Hardwood floors are often seen as adding a feel of permanence to a home. This is true whether you are referring to a office or a residential home, hardwood floors add a sense of class to any room. This is why in the Myrtle Beach area, hardwood floors are often the first choice when building a new home or remodeling. Hardwood floors lend a feeling of tradition but they also are a wise decorative and practical choice for floor covering.
Hardwood flooring choices range from the practical to the exotic. You also have a wide range of finishes, wood stains and wood specimens. All of this will come into consideration when selecting the right hardwood floor for your home. You don’t want to leave this selection to your building contractor or chance. It is best to consult with a flooring specialist such as Flooring Myrtle Beach before you make your final selection. After all, this is a decision you will have to live with for years to come.
Unfinished vs Prefinished Hardwood Floors
Let’s explore the pros and cons of the types of hardwood floors. We will start with prefinished floors:
No sanding is required which makes this choice convenient
Saves time since you don’t have to wait for the finish to dry thoroughly
No mess since there is no sanding and no staining
Advantages of unfinished hardwood floors:
A uniform seal. Unfinished floors are a favorite of professionals because they can make sure the gaps between the floor boards are sealed.
Extra protection against moisture. Since you are applying the finish to the entire floor, you have a better seal. With the heat and humidity in our area, this is especially important.
You have the exact look you want for your home. The additional time and mess will be worth the effort when you have a floor that is uniquely you.
Surface and Stains of Hardwood Floors
The variety of hardwood floor surfaces is as wide as your imagination. In most instances, the floors are planed evenly when they are at the mill. This offers a refined and smooth surface. This is the traditional floors that we are used to seeing in our homes. However, there is another type of hardwood floor that is becoming popular – handscraped floors. This procedure gives the wood a lived-in and more rustic appearance by working the wood by hand to create a seasoned, contoured surface.
In addition to the surface selection, you can also choose from a variety of stains. Many stains are specifically designed to add to the natural color of the wood, while others are designed to actually change the color of the wood. Because of the many choices in both stains and surfaces, hardwood floors can accommodate almost any décor.
Species of Hardwood Floors
White and Red Oak – this wood specie is pail in color by nature and the red oak will have a hint of pink. This type of floor can be used in any room and is known for it’s hardness.
American Cherry – this type of wood is usually seen in cabinets because it is easy to work with, however, it can also be a flooring choice. American Cherry is not as hard as oak but it has a darker color range. This floor covering will grow darker over time making it more rich in tone. This is a great choice for traditional formal dining and living areas.
Hard Maple – this floor type is harder than oak and is very uniform in texture. It is naturally abrasion-resistant and makes it a great choice for kitchens, family or bonus rooms and bedrooms. Of all the floor types, this is the most popular.
Brazilian Cherry – this is one of the more exotic hardwood floor species as its color is a rich reddish brown that over time will turn to a deep and lustrous burgundy. This is a very hard floor similar to mahogany.
Bamboo – here in the south, Bamboo floors have been very popular because it both decorative and practical. Instead of being made from wood, this flooring is made from machined and processed cane and is more friendly to the environment since you are not using wood that has taken years to grow. This type of floor also comes in short planks and is installed similar to hardwood floors. Don’t be fooled, this type of flooring is durable and tough and will last for years if properly cared for.
Hardwood Floors Dos and Don’ts
Let’s cover the Dos first
As we discussed under the various species of wood, choose the type of wood flooring that is going to stand up to the traffic in the room for which you are selecting the flooring. High traffic areas will need a harder more durable wood choice.
Make sure that you thoroughly read the warranty. Know what is covered and not covered in the event of damage sue to moisture, wear and tear or other circumstance.
Always hire a professional to do the installation. This will cost you the mistake that comes from inexperience. If you are remodeling, you will want to have a professional check the subfloor before you start installation.
If you decide to use an unfinished floor, make sure that you match the stain to the type of wood floor you are installing. Once again, a professional can be a huge asset in this area.
Select the right moisture seal for between the subfloor and the hardwood floors. In Myrtle Beach we have high humidity and are prone to flash storms. The right seal can make all the difference in protection your hardwood floors.
Remember that hardwood is a natural flooring material and the color will change over time. Many hardwood floors will become darker in tone and you need to plan for this in your selection process.
You will want to open all the boxes of flooring and expose the flooring to the temperature before installation. Because it is a natural material, hardwood flooring will expand and contract with the climate. By exposing the flooring to the atmosphere for a few days, you will eliminate any slight spaces between the slats.
Keep your hardwood floors looking their best by using dry mops and vacuums.
Take care of your pets by clipping their nails, using spill proof water dishes and clean up any “accidents” immediately.
Use throw or area rugs in high traffic area.
Hardwood Floor Don’ts
Avoid installing hardwood floors in areas that are exposed to excessive moisture such as in a bathroom. This is a great place for tile floors.
If you are a part-time resident of Myrtle Beach, you may want to avoid installing hardwood floors if you are not controlling your interior environment all year long. You will want to consider hiring a Home Watch company to keep an eye on your home when you are not here. They can check your home after a storm or during a severe weather change to make sure that the floors are dry.
Do not use harsh detergents or wax-based cleaners. These will dull the finish of your floors.
Also, do not sure steel wool or other types of abrasives to clean your hardwood floor.
When you are cleaning a hardwood floor, do not sue excessive water. It is best to call a professional to clean the floor if you have excessive dirt or the floor has become dull.
Attention all golfers – do not walk on hardwood floors with spikes. This rule also applies to your ladies with Spoleto heals.
We mentioned you should use area rugs, however, make sure that after washing these rugs they are thoroughly dry. Do not leave anything damp on a hardwood floor.
Flooring Myrtle Beach is your hardwood floor specialist. We don’t contract out the installation of the floors, we are with you all the way – from selection to installation. You can rely on our years of experience to help you with the right hardwood floor selection.
Call us today at 843-492-5891 with your questions regarding hardwood floors.