Atlas Custom Hardwood Flooring | Blog
Hardwood Flooring: An FAQ
Hardwood Flooring FAQ:
Is a solid wood flooring better than an engineered wood floor?
No. The thicker and better quality engineered woods will last for years and years and can be refinished once or twice. Also, the technology and factory applied, UV-cured urethane finishes with melamine that are used today by hardwood flooring manufacturers makes a really tough, durable finish and is available on both engineered and solid wood floors. Engineered wood floors are also much more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood flooring so they can be used in many situations where solid wood is not recommended.
Can we put hardwood flooring over an existing floor?
In some situations an engineered wood floor can be floated (or glued down) over the top of an existing floor. The existing flooring has to be fully adhered to the sub-floor and be compressed enough so there is no bounce. For example, it is possible to install over a low profile commercial type level loop carpet, or glued-down vinyl flooring or tile. Be sure to read the manufacturer's warranty to see if installing over an existing floor covering is covered under the warranty. Also, be sure the installer follows the manufacturer's recommended installation procedures.
How does humidity affect hardwood flooring?
As a natural material, hardwood can be affected by changes in humidity in your home. In bathrooms or rooms below ground level, humidity and the potential for pooling water can create problems. Solid hardwood flooring is not recommended for these areas.
Are hardwood floors hard to maintain?
Hardwood Flooring is one of the easiest types of floor to maintain. We recommend vacuuming regularly using a soft bristle brush, and using the recommended cleaners when needed to restore the shine. We would also recommend using tap-in or self-adhesive chair glides to protect all flooring from becoming scratched by legs of furniture
Can I install my own hardwood floor?
A hardwood flooring installation takes time, precision, and know-how to get it right. Even for experienced DIYers, hardwood installations can be challenging. A lot depends on your ability to take the time to learn what you need to know to properly install a hardwood floor, so that it will look and perform beautifully. If you've never installed hardwood, we recommend hiring an Armstrong Certified Installer.
Can I install a Hardwood floor in any room in my home?
Hardwood flooring can be installed on any grade in your home. If you're installing below grade (in a basement), or over any concrete slab on any level you'd need to use an engineered floor. Engineered wood floors are manufactured with cross layers of plywood as a stable base, and then a top layer of real wood is placed on top (called a wear layer). Because these engineered wood floors are often more stable than solid wood floors, they can withstand minor moisture level changes better than solid Hardwood flooring can. The solid wood floor could possibly cup and buckle in high moisture prone areas like basements.
The only exception would be in bathrooms. We do not recommend any type of hardwood floor in a full bathroom where water will be splashed or spilled on it. Hardwood or Laminate flooring can work well in half-baths where there is no tub/shower or high humidity. The best option for full baths would be Ceramic Tile or Vinyl flooring.
Although engineered wood floors are more stable in below ground situations, you will still need to use an appropriate underlayment with a moisture blocking pad when installing using a floating method. If you are using a direct glue-down method for installation we recommend applying a coat of MVP (moisture block) over the concrete to block out moisture before putting down the adhesive.
Is hardwood flooring a good choice for a home with pets?
Yes - but take precautions. The type of wood species you choose for your floor affects how well it holds up to wear and tear. You can help ensure a beautiful-looking floor by keeping your pets' nails trimmed, sweeping regularly to remove dirt, grit and fur, and wiping up spills and accidents as soon as they happen.
My wood floor has some damage. Can it be repaired?
Yes! Atlas Hardwood flooring offers a wide variety of hardwood flooring repairs:
• Color-blend filler for minor chips
• Touch-up kit for scratches
• Board replacement
• Sanding and refinishing for worn, deeply scratched floors
Can we install hard wood flooring over a concrete slab?
Engineered wood floors can be glued down or floated over a dry, clean, fully-cured concrete slab that is on or below grade. If moisture or humidity is very high at times of the year, perhaps a non-wood flooring option would be a better choice. There are installation methods used by some hardwood installers to install a 3/4" solid wood floor over a concrete slab, which includes a vapor barrier and building up a wood subfloor on top of the concrete slab. This is not recommended by most hardwood manufacturers--and it also adds considerable cost to the project. Installing an engineered wood floor over a concrete slab would be preferable.
Can I sand and refinish a Prefinished Hardwood floor?
Over time there are going to be accidents where unprotected furniture legs are going to be dragged across the surface of the wood flooring causing scratches, heavy items are going to slip out of someones hands and put dings and dents in the wood floors and grit and stones are going to be brought into your home and ground into the surface of the wood floor. Every 15 - 30 years on average consumers have their Hardwood Floors completely sanded and refinished New again.
Prefinished engineered wood flooring can either be light hand sanded and recoated or if the engineered flooring has a 1.5 or thicker mil wear layer can also be professionally machine sanded to clear the old finish and scratches off then refinished new again. Most of the high end engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished at least once, some up to 5 times depending on the thickness of the veneer wear layer and if sanded correctly.
Solid wood flooring can be sanded and refinished new again 4 -7 times depending on the thickness of the solid wood flooring
How do I choose a Hardwood floor species, color and board size that is right for me?
You need to consider the style you're trying to convey in the room:
• If your tastes are more Contemporary you may want to use a narrow 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide board in a lighter natural color of the wood.
• If you like a more Traditional look, then you may want to use a 4" or narrower board width with a medium to light color.
• If you are looking for a more Country style, then you may want to use a 5" wide board with a darker to light color with possibly a lot of character such as lighter and darker boards with knots and pin (worm) holes, which has become extremely popular.
• If the flooring is going to be Heavily Trafficked, then we may suggest using a wood species like natural oak that has a lot of graining and or character to diffuse any scratches the floor may encounter.
Decisions seem endless when selecting just the right Hardwood floor for the rooms in your home. There are a variety of wood species, colors and grain patterns to consider. The wood floor area is one of the largest expanses of color or pattern in a room. Your Hardwood flooring should compliment the fabrics, furnishings, and cabinets already present in the space, all while enhancing your unique personality.
The most popular wood species used in Hardwood flooring is Red Oak Natural Or White Oak Natural in either 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide boards. However, these days anything goes and a lot more people are choosing exotic wood species such as Brazilian Cherry or Santos Mahogany -- with dark, rich, reddish colors. Bamboo and Cork flooring are also becoming more popular. Darker colors are most often used in formal or traditional interiors, while lighter colors work best in country, casual and contemporary settings.