Hardwood flooring overview:
(Read this before you buy hardwood flooring)
You have decided to invite the timeless elegance of hardwood flooring into your home? Good choice; congratulations! All you need to do now before you spring into action is to go through a final checklist to ensure you know all you need to know before you make the purchase. Here are some reminders or refreshers for you.
Wood species influence:
Each hardwood species has its own natural and unique characteristics, and the appeal of your flooring could be affected by the way the wood was cut (grain pattern) and from which part of the tree the wood was taken from. Color is determined by both the wood species and what part of the tree the wood came from. As wood is a natural product, you can expect to have grain and color variations in your flooring, but these will only mirror its natural beauty!
Hardwood flooring types:
Hardwood flooring is available as pre-finished or unfinished planks or strips.
- Pre-finished hardwood flooring:
This type of flooring has been screened, sanded, stained and coated by a specialist manufacturer. The process of finishing the hardwood flooring involves multiple coats of urethane that are sprayed on and dried using ultraviolet rays (not heat) to dry the finishing quickly and efficiently. Pre-finished hardwood flooring installation is quick. Your floor will last for decades and you can still rejuvenate it various times during its lifespan if need be.
- On-the-job or finish-in-place hardwood flooring:
This is hardwood flooring that is first installed into your home and where the sanding, staining and finishing will only be done only once installed. It is a messy process and takes much longer than having pre-finished hardwood flooring installed, but you will have the benefit of being able to customize it to make it unique. The finishing method will involve applying 2-3 coats of urethane which will have to dry naturally, as UV drying can’t be done in a home environment.
Home environment installation impact:
Remember that an on-the-job hardwood floor will be installed by specialist individuals, but not using a manufacturer-finished product. You might therefore find sanding and brush marks on your floor even if great care is taken not to let this happen. (You could look in occasionally and lend an extra pair of eyes if you wanted, though!)
The home environment, where airing is generally a problem and space is confined, is not a dust-free environment. It is therefore inevitable that a little dust will land up on the coatings. It could also happen that you might have tiny bubbles in the finishing as it has to dry naturally without specialist factory aids.
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