Wooden Flooring - Picking A Wood Floor

Published: 24th January 2012
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The advantages of wooden floors have been common knowledge since before Victorian times. Proof of this remains today, as a great number of Victorian buildings still have their wood floors down. It's a testament to the resilience and reliability of a good quality wooden floor.

The feeling of your wood floor
Wood Flooring can be (and are) treated with a range of different oils, lacquers and waxes in an effort to subtly alter their appearance and feel in line with what the customer requires. The majority of wooden floors are finished with lacquer. The appearance of lacquered wood floors is that of an apparent gloss with characteristic smoothness. Oiled floors (wax/wood oil) soak the oil in to the top layer of the wood, and, (after a wax finish) usually have a more 'damp' sheen compared to the lacquer variants.

Which grade of wood?
You can find different grades of wood floor available, and procedures for determining them have been set into a standard. This specific industry standard is a well established system of grading and is utilised across the country; in a similar way that meat is graded by using a national standard. Rustic is regarded as the cost-effective grade, which is a pleasant way of indicating it is in the lower grade and hence cheaper. It'll usually have more knots and variances in colour throughout the wood floor. Rustic can set off a nice balance within the room, if “Rustic” is actually the theme. Customers have been known to look for it especially. At the other end of the scale you will find select pieces. The select pieces (yet again similar terminology to meat grading) are guaranteed not to have any knots, the colour will also be uniform from one to another. This is what's selected for an even and “perfect” floor. The particular grades however do not always signify the quality of the wood, since rustic grades have been known to last as long as select grades.

Which kind of timber should I choose?
Floors endure plenty of traffic and bear many heavy loads; which means the perfect timber would be a hardwood, like oak or beech wood. Instead of a softwood variety, like pine, for the obvious reason that a softwood timber wouldn't be able to stand the test of time, and is not really robust enough for the job of a hard wearing floor.

Preserving your wooden floor
Wood Flooring can be maintained and cleaned in a simply way. Just like any other area in one’s home that's cleaned with a cloth or mop, the wooden floor can be cleaned in much the same way. It's highly recommended that cleaners try to stick to the use of non-solvent based cleaning products (and polishes), since the lacquer on the floor can be subject to corrosion or deterioration whenever 'attacked' by solvents for an extended period. Oiled floors require a “top up” of oil on a twice-yearly basis. The oil can be applied using a cloth and just rubbed in gently all over. It is advisable that one uses natural wood oils as opposed to lower priced chemical-based products.

A long-term investment?
A high-quality hardwood floor is a better investment than the latest Television or even a brand-new sofa. A well fitted and maintained wooden floor should last a lifetime. Houses from the Victorian era and before kept their wood flooring for this reason. For you to guarantee years and years of pleasure from your wood floor, hire a professional who is going to adjust the installation in order to make up for the shrinking and swelling that happens yearly because of the weather conditions. Even when a house is torn down, frequently the wooden flooring is re-sold, re-treated and used once again since their usefulness simply takes years to expire.

Health qualities
Wood Floors, it has been proven, are healthier than using rugs and carpets throughout ones home. A wooden floor cleans easier than carpet plus its oils have anti-bacterial properties, cleaning as they go. Carpets, however, often retain dust (as well as dust mites) which could also bother people who have asthma. Greenpeace (amongst others) recommend wood floors. Reports have established that carpeted floors can harbour ten thousand to one hundred thousand dust mites in a single square metre. Carpets also accumulate waste from domestic pets, all manner of waste materials walked in from outside the house and generally harmful dust that's developed over time.

Engineered wood flooring are the past, present and future. Rarely has such a simple idea been put to great use. The innate qualities and advantages of wood floors outweigh the benefits of every other flooring on the market. For additional info on real wood flooring, visit our website - Wood4Floors.co.uk

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