If you love the look of hardwood floors with a lot of character markings, then you will love hand scraped hardwood floors. In the U.S., the hand scraped wood look has become a popular choice among homeowners wanting the warmth of hardwood with the look of an old reclaimed floor. Hand scraping is just that; a scraping tool is literally used to create the floor surface. Hand scraped hardwood flooring and distressed hardwood floors are becoming a popular choice in today’s upscale homes and commercial buildings. These floors are a newer trend, but are rooted in history. Before today’s modern sanding methods, floors were hand scraped on site to make the floors flat. Today’s hand scraping is done to add texture, richness, and unique characteristics.
Natural looks like bare wood.
Light is a very popular shade of stain because it darkens the grain and adds a subtle tone to the wood. It often has a slight tan hue to it.
Medium is another popular choice. It’s darker than the light, so both the grain and the wood will have an obviously darker pigment, commonly a medium-brown hue.
Dark is usually a very dark brown and has a very rich feel.
Custom Color refers to any color besides tan/brown/sand. Many homeowners have chosen a bright red or deep green stain with striking results. Often it is best to choose a vibrant color for smaller areas or rooms as too much of a non-neutral color can prove to be overwhelming.
Toxic fumes can linger in your drapes, carpets, and furniture long after the job is finished. Eco friendly non-toxic finishes and stains create a beautiful long lasting finish without the harmful side effects or odor.
In traditional installation, after the sub-floor is properly prepared, the boards are nailed down. After everything is in place, the boards are sealed and finished.
Traditional hardwood flooring installation is a laborious process. There are many new techniques (and a few new materials that mimic hardwood) that make the job faster. Some hardwood can be purchased with an interlocking tongue-and-groove system that allows the boards to be snapped together. Some hardwood is actually meant to be glued down instead of being nailed. Some hardwood comes pre-finished, so that after you lay it down, the work is essentially over. Furthermore, new products have been produced that do the basic job of hardwood, but have some other good qualities that the real thing doesn’t possess.
Laminate flooring, though not actually made of hardwood, can look like real wood when installed. Laminate consists of a high density core with a photographic layer on the top that looks like wood. This photographic layer is then sealed with polyurethane, making it very scratch and stain resistant. It can be installed in places that true hardwood probably shouldn’t go and is much less expensive. Installation of laminate flooring uses a “floating” tongue-and-groove method, making it easier to install. Laminate can also be easily pulled up and reinstalled elsewhere.
Engineered hardwood is a relatively new building material. It consists of multiple layers of wood (these can be made of plywood, high density fiberboard, or, in some cases, true hardwood). The surface is a hardwood veneer or thin layer of sawn hardwood that varies in thickness. Many homeowners are opting for engineered hardwood because it combines the look and feel of actual wood with the versatility and moisture resistance of a laminate. It is an excellent choice for placement above radiant heat or overbasement concrete slab. Engineered hardwood is usually installed in much the same way as traditional hardwood, but can handle situations that could warp and bow true hardwood.
If you would like to take a visual tour which talks about all the different elements you should consider before choosing the best hardwood flooring for your needs, click here to view a really nice slideshow on the Bona™ website.
Hardwood Floor Repair: Split or Cracked Wood
Over the years, many hardwood floors develop small splits or cracks in the surface of the wood. These can often be spot repaired. However, if your floor is suffering from large cracks, you might want to think about refinishing the floor. And if the split is particularly bad, the damaged plank should probably be replaced altogether.
Another common hardwood floor malady is the development of gaps between planks. The most common causes of gaps between the boards is the environment / weather. Wood shrinks as it dries out, and it expands when it gets wet and humid. That regular expansion and contraction over time is the most common cause of gaps, and is the main reason why most gaps are seasonal in nature. Perhaps your best plan of action is to exercise patience. The natural process of things will tend to close gaps as the weather and humidity changes. As a rule, if the gap is less than the thickness of a dime, your flooring is normal and there’s nothing to worry about. If your gaps are more persistent, you might need to call in a professional to tighten up your hardwood floor so that they cease to be a problem.
A buckled floor happens when the boards warp and lift up from the subfloor that they are attached to. Once the cause of your buckling has been identified, a professional can take the necessary measures to ensure that your hardwood planks are firmly attached to the subfloor so that the problem no longer persists.
Cupped floors, also called washboarding, develops gradually across the width of the wood strip where the edges of the hardwood planks raise up and the center of the board sinks down. The cause of cupped floors is a moisture imbalance where there is more water on the bottom side of the wood plank than on the top. The only cure is to balance the humidity levels in your home, store, or office, and to give the surface time to return back to normal. After the floor has stabilized, a professional can sand it flat and re-finish it to perfection.
Warped hardwood floors, also known as sagging, is a serious problem for any homeowner or business owner. It is often the result of serious moisture problems and needs to be addressed immediately. Warped hardwood floors are rarely the result of faulty hardwood or installation, but are a symptom of larger moisture problems in the home or property itself that need to be taken care of.
Besides major problems, you may also experience scratching or loose planks with your hardwood flooring. Scratches can be repaired. If you’ve got serious scratching, however, we will need to refinish the floor. And if you’ve got loose planks, your only solution is to have them repaired. Ideally, they should be nailed to the subfloor to prevent any more movement, though excessively loose boards can be a sign of improper installation in the first place. Bringing a professional in to re-install your flooring properly is probably the only sure way to permanently solve the problem.
Tampa Hardwood Floor Refinishing
8710 W. Hillsborough Ave. #161
Tampa, FL 33615
Installation • Refinishing • Repair/Maintenence
Floors are sanded 2 to 3 times to create a satin finish, finishing with 100 Grit sanding pads.
Floors are sanded 4 to 5 times to create a furniture grade finish, finishing with 150 Grit sanding pads.
HGTV Tampa Project
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