Actually, yes! Wood flooring can handle heavy traffic and the occasional spill while retaining its luster and beauty. Our finishes are designed to more than hold their own against heavy residential and commercial foot traffic. We do suggest using mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room, and walk-off mats at all home entrances to protect against spills and tracking in dirt or other objects that could scratch the floor. If spills do occur, do not let them remain on your floor, just wipe up with a clean cloth or dry mop.
Underlayment refers to the material placed between the subfloor and new floor.
It serves many purposes depending on the quality of the material. The primary purpose is to provide a moisture barrier. Some underlayments can also provide an acoustical barrier to make the new floor quieter when walked on especially in multi-level homes. Underlayment should be used with every floor, and always according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
A pre-finished floating floor isn’t directly attached to the subfloor. It has a foam underlayment on top of the subfloor to absorb sound and protect against moisture; the hardwood strips or planks are then laid on top. The flooring is glued or locked together with tongue and groove joints and the entire floor “floats” above the subfloor. It’s easy to install on nearly any surface. The “cushy” feeling you may sometimes feel with floating floors can be reduced or eliminated by ensuring your subfloor is as flat as possible using floor leveling products and a quality underlayment.
Since wood flooring expands and contracts seasonally, be sure to always leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor following the manufacturers installation instructions. (This gap is hidden by baseboard and base shoe and allows the floor to move without creating high spots or buckling).
There are three main ways to install wood flooring: glue down, nail down and floating. The method you choose should depend on where the floor is being installed, and over what type of subfloor. Traditional 3/4″ thick solid wood floors can be nailed or glued down over plywood, or glued down over concrete (not in a basement). Engineered wood floors can usually be nailed, glued, or floated over plywood or concrete, above or below grade.
Yes, hardwood floors can last for generations; real estate agents agree homes with wood floors sell faster and for higher prices.
Engineered wood flooring is the best choice when installing below grade (in a basement) or over a concrete slab. However, traditional 3/4″ thick solid wood floor works great above grade, and in some cases may be used on concrete slabs (not in a basement) when glued down and used with appropriate moisture barriers. (To be sure you can glue your floor to concrete, verify with the flooring manufacturer and glue manufacturer.) Solid wood flooring should not be installed over radiant heat systems, but many engineered floors are compatible with radiant heat.
With proper care and maintenance, solid wood floors can last for hundreds of years and they will remain looking beautiful for generations. They can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing every 10 – 15 years to retain their original condition and value.
Yes, many churches, schools and auditoriums request wood flooring for its warmth, comfort and acoustic benefits. Protection from footfall noise can be achieved by using an underlayment that also serves as an acoustic barrier. A properly installed floor over a good quality subfloor and underlayment should not squeak excessively when walked on.
Grading refers to where the soil, or ground, meets your house. Basements, even walkout basements, are always considered below grade since at least one wall is below ground level. Your home’s first floor sits at ground level (except for a walk-out basement) and is considered “on grade.” Any floors above ground level are “above grade.” It is very important you know the grade level of the floor(s) you want to install. Engineered flooring is designed to work at any grade level, and traditional 3/4″ solid flooring is only for “on grade’ or “above grade.”
The short answer is Brazilian Walnut with a Janka rating of 3680. The long answer is, all hardwood flooring is very dependable and resilient, and the quality of the finish on top of the floor is the most important factor in durability. Different species do have different hardness ratings. Although species do have different hardness scales, you would not notice any appreciable differences from one to another in your wood floor under normal wear.