Choosing a floor for your home is an important one, as it is the foundation of your home. It is the basis of all your decorating, it is the most used and seen item and an item that will last the longest in your home. You want to get it right! Here we give you some of the essential information you will want before beginning the hunt for the perfect floor.
What is the difference between Solid and Engineered hardwood Flooring?
They are both made with real wood, and both can be either prefinished or finished onsite. However, Solid wood is just as it states: is a solid piece of wood and can be used in any room including powder rooms (only exception is the washroom) as long as it is above ground. Engineered is made with wood layers that lay perpendicular to each other. This creates greater stability, less expansion and contraction than solid wood. Engineered can be used below grade making it perfect for basements.
Should I use unfinished or prefinished hardwood?
It is preference. If you use unfinished this will mean finishing will be done onsite, resulting in more noise, dust and delays in using the room. You have increase chances of problems as well with dust settling in the finish or prints if not allowed to dry long enough before walking on it. Finished onsite is also more difficult to repair. Prefinished floors, on the other hand, are already finished reducing the amount of mess and inconveniences, it is easier to repair if you have damage and can also be custom stained
What is the difference in sheen levels?
There are generally 3 types of sheen levels. high gloss, which has the most shine and reflects the most light, Semi-gloss, which is some shine and reflects some light and Matt finish or flat, which has the least shine and reflects the least light. The less the shine the less you will notice small imperfections that are common with normal wear and tear of the floor. It comes down to personal preference when choosing the sheen level for your floor.
Can I install hardwood in a kitchen?
Yes, kitchen installations have become the norm. There are a few facts you should know before proceeding.
- Consideration must be given to height changes that could affect the placement of refrigerators and dishwashers, etc. Sufficient space must remain under the toe space along the base of cabinets as well.
- The installation of new flooring in a kitchen is a good opportunity to inspect all dishwasher hoses for any signs of deterioration that could cause leakage, which would damage your floor. Also, removal and re-installation of appliances is the responsibility of owner.
- Teflon coated floor glides are available at Darmaga Hardwood Flooring for the bottom of refrigerators and stoves that will help prevent damage to your new floor.
- A floor mat below the kitchen sink is recommended, since this is the most heavily used area of the house. This will extend the life of the finish on your new floor.
- While your new floor will have a urethane finish that is completely impervious to water, the wood underneath the finish can be damaged by water penetration from between the boards. Cleaning up spills as they happen will give you a long-lasting beautiful floor.
- If your kitchen floor is part of a larger installation, especially finished onsite, consider having a threshold piece inserted at the entrance to the kitchen. This will enable you to have the kitchen refinished (if ever it needs it) without having to do the entire hardwood floor area in your home.
Can I install hardwood flooring in a bathroom/powder room?
Hardwood floors are not covered by warranty if installed in a bathroom but can be installed in a powder room. Since moisture can cause damage to hardwood flooring a main bathroom is not a good idea. However, there are many other options you can chose from if you are looking for a wood look or a non-tiled floor. Come in to our showroom and see the many choices.
Does sunlight affect my floors?
Yes, hardwood floors are a product of nature & will change in appearance over time.
- Many of the high quality prefinished manufacturers use U.V. retardant finishes, however, even these steps in pre-finishing are not guaranteed to maintain color stability. Most types of discoloration are natural & the change in appearance is usually so gradual that most homeowners do not notice it at all until furniture or area carpets are moved.
- When installing new areas of hardwood, or when areas of floors are repaired with new material you will see a difference, do not be alarmed! This is a natural occurrence, and in most cases, if given enough time, it will usually even out & become unnoticeable.
- Some species of woods are sought after for their ability to change in appearance, North American cherry being a prime example. This wood, when first installed (or refinished) starts a very light tan/golden color. Within a few weeks (depending upon the amount of direct sunlight), it will begin to noticeably change to a deep, rich, reddish-brown tone.
- Be aware, discoloration can also be caused by exposure to caustic materials, or by improper maintenance methods. Please check with Darmaga Hardwood for information on proper cleaning products & procedures for your hardwood floors.
Why do I need to consider children & pets when choosing a floor?
Both Children and pets will put much more stress on your floors than you might think. Dropping toys and your pet’s nails will eventually show damage. Area rugs and keeping pets nails trimmed will help reduce the damage. Looking for a floor that is a harder wood (such as oak) rather than a softer one (such as Pine) is recommended. Also, hand-scraped flooring is a good option, this is a floor that will hide or camouflage minor damage. Come to the showroom and let our sales staff educate you and show you the many options you have.
What is the difference between Nail, Float, Staple & Glue-Down Flooring?
Some hardwoods can be installed all 4 ways; others need to be installed more specifically. Here are the four primary methods of hardwood floor installation:
- Nail Down: 3/4″ solid wood strips or planks are typically installed by using 2″ nailing cleats, a wood flooring nailer and a mallet to attach them to a subfloor. Solid strips and planks can only be nailed to wooden subfloors on or above grade, this usually means no basements.
- Staple Down: With this method, 1 ½ to 2 inch staples are used to attach the wood flooring to the subfloor. A pneumatic gun drives the staples into the hardwood and subfloor. We use power cleats ONLY, unless advised otherwise by the manufacturer’s installation instructions, otherwise WE DO NOT USE THIS METHOD
- Glue Down: Here, adhesive or a natural resin (called “mastic”) is spread with the proper trowel to adhere your hardwood to the subfloor. This technique is typically used to install engineered and parquets since solid strip and plank floors can only be nailed. There are a number of adhesives on the market. Your installer will use the one recommended specifically for your flooring. Failure to use the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive and trowel size could void any warranties you may have.
- Floating: With this technique, your hardwood floor is not mechanically fastened to any part of the subfloor. In other words, it “floats.” A floating floor offers fast and easy installation and has its advantages. It’s protected against moisture; it reduces noise transmission; it’s softer underfoot; and it provides for some additional “R” value.
At Darmaga when we do the install we can assure you are getting the right application for your floor and it will be installed with quality materials!
Does it matter where the Nails, Staples & Glue come from?
Quality standards can vary greatly depending on the country of production. You are making an investment into your home, and using inferior nails or adhesive will have an effect on the look and longevity of your floors performance.
At Darmaga we use only the highest quality North American made products to make sure your floor installation stands the test of time.
What is the most durable hardwood floor available?
When considering Durability of your floor you need to consider first the traffic in the area you are putting the hardwood. This is will dictate how durable you really need it to be. Durability is mostly based on the hardness of the wood, which is measured by the Janka Scale which tests the force needed to embed a steel ball half way in the wood. See the table below for the most common species.
Can I expect my floor to have color variations?
Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect color variations in all grades.