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4 Things You Should Know About Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring can be a beautiful and enduring aspect of home design and decor if it’s installed and cared for properly. It’s relatively easy to clean and can complement many different styles and designs. Here are four things you should know about hardwood flooring.

1. Installation Decisions

There are several decisions you’ll need to make when you start the hardwood floor installation process. First, you’ll need to decide on your preferred materials, including the type of board, type of wood and type of finish. There are many wood type options, including cherry, teak, bamboo and oak, and you can make your decision based on your aesthetic preferences and the advantages and disadvantages of each type of wood. There are two options each for board type and finish. You can choose either engineered hardwood, which is a board made of many pieces of wood spliced together, or solid hardwood, a single cut of wood carved into a board. You can also choose between factory-finish flooring, where the boards are delivered pre-finished, or site-finish, where the finish is applied after installation.

2. Purchasing Considerations

Not only do you need to decide between flooring options and choose between doing it yourself or hiring a contractor to perform the installation, but you also need to consider the quantity of flooring material you’ll need and the installation environment. A general rule for flooring quantity is to purchase about ten percent more material than you need so you have extra if you need it. Considering the environment refers to the place where the flooring will be installed. Think about whether you’re renovating an existing space or constructing a new building. These may affect which type of boards and finishes will work best for you. If you decide to hire a contractor rather than installing the hardwood flooring yourself, you should research local service providers to determine which one will best fit both your needs and your budget.

3. Flooring Material Testing

You should research the types of wood you’re most interested in using for your flooring to see what their advantages and disadvantages are. These aspects of each wood used in flooring are determined by flooring material testing. Generally, testing is conducted on small samples of any given type of wood. The sample is subjected to tests of its potential to fade, its resistance to scratching and denting and its wear resistance. To test fade potential, the sample will be exposed to UV rays for about two weeks and then compared to an unexposed sample. To test resistance to scratching and denting, objects simulating various degrees of bluntness, sharpness and weight are dropped on the sample and the amount of damage is then studied. To test wear resistance, the sample is sanded or placed in an abrasion machine, and the amount of damage is studied.

4. Installation Preparations

Once you make your installation and purchasing decisions, you’ll need to prepare for the installation. If you’re doing it yourself, you’ll need to carefully measure the area of the room or rooms in which you want to install the flooring and understand the traffic patterns of the areas where you’ll be installing it. Traffic patterns refer to areas where the floor will experience more wear from people walking across it, where you may prefer to install more resilient types of flooring. Then, unpack the flooring so it can acclimate to your room’s moisture levels and temperature. If you’re hiring an installation service, make sure they’ll conduct appropriate preparations.

When you decide to install hardwood flooring, you need to make sure it’s the best option for your needs. You should also do your research regarding installation prep work, the best installation services, and how to care for your new flooring so it can be long-lasting.

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