Why Wood Floors?
A Solid Investment
Home improvement projects are investments for your future, so it is important to research your options carefully to make the most value-enhanced decisions.
When it comes to choosing flooring, real wood floors offer the best long-term value. While other flooring options generally have a life expectancy of about a decade, wood flooring’s estimated life is approximately 100 years. It’s very possible that your wood floor might outlive you!
According to real estate agents, homes with wood floors sell for more money and faster than homes without them. Additionally, most real estate agents will agree that hardwood floors influence a home’s marketability.
A Proven Ecological and Sustainable Resource
Wood flooring is the most renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management practices allow the harvesting of wood to occur without serious environmental impact because trees are being replanted and replaced.
The National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) website lists several ecological benefits of wood flooring, including:
- Wood produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life.
- Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than their flooring counterparts.
- While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for more than 100 years.
With the financial assistance of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), the University of Wisconsin’s Wood Products Program studied the environmental benefits of wood floors. A copy of that report, as well as additional information regarding the environmental benefits of wood flooring, can be downloaded from the NWFA’s website: www.woodfloors.org.
The US Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air quality is better with wood floors. Simply put: wood flooring does not harbor the bacteria, dirt, and dust that can be embedded in other flooring options. With regular maintenance (sweeping and mopping), your wood floor will remain dust-free.
Check out the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s recommendations during the home remodeling process.
Certified Wood Flooring Professionals use finishes that are two-component waterborne polyurethanes (the highest VOC-compliant finishes available). The product we prefer to use is distributed by Basic Coatings.
What to Expect
Before beginning the installation and/or sanding and finishing process, please be aware that some advance preparation must take place.
All furnishings, draperies, and wall art must be removed!
For new installations, the wood must acclimate (to prevent shrinkage and cracking) for two days to two weeks, depending on the species. Our Colorado climate is a dry one; expect at least a week for wood flooring to acclimate to your home’s relative humidity.
In order to avoid cracks between boards, we highly recommend the installation of a whole house humidifier to maintain a consistent humidity in your home.
Before replacing furniture, put felt pads on the bottoms to minimize scratches and dents.
Be prepared for some noise and disruption during the entire process. Nail guns are loud; sanding machines are noisy; finish takes time to dry.
Cover any items that you’d like to keep dust-free. BE AWARE: NOTHING IN THE RE-SANDING PROCESS IS 100% DUST-FREE!
When finish is applied, you must stay off your floors until they are DRY. The time required to dry will vary depending upon the type of finish utilized.
Congratulations! With proper maintenance, your wood floors will last as long as you.
The beauty and elegance of wood floors is unmatched by any other flooring surface. No two boards are alike. Variations in appearance (both colors and grain patterns) are completely normal. As your floor ages, color change will occur. This can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs.
Even in Colorado’s dry climate, seasonal humidity change (dry in winter; humid in summer) can cause your wood floor boards to expand and contract. These contractions in boards cause cracking between the boards. Cracks are normal and will appear and disappear. Each of our clients receives a hygrometer, which tracks the relative humidity of your home. Keep these numbers within ten degrees. We like to see a humidity level between 25-35%. This humidity level is difficult to achieve in your Colorado home without a whole house humidifier but it is well worth it to maintain your wood flooring.
Be aware that wood flooring is a natural product. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities!
Some dos and don’ts:
- DON’T place rugs with rubber backs on your wood floor. They can discolor the finish.
- DO wait to place rugs on your newly refinished wood floor for two days!
- DO place rugs at each entrance and keep those rugs vacuumed to avoid spreading rocks and dirt, which can scratch the finish of your wood flooring.
- DON’T wear high heels or cleats!
- DO use a cleaning product made specifically for wood floors. We provide a mop kit to our clients and recommend you use the cleaning product that accompanies it.
DO call us with any questions you might have. We want to ensure your wood floors meet and exceed your expectations! Let us help you; it’s what we’re here for!