Flooring is one of the most basic yet important decisions a homeowner has to make when undertaking a renovation or home constructions.
And with the many options that may be available, like tiling or carpeting, installing hardwood has been a top choice for many proprietors over the last few years.
With the many number of pros it has, it’s easy to see why it’s a go-to.
For one, installation is more or less straight-forward, for those with experience. Quality hardwood floors are specifically milled to ensure a uniform and stable fit. The choice between finished and unfinished hardwood floors is an important factor in this, of course.
Interior designer and Housemark Company CEO Lawi Muriuki believes that choosing hardwood floors increases the value of your property.
He says, “It is a great long-term investment and can actually become a strong resale argument, exceeding the initial installation cost of the floors.
“Hardwood floors also have ageless quality, unlike other types of flooring options. They can be refinished rather than replaced when the finish needs an update.”
Quality hardwood floors are tough, hard-wearing, and have long term durability.
Hardwood floors are also very easy to clean as they do not accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and debris. A weekly cleaning procedure involves vacuuming, moping and keeping the floor dry.
ILLUSION OF SPACE
They offer the warmth, beauty, and value of wood, which never goes out of style, on top of their elegant, high-end aesthetic. Furthermore, they enable an illusion of space when installed. Hardwood floors also provide better acoustics because when properly installed, they never give hollow sounds or vibrations.
Using hardwood is a healthy choice that also contributes to better air quality, especially for people with allergic reactions. It has no fibres, grout lines, or embossing that can trap dust, pollen, particles, animal dander, and allergens that occur with carpets.
Hardwood floors offer a wide range of appearances. There are many colours, styles, stains, and species available. Additionally, one can choose between pre-finished and unfinished hardwood floors.
There are different types of hardwood that are used in flooring, all of which have their own characteristic that distinguishes them from the other.
The most common one is maple, which is extremely durable and less porous. It works well in both large and small spaces.
Oak, being another common one, is timeless and is highly resistant to wear. Mahogany is a classic hardwood that is known for its elegance. It also improves with age.
The Brazilian Cherry has a distinct reddish-brown tone and is very durable. The cherry type is less strong than the Brazilian Cherry and tends to scratch more. Bamboo scratches easily as well, and is also not durable in humid areas. On the bright side, it can easily be sanded and refinished.
Walnut gives the floor a dark, exotic look, and is known to be one of the strongest hardwoods in the market. Rosewood, which has for many years been used to make furniture, is relatively new in flooring. It has unique grain colours and comes in a range of colours.
Other types of hardwood are pine, ash, hickory and lyptus hardwoods.
With all these factors, choosing a hardwood floor may seem difficult, but Architectural Digest shared a guideline to follow to help guide one’s decision.
Select solid or engineering flooring, choose the type of finish, consider the wood type and grain pattern, and determine the plank’s width in that order.
Solid hardwood are completely natural from top to bottom. Example include ash, cherry, maple and oak. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is a thin veneer of real hardwood on top of a thick layer of plywood. Its visible areas are 100% real wood.
Protecting Hardwood Floors
Use mats where moisture may form, mop spills right away, close windows when it rains and do not install in high moisture areas like bathrooms.
Reapply coating in scuffed areas and never let hardwood be exposed.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors:
Roll up accessible area rugs and shake them outdoors. Sweep with a soft bristled broom in key traffic areas every couple of days, and the rest of the floor weekly.
Use a dry electrostatic mop to pick up lighter dust that remains after sweeping. This will cause the dust to cling to the dust head.
Vacuum the floor, especially along baseboards, behind doors, and in corners. Do not use a vacuum designed for carpeting, unless it has a mode for hard floors, because its beater bar will damage the flooring.
Use a damp mop that has been thoroughly wrung out, and add special hardwood cleaner to the water, Avoid steam or wet cleaners, as they produce too much water and can damage floors. Never use vinegar or any floor cleaner that is not designed for hardwood flooring.