Read these 5 Remodeling with Hardwood Flooring Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hardwood-Flooring tips and hundreds of other topics.
Simple room designs are best complemented by light tones. Casual and minimal decorating styles are the best match. Avoid using light-toned wood in formal rooms, such as formal dining areas and sitting rooms. Heavy-grained woods, such as oak are an excellent choice to show off casual interiors, while lighter grains (like maple) draw attention to bold wall colors that are popular in modern interiors.
Caring for your new hardwood floors is essential. Almost every wood floor is treated with a urethane finish, so vacuuming and sweeping should be all you need to do to keep you floors in great shape. However, be sure to use a vacuum that has clean wheels and does not have a beater bar head. This can damage your floor's finish. Oil-treated floors use specific oils that harden once they've seeped into the wood grain. Clean these floors with liquid paste or wax. Varnished floors, too, require waxing. You can tell what kind of finish your floor has by dragging a fingertip across the finish of your floor. If you see a smudge on the board, your floor has been oil-treated or varnished. Urethane coatings leave no mark.
The direction in which you place the pattern of your hardwood floors plays an important part in creating a certain energy for the room. For example, planks should run in the direction of sunlight coming into a room from the window or patio doors. Likewise, you can place planks in any direction you want o your guest's eyes to focus, such as a mantel or fine piece of art on the wall. The size of the planks also makes a difference. Large rooms can be made to feel more cozy by using wider planks. For uneven walls or odd-shaped rooms, consider diagonal plank installation to draw attention away from the off-balance feel.
Mid-range and deeper hardwood tones are a great choice for nearly any interior, from traditional to contemporary. Warm rooms with a natural look are easy to achieve with these tones. Choose planks that have grain patterns, knots or other distinguishing marks to really accentuate the rustic energy of the room. Or, go exotic and choose a deep-hued floor and pair it with multi-colored deep tones on the walls and multi-textured fabrics in windows and for area rugs.
So, you've decided on your hardwood flooring. Now you need to ask one last question: Do you want your flooring site-finished or pre-finished? Here are a few facts that may help you decide:
Site-finished hardwood flooring means that professionals add the final protective coat to your flooring after its been installed. The floor can be sanded afterwards to smooth out imperfections. You also get to choose from a wider variety of stain colors. On the down side, on-site finishing and sanding can result in fumes and dust. Also, you'll have to wait for the floor to dry thoroughly before you set foot in the room. This can be inconvenient for busy households.
The alternative is to have the final finish applied to your flooring before it even gets to your home. Factory finishes, as they are also called, are a great way to avoid complicated installations. There's no fume, no mess and the planks are dry, which means you can use the room immediately after the flooring has been installed. In addition, a pre-finished floor often carries a warranty of 15 to 25 years (as opposed to a site-finished floor warranty of 3-5 years) since factory finished urethane coating is stronger and longer-lasting.