Hardwood Flooring Questions by Brothers Flooring
Answers to frequently asked questions about hardwood floors
What factors should I consider when shopping for a floor?
The look, feel and even the sound of a floor are important. So are these practical considerations:
- Health effects. Doctors often recommend hardwood floors when their patients have allergies to dust and pet dander.
- Longevity. Can the floor be refinished and if so about how many times?
- Durability. Will the floor stand up to the demands of everyday life? Hardwood floors certainly will. It’s no coincidence pro basketball courts have maple floors.
- Installation and maintenance. Will laying the floors pose any particular challenges? Is maintenance simple?
- Cost. How much does an inexpensive floor really cost if it only lasts several years? Hardwood floors will last a lifetime.
- Sustainability. American hardwoods are sustainable, renewable and environmentally friendly. Every year, this country’s hardwood forests grow twice as much wood as we harvest from them.
How can I revive the dull finish on my hardwood floor?
You may be able to renew a dull finish without completely refinishing the floor. Still, some hardwood floor manufacturers recommend that only professional refinishers tackle the job.Can I stain a new hardwood floor to match the old wood floors already in my home?
No one can match finishes exactly, but an experienced professional with a good eye can get very close. For best results, consider refinishing the old floor with the same finish and sheen as the new one.
Although wax finishes are easier to match, keep in mind that polyurethane finishes provide more protection than wax in kitchens. Does sunlight lighten or darken a floor’s color? Does it depend on the species, the stain or the finish?
The ultraviolet rays that can burn and age our skin will affect any organic material, including wood. That’s why the finest art collections are kept in rooms without windows. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will change the color of virtually any wood floor, regardless of the stain or finish.
Some woods lighten when exposed to sunlight. Others, like cherry and oak, tend to darken. The newest water-based urethane finishes seem to slow color changes more effectively than oil-based urethane finishes, which tend to turn the brownish-yellow color of amber.
Some finishes feature sunscreens to help block the penetration of ultraviolet rays, extending the time it will take the wood to change.
If you’re especially concerned about your floor changing color, consider installing curtains or blinds that will limit exposure to sunlight. Windows also can be fitted with thin films of plastic that block ultraviolet rays. This type of screen similar to those on used on some car windows will protect your floor, furniture, drapes, upholstery and artwork from sunlight.
Is a hardwood floor a good choice for someone with allergies or asthma?
Allergists often recommend bare floors, which reduce the chance for animal dander, dust, pollen or molds to collect.
Respiratory experts say as much as one-fifth of the U.S. population suffers breathing difficulties caused by allergies and asthma, often triggered by microscopic dust mites that colonize bedding, curtains and carpets.
Bedding and curtains can be laundered, but because frequent vacuuming is ineffective against dust mites in floor coverings, many immunologists and allergists suggest bringing hardwood floors out into the open.
As always we recommend that you ask your doctor about your personal situation as we are not doctors nor do we play them on TV.