Hardwood floors have always been very popular. Hardwood flooring is also being done in customized patterns like borders, medallions, motifs, hand-distressing, painting, mixed media and stains. With advanced technology, hardwood floors have become very affordable, as well as extremely easy to maintain. Oak has become very popular in the last few years. Cherry, white oak, birch and maple are other popular woods. Hardwood flooring can be categorized as unfinished, pre-finished, acrylic, impregnated, solid and engineered, based on the kind of manufacturing process used.
The main aspects to be considered while installing hardwood floors are the general color tone (dark brown, medium brown, light brown, reddish brown, golden brown, natural or other colors); the wood floor type (solid, engineered or floating); where is the floor going to be installed (above ground level, at ground level or below ground level); what the floor will be placed on (over concrete slab, plywood subfloor, oriented strand board, previous vinyl or wood subfloor) and so on. Other important things to be considered are the budget, the kind of room, the traffic and furniture in the room, the style and design of the walls and furniture, etc.
There are many kinds of hardwood species for flooring: red oak, white oak, oak-stained white, walnut, birch, ash, maple, red maple, cherry, pear, plum, bamboo, beech, mahogany, pine, hickory, jarrah, tamarindo, American cherry, teak and many more. The different styles of hard wood floorings are parquet, plank and strip. There are also pre-finished and unfinished hardwood floors available. Hardwood floors also depend on the grade, cut, dimensions, pattern and color.
Hardwood floors are relatively very easy to maintain. For proper maintenance, do not use waxes and other scrubs; use throw rugs to prevent dust and grime that may cause scratches; do not wet mop; wipe up spills immediately; put soft fabric or plastic glides under the furniture; do not slide heavy furniture over the wood floor; use a humidifier to avoid wood movement and shrinkage; do not walk with spiked shoes or high heels; and prevent direct exposure to sun as this can increase the oxidation process and cause the floor to age faster.
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