some other kinds of ordinary flooring or even marble flooring in some houses were not look good and it seems to be very monotonous, which decrease the beauty of your house and at some houses you may also observe that the design and shape of the tiles are quite same.
This can be a question that home owners should be asking themselves more frequently.
They will gnaw through almost any kind of wood and by the time you understand it the damage will happen to be done.
Always be on the lookout for termites to avoid wasting yourself a lot of problems down the road. Pinnacle Pest at http://pinnaclepest.com/ explains: “There are some indicators that could show you whether termites are eating your floors.”
Existence of Mud Tunnels
Termites need a moist environment so they can survive.
They build mud tunnels which can be pencil wide. The mud tunnels will connect the termites food source and their nest.
Seek out the tunnels in spaces on the floor boards or the place that the floor and also the walls join. If you learn dry walls destroy them and confirm whether they shall be rebuilt. If termites live there they will be rebuilt in less than 48 hours.
Live Termites and Wings
This has become the sure way to know whether there are termites eating your floors. The termites have light colors along with their our body is very soft. Winged termites is seen once they come out to form a whole new colony. They will leave wings you could see on to the ground.
Pay attention to Damaged Wood.
The issue with termites is that they eat wood thoroughly and labeling will help you hard to know when they are there.
Once you go through the surface of your floor you may well be deceived that things are all fine which is probably false. Tapping the ground is the best way to look for spots which were infested with termites. Hollow sounding areas are indicators of damaged wood.
Some other suspicious spots in your floor ought to be checked. These will certainly assist you to know whether termites are eating your floors. If you are still unsure you might wish to consult a bug elimination agency.
Floors with oil and urethane-type finishes are extremely durable. With just minimal care your floor will look beautiful for years to come. The key to preserving your floor is protecting its finish. Hardwood floors require minimal care, but it is important that you provide regular care.
Wipe up spills with a soft dry cloth and never wet mop a hardwood floor.
Keep your pet’s nails trimmed.
Throw rugs or area rugs should be used in high traffic areas or pivot point areas, such as in front of kitchen sinks.
Use doormats at the entrances to your home to help trap dirt and grit.
Install felt pads on the bottom of chairs, tables, and other furniture.
Use Bona Hardwood floor cleaner for URETHANE FINISHES.
Use a dolly with wide base air tires when moving heavy furniture.
Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level of 35% to 60%.
Do not try to slide or roll heavy objects across the floor without precautions.
Do not use a vacuum with beater bars.
Do not wax your floors.
Do not walk with spikes or “stiletto-style” heel shoes.
Do not use Household cleaners like Murphy’s oil, Fantastic, Pine-Sol, Pledge, Mr. Clean or any other containing ammonia or solvents, waxes and oil soaps.
Get more tips from www.homeimprovementde.com
The good news is, cleaning hardwood floors is not rocket science, it’s just about applying some common sense practices. Hardwood floors are a big investment and you obviously want to keep that investment healthy. The bad news is that it’s quite easy to ruin a nice wood floor, and most people are doing just that!
Your hardwood floors greatest nemeses aren’t very obvious, but they are very destructive. Dirt, grit and minute sand particles, although hardly worth noticing, are the things that scratch, dent and dull your beloved hardwood floors. In between cleaning hardwood floors, Place a doormat at each entrance to trap dirt and sand, and vacuum the mats frequently. A friend of ours places a doormat on both sides of the door, in and out, and she’s hung a “shoes off, please” sign as well, since shoes not only bring in dirt, but they help grind it down into the carpet as well.
Moving furniture, especially dining room chairs, can be pretty hard on your floors unless you take the necessary precautions. Lift, do not drag, if possible. Use felt contacts under the legs. Use good quality contacts, not cheap ones. Your floor is expensive, what’s another 2 bucks?
Use a broom on your floor, brooms are much kinder to your floor than a heavy vacuum. If you must, just sweep all the debris to the end of the floor and suck up with the vacuum, but at least use the attachment, not the beater bar. Dry dusting with a spray cleaner is the way to do most of your cleaning.
Using water for cleaning hardwood floors can be very risky. People have a tendency to damp mop them way too much, breaking down the protective finish. Once the finish is compromised, the wood begins to warp. Never leave standing water on a hard wood floor and only damp mop if you have a serious spill or stain to deal with, even so, spot clean that stain. When you do need to damp mop a hard wood floor, follow the system below.
Avoid oil soaps, they will build up if mixed too strong and used too often, which is usually the case. Use neutral pH cleaners formulated specifically for cleaning hardwood floors.
Direct sunlight will discolor floors. The sun’s intense UV rays can damage the finish and sunbleach the wood. Keep fine wood floors in the shade if possible. It’s actually cheap sealants that contribute to this problem.
Use a dust mop with a hardwood spray formulated for dust mopping. When done on a regular basis, this is all the cleaning that a new hardwood floor should need. You can damp mop the floor if the wax is healthy and you take care not to let the water stand for too long.
Your subfloor determines your flooring options
If you want new installed floors, you have 3 main options:
1) hardwood floors: if you have wood floor joists or plywood underneath
2) laminate or engineered wood floors: if you have concrete subfloors
3) tile: if you have concrete or backer boards underneath
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Solid hardwood Brazilian Cherry has an unusal brick-like layout
Solid hardwood Brazilian Cherry has an unusal brick-like layout
Details on your 3 flooring options
1) Solid Hardwood Is an Option When You Have Plywood or Wood Subfloors
If you want the warmth and quality of real solid hardwood flooring, and you have wood subfloors, you’re in luck. Hardwood flooring comes in strips or planks and is attached to the surface underneath with nails. That is why you need wood floor joists or plywood subflooring to enjoy a solid hardwood floor. You need a subfloor that works well with nails.
You don’t have to use solid hardwood – you can install laminates or tile on wood subfloors. You simply have the option of solid hardwood when your subfloor is wood.
2) Choose Laminate or Engineered Wood to Install Over Concrete Subfloors
It is not ideal to install a hardwood floor over concrete. Because hardwood flooring is nailed down for stability, you will have the job of nailing into your concrete floor – perhaps drilling holes first. Hammering and drilling holes into concrete is not desirable. It can make the concrete less stable and more prone to cracking. For these reasons alone, installing hardwood over concrete should be avoided.
If you want the look of wood but can’t use solid hardwood flooring, two wood-like products can do the job: laminate flooring or engineered flooring.
Laminates and engineered floors are often snap-together boards that rest or float on your concrete surface. Laminates are man-made layers formed into boards that fit together tightly. The top layer looks like real wood – it typically uses a photo image of birch, oak, pine or maple wood, for example, depending on the wood species you pick.
Engineered floors have a thin top layer of real wood. Like laminates, the boards are layers of man-made materials that are solidified into boards that interlock together for installation. The top layer is a very thin piece of finished wood in the species you select – for example, oak, pine, cherry, maple, or other wood.
No stain or finish goes on laminates or engineered floors – these floors are pre-finished.
3) Use tile for areas that get very wet or get heavy foot traffic
Are you resurfacing a kitchen, bathroom or mudroom? Ceramic tile or vinyl tile is a good choice if your floor is going to get wet or get heavy foot traffic, and you can’t use wood look-alikes.
Because it cleans up well after people track in mud, dirt and water, tile is a top choice for bathrooms, kitchens and mudrooms. Ceramic tile can be installed over plywood, backer boards or concrete. We recommend professional installation for tile: planning layouts, cutting tiles for an even, balanced look, and finishing evenly with grout requires great skill and experience. Bryant’s Floors does professional tile installations. We take pride in giving you a secure, even floor that will remain stable and look great for years.
Wondering which type of floor is best for your space? Contact us today with your questions and to get a free estimate.
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Resurfaced Antique Heart Pine Hardwood: Stunning Before and After
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After – 120-year-old heart pine Ellicott City Maryland
After: 120-year-old heart pine Ellicott City Maryland, refinished in its natural color
What a pleasure to find this 120 year old antique heart pine floor, in a home in historic Ellicott City.
We refinished it in its natural color.
Even 120-year-old-floors can glow with restored life, and be a new source of pride in your home. Contact us today for an in-person estimate on refinishing your floors, of any age.
Yes, you can install hardwood in a basement, as long as there is not a water nor moisture issue.
In Westchester NY, many basements are below grade and/or constructed directly on the slab. Because of this, many basements (especially in older homes) often have water issues/leaks or they tend to have excessive moisture. Sometimes the moisture can vary based on the time of year. If you do have either of the issues, I would recommend that stay away from hardwood as well as laminate flooring. Many customers mistakenly believe that laminate is waterproof…it isn’t! Instead, if you have moisture issues, you are better off trying a waterproof or water resilient surface such as tile or vinyl.
If your basement is below grade (i.e. beneath the ground), then you need to use an engineered hardwood (rather than solid hardwood). Some engineered hardwoods can be nailed or glued and others click into place.
The choice among hardwoods depends on what type of sub-floor you have and how even it is.
a) If you have a PLYWOOD sub-floor AND you are on ground level, you are in luck. This means that you have a lot of flexibility in your wood choices. If you are on grade, you can select solid hardwood which can be nailed into the plywood as well as engineered hardwood which can also be nailed into the plywood. This is the best installation method and it tends to cost a bit less. From there, it really just depends on which wood you prefer (and your budget, of course).
b) If you have a PLYWOOD sub-floor AND your basement is below the ground, then you would need to install an engineered hardwood (solid hardwoods are not approved for below grade levels as there are large swings in temperature/humidity which can cause the floor to buckle and split. Engineered hardwood is designed in layers so that it can tolerate this better. You can learn more about engineered hardwood here: Is Engineered hardwood real? In this scenario with a plywood subfloor, you would generally be best off to have a standard engineered hardwood floor that can be nailed into the plywood.
c) If you have a CONCRETE subfloor AND you are below the ground, you will need to use an engineered hardwood (see above). If your floor is smooth, then you could install a regular engineered hardwood by gluing to the the floor. It is critical that your floor is smooth and fairly level…otherwise the adhesive won’t adhere well to the surface and could pop up. If the floor isn’t smooth/level, it is important to level the floor (but this can get expensive). Alternatively, if your floor is fairly level but not smooth, then you could select a clickable hardwood that can be floated on top. You can read more about floating floors here: What is a floating floor? (Please note that if your floor is uneven, your floor can have a lot of movement – just like laminate does..and if it’s very unlevel, you should either level it or select a different type of floor surface that can tolerate the unevenness.
d) If you have a CONCRETE sub-floor AND you are on the ground level, you have some choices pending your budget and how the home is constructed. The less expensive way is to install an engineered hardwood on top of the concrete (you can either glue it or float it (see above – paragraph C ).
You also have the option of installing a plywood sub-floor (and then installing solid hardwood on top). Solid hardwood requires a plywood sub-floor. If there is enough room (i.e. height), then you can install a 3/4″ plywood sub-floor. Altogether, you will be adding 1.5 inches to the height with the combo of the plywood (3/4″) and the solid hardwood (3/4″), so it is important to check door heights and transitions, especially if you have any metal doors (which are very challenging to or replace). You should also look around the room to make sure there won’t be other height issues (e.g. if you have cabinets or appliances there or transitions to other rooms. So, if this will physically will work, then it comes down to a budget question, as you need to pay extra for installing the plywood (and installing plywood over concrete is more expensive vs. adding it to wood flooring joists. With concrete, you need to use special hilties and nail guns to secure the plywood into the sub-floor. The costs can definitely add up.
So, if you add in the plywood to the floor, then you can use either type of hardwood – solid or engineered.
If you do not add a plywood sub-floor, you will need to use an engineered hardwood. See paragraph C for a discussion on types of engineered constructions.
I hope that this makes sense. Basements are often complicated and it’s best to consult a flooring professional on best structure/installation method and whether floor prep is needed (since many basements are uneven) or even whether hardwood is the best choice for your basement.