Hardwood Flooring Care & Maintenance
Your hardwood floor, if properly maintained, will service your home. However, being a product from nature, hardwood flooring has several characteristics that must be considered. The following checklist is designed to familiarize you with these characteristics. The uniformed homeowner may misinterpret these characteristics as defects.
Beautiful hardwood floors are a product of nature and therefore, are not perfect. Accepted industry standards permit a defect tolerance not to exceed 5%. The defects may be of manufacturing or natural type.
Your wood floor will be affected by two distinct humidity seasons – heating and non- heating. Wood floor dimensions will be affected by varying levels of humidity. Care should be taken to control humidity levels within the 35% – 55% range. We strongly suggest you purchase a humidistat to keep track of humidity.
- Heating season (dry): Humidifier is required to minimize shrinkage due to low humidity levels.
Wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions. Gaps between the boards may develop despite your best efforts. GAPS BETWEEN BOARDS indicate low humiditiy.
- Non-heating season (humid): Proper humidity levels can be maintained by use of an air conditioner, dehumidifier or by turning on your heating system periodically during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water from tracking during periods of inclement weather. Do not obstruct, in any way, the expansion joints around the perimeter of your floors. PEAKING BETWEEN BOARDS indicate too high humidity.
Never clean your wood floor with water and/ or vinegar. Do not use any wax or cleaner that must be mixed with water, such as oil soap. This may result in the loss of warranty. Water can dull the finish and permanently damage the wood. Only use cleaners approved by the manufacturers.
Use mats at entrances to keep the grit and moisture from being tracked in. Do not use rubber, foam back or plastic mats as the may discolor the floor.
Exposure to sunlight will bring out subtle changes to the shade of the hardwood floor. Area rugs and furniture should be occasionally relocated to provide even changes in shading. This is not a defect.
Grit and dirt may scratch your would floor. Vacuum frequently.
Felt pads or floor protectors are required under furniture to minimize scratches. Certain types of casters damage your floor. Use barrel-type caster wheels or wide flat glides to protect your investment.
Damages (dents, scratches, stains, etc.) caused by pets is not warranted.
Your traffic areas will show signs of wear first. Decrease in the luster level of the wood
Every piece of wood in your hardwood floor is different from each other. This is apparent from the variance in grain and colour. Wood is full of holes, like a sponge, and like a sponge it absorbs moisture. One piece of wood may have more/ less grain than another piece, and therefore more/ less holes. The more grains/ holes, the more shrinkage/ expansion with changes in humidity. Quality species and grade of hardwood you chooose will have more or less outcomes.
As the installer builds your floor he will cull the wood. Due to a change in the wood’s moisture content, from time to milling, there will be warped boards and slight dimensional changes in each wood piece. The installer will incorporate the pieces into your floor. Some gaps may be apparent, but limited.
Minor splinters may be apparent on your new floor, but will wear off. This is not a defect.
Use of stain, filler or putty stick for defect correction during installation should be accepted as normal procedure.
A lifetime investment in your home, add $ value to your property.
Increase the saleability of your home.
Provides beauty and warmth to any room. Evokes an emotional response.
Easy to repair
REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF WOOD FLOORING
A good understanding of what you should and should not expect of your finished wood flooring will help to ensure your satisfaction with it.
YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT
Each piece of wood flooring sands differently depending on it’s grain, making it virtually impossible for a completely flat surface.
A Monochromatic Floor
Wood, as a natural product, varies from piece to piece. Remember, it’s not fabricated – it is milled from a tree and will have grain and colour variations consistent with the grade and species of flooring selected.
A Floor that will not indent
In spite of the term “hardwood” wood flooring will indent under high heel traffic (especially heels in disrepair). The finish that is applied will not prevent these dents.
A floor without cracks between boards
Although your new floor may start tight together, as a natural product it will continue to absorb and release moisture. This natural process will cause the flooring to expand and contract from season to season – resulting in cracks between some of the pieces of your floor. Some stain colour, will show this process more than others.
A Squeaky Floor
Although not very common, squeaks may come and go as a result of moisture or sub floor changes.
YOU CAN EXPECT
A product that will remain functional and beautiful over it’s lifetime if properly maintained with regard tothe
type of top finish applied.
A flooring product that is safer for people with allergies. Wood flooring does not trap dust, insect eggs or
other allergens that can increase a person’s sensitivity to the environment like other floor coverings.
HUMIDITY IN SASKATCHEWAN
It is very important to understand that because we live in an environment that’s subject to us to 30 degrees below in the winter to 30 degrees above in the summer, humidity is almost impossible to manage.
Your wood flooring is installed at a certain humidity when the temperatures drop or increase, your wood may gap in the dry and low humidity times and peak in the high humidity times. When humidity levels are low, it is not as easy to just turn a humidifier up and expect your levels to jump up by 10 degrees. What you’ll see happen is your windows will sweat and ice will build up on your windows, the interior of your house simply won’t handle that at once. You can however increase moisture slowly at a time. There is not an exact science to humidity, therefore when purchasing your wood, you must expect the gapping and peaking are inherent in wood in our area. Wood flooring IS expected to shrink and expand.
Grainier type wood, like oaks, will show less problems that solid maples or dark exotic products. Engineered wood is more structurally sound four our environment, and should be considered.
E.T. Flooring & Design
305 A 38th St E,
Prince Albert, SK, S6W 1A5
Monday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Tuesday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Wednesday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Thursday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Friday 08:30 AM – 05:30 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM