What you need to know about hardwood floors


This information is courtesy of the National Wood Flooring Association.

No other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of wood. Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room, and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years. In fact, in a national survey of real estate agents, 90 percent said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors. That’s money in your pocket!

Ease of Maintenance

Maintenance of today’s wood floors is easy! New technology in stains and finishes call for regular cleaning that takes little more than sweeping and/or vacuuming, with occasional use of a professional wood floor cleaning product. You will want to use a cleaning product recommended by your flooring manufacturer, installer, or other wood flooring professional. This will ensure that you use the proper cleaner for your type of flooring and finish.

For more maintenance tips, check out the NWFA’s Wood Floor Maintenance section.


Wood floors are ecologically friendly. Since it is a natural resource, wood is both renewable and recyclable. Many of yesteryear’s old wood ships , warehouses, barns, and other structures often find a second life in wood flooring. And, because wood does not collect dust and other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home.


Today’s wood floors are affordable. Over time, wood floors maintain their value. When other flooring options are looking tired and worn out, wood floors will still look beautiful and timeless.


Wood floors have come a long way in the past few years. Today, there are more styles, colors and species of wood flooring available than ever before. Whether you’re looking for traditional Oak, rustic Pine, exotic Wenge or trendy Bamboo, you’re sure to find a color and style to fit your décor.

No other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of wood.


Once you’ve decided to install or refinish a wood floor, you may wonder what will happen next. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job.

Before work begins, remove all furnishings, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room. Flooring professionals typically are not insured against damages to these items, so removal will be your responsibility. For new installations, the wood will need to acclimate, which will vary from two days to two weeks.

If your floors are being sanded, finished or refinished, be prepared for some noise and disruption. Dust containment systems can minimize debris, but no system is 100% effective, so cover any items that you want to keep dust-free. When the finish is applied, stay off your floors until it has dried. The time required will vary depending on the type of finish used.

After the finish has dried, put felt pads on the bottoms of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor your floor. Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels in disrepair.

Keep in mind that no two floor boards will be identical. Variations in appearance are completely normal. As your floor ages, some color change can occur. This also is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Cracks are normal as well, and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity. Generally, anything less than the width of a dime is considered normal, and will correct itself as seasons change. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.

Finally, keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them. Use a cleaning product recommended for your floors and use it regularly to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.

When other flooring options are looking tired and worn out, wood floors will still look beautiful and timeless.


This information is courtesy of the National Wood Flooring Association.

With today’s advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris. You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product recommended by a wood flooring professional. The NWFA can help you find one in your area.

Preventive Maintenance

There are other steps you can take to minimize maintenance and maintain the beauty of your wood floors as well.

  1. Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  2. Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
  3. Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  4. Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  5. Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  6. Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
  7. Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  8. When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
  9. For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
  10. Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of floor do I want?

There are two types to choose from, solid and engineered. We do most installations with solid wood; however, we do offer a variety of engineered options. Each type is available in a variety of species, colors and widths.


Solid wood floor is typically 3/4″ thick, long and grooved pieces of wood that are solid from top to bottom. Solid wood floors are used in most rooms of the house that are on, or above grade. They can be sanded and refinished many times and can last a lifetime.


Engineered wood flooring is typically made up of three to five layers of veneer and varies in thickness. The grain of each layer is run perpendicular to each other to provide stability. Engineered wood floors are used in most rooms of the house that are on, or below grade. They have limited refinishing ability.

What style do I want?

There are three styles to choose from: strip, plank and parquet. This decision is mainly based on your personal taste. You can choose one style or mix styles to create a more custom look.


Strip flooring is typically made up of narrow boards ranging from 1.5″ to 3″ wide. This style is usually considered the standard. It can make a room appear larger and give it a linear affect.


Plank flooring is typically made up of wider boards ranging from 3″ to 7″ wide. This style can be used for a more casual, rustic look or an antique look. Keep in mind that the wider the plank, the more likely gaps will form in the winter.


Parquet flooring is generally made up of small pieces of wood put together to create a pattern. This style has unlimited possibilities and gets away from the linear look.

What species of wood do I want?

There are many species of wood used for wood flooring. With choices of domestic or exotic woods, the possibilities are endless. Keep in mind that different species have different properties and may react differently to moisture changes.

We have installed numerous species including Oak, Rosewood, Mesquite and Maple.

What type of finish do I want? Pre-Finished or Sand & Finish?


Pre-finished flooring is real wood flooring that has had the finish applied at the factory. The advantage of this flooring is that installation generates less dust and noise. You can also walk on the floor as soon as its installed. Most pre-finished wood flooring has a micro bevel on the edge of the boards, giving each board a outlined look.


Sand & Finish flooring is real wood flooring that is installed, then sanded and finished on-site. With this option you have more flexibility in choice of sheen (gloss, semi-gloss and stain) and type of finish (oil based, water based and Swedish finish). This type of floor can be re-done time and time again. For further information on the differences between the types of finishes, plead ask your Ideal Hardwood Floor representative.