The great advantage of having hardwood floors is that, if properly taken care of, they have the potential to last forever. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are with your wooden floors, you will be required to refinish them at some point in time. For example, if your floors have taken a few beatings from kids or pets, you might want to refinish them more frequently if you intend to see them last for a while.
There are some hard wood floor types that will only need to be refinished after a period of over three years. However, wooden floors that serve a large number of traffic will need more frequent refinishing. If you did the finishing yourself, the refinishing should be a walkover task. The refinishing process is quite simple as compared to the first finish. All you have to do is to sand and reapply the stain, as many times as you want to seal off all the gaps that might have formed over time.
Hard wood floor finishes have over the years has grown in popularity, mostly because it is considered easier to maintain compared to concrete floors. Honestly, there are a number of people who have used wooden floors without experiencing any problems, others would take the trouble of dealing with dents and scratches any day other than opting for hard wood floors.
How to Take Care of Your Hard wood Floors
The essential maintenance method for a wooden floor is regular resealing, sanding, and staining. This should be annual chores, but most people go for years without treating their floors. Entrepreneurs have noticed this factor, and as expected, they have developed some maintenance options which homeowners will find appealing, of course at a certain amount of money.
Natural elements such as direct sunlight rain and dirt, are the main factors that cause outside wooden floors to wear out. They lock in moisture, which harbors the growth of mold and attracts pollens. Let’s not forget that the exposure to moisture causes the wood to discolor. These are the factors that cause a wooden floor to lose its aesthetic element.
The first tip to maintaining your wooden floor is to ensure that you use high-quality materials when installing your floor. Since wood naturally traps moisture, then it is best to use the least amount of wood possible when creating your layer. When building it, ensure that there is the least contact of wood on wood surfaces.
The best way to go about it is to ensure that you use whole planks of timber rather than gluing smaller pieces together. The type of wood that is being used to build the floor also matters. Still these planks in quality timber will require to be joined together at some point and that’s when you should go for steel alloyed fasteners.
Do Not Postpone Repairs for Your Hard Wood Floors
When you notice a crack on your floor, it is more convenient to fix it sooner than later before the elements start creeping on it. You must not wait for the weak area s to start showing up on your floors for you to perform repairs. Make frequent check-ups on the fasteners and checking on adjoining areas for friction.
Make use of cement blocks and grease catchers.
If you have house plants, use cement blocks. Placing the plants on the cement blocks ensures that the moisture which may accumulate due to constant watering of the plants will not accumulate in the wood — thus preventing rot. Water from the plants may cause the sealant to erode. This often leaves some parts of the floor more vulnerable to cracking than others. Hard wood floor owners are advised to use grease catchers if they have a grill on their floors. A grease catcher prevents grease from coming into direct contact with the wooden surface.
Use a wooden floor that has a sealant
The most Marketed product that is used to make floors is wood that has been treated with pressure. This wood is often guaranteed that it can last through the elements and can even hold up to twenty years. In the end, however, the fact remains that it is still wood. Therefore, to ensure this, it provides even longer, the best option is to ensure that a quality sealant also accompanies the pressurized wood.
Clean your floor and reseal it as often as possible
Have you ever come across a wooden floor that seems to be in perfect condition all the time? Well, the secret is that the floor undergoes regular maintenance by professionals. For a wooden floor to last that long, a sealant is reapplied every two years at least. This ensures that the deck stays safe from the harsh elements.
When it starts to show a change in color into grey, for example, that means it has grown old is and is weakening. This is the time when you have to call in a maintenance crew to pressure wash it and apply a new sealant coat.
Identify appropriate paint
With this task, you can do it all by yourself. The only thing that you need to be careful about is the type of paint that you are going to use. The density of the Pint is the main factor. You don’t want to use a filter or color that is going to start peeling off almost immediately, leaving your floor exposed. The best color to use when undertaking a paint job is oil-based paint since it not only protects your wood from the elements but also prevents the dehydration of the planks. Do not choose to go easy with the cost because that will be at the expense of your floor in the end. Do not, however, use paint as a sealant.
Be gentle with your floor
Ensure that the products that you use on your floor are of the best quality. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new floor or it a lower layer that has undergone repairs. Your goal should be to ensure that it is appropriately cleaned of all surface impurities that may prevent the sealant, or paint from interacting fully with your wooden floor. After the process of ensuring that even the tiniest particles are absent from the surface of your floor, have it coated with a sealant that can lock out moisture and then add stain and color as you desire.
Use rugs made out of recycled plastic
Some people like to have furniture placed on their wooden floors. Furniture may scratch the surface of the floor and cause a tear to the paint and the sealant. This is where plastic mats and carpets come in, and they are made from recycled plastic materials. They are the best to use instead of woolen carpets or rugs since they don’t lock in moisture. They also have the added value in that they last longer.
Alternatives to hard wood floors
– Composite Hard wood flooring
Composite hard wood flooring mainly entails the mixing of materials, mostly plastic and wood, which are finely processed to produce some wooden appearance materials. The timber used in this combination is made up of byproducts from lumber industries such as wood fiber, chips, and sawdust. The plastic can come from either virgin material or recycled products. After the addition of a preservative and pigmentation, the mixture is then heated and shaped into flooring boards’ length before being cooled.
– Satin Floors
Stain flooring is basically designed with a high-density fiber-core board that is sandwiched between a natural flooring and a melamine laminate floor top. There are a number of benefits and disadvantages associated with satin and hardwood floors. For one, hardwood floors are prone to scratches although the repair of scratches is quite cheap and easy. If a satin floor tears or gets a scratch, then that becomes a permanent dent. Where hardwood floors can be sanded out to get rid of scratches and dents, this is not the case with satin flooring. There are repair kits that are made by stain flooring companies but they can be quite expensive.
The main advantage of having a stain floor however is that it does not fade or become yellow from effects of sunlight or any other natural element. Most wooden floors change color or get faded over time. Unlike satin floors, however, wooden floors can always be restored to their original beauty through a simple process of refinishing.
– Flooring cases
Like I mentioned earlier on, wooden floors used to be constructed solely using redwood, cypress, or cedar because of their inherent wood preservative properties. People who still use these materials to build their floor have come to learn the hard way because eventually, all wood rot, primarily in you reside in humid, moist and rainy areas.
There are now modern ways used to conventionally treat natural wood so that it can last as much as your house. There are also various manufacturers who are producing composite plastic which can be used as an alternative to hard wood. Unfortunately, these materials are not available in all areas. You will be forced to visit your local lumberyards to see what options they have available.
Remember that the best way to ensure that your hard wood floor lasts as long as your house is proper care and regular maintenance. This, combined with a well-detailed construction will give you a lifetime serving floor