Installing hardwood flooring for your house is a big investment. Just like any other investment, you must make sure that you get the most benefits as you can from them. There have been many other kinds of flooring solutions developed throughout the years, but hardwood flooring is still one of the most used in the houses in Ontario, Canada. People have seen its quality and long-term benefits. People need to understand what is in hardwood flooring that makes it very good. Also, when it comes to hardwood flooring, people have started using the engineered type of hardwood flooring. This article will discuss more about this type of hardwood flooring, and how you should properly maintain it for it to last longer.
What Makes Engineered Hardwood Flooring Different?
Hardwood flooring is known to be one of the most durable types of flooring materials made even today. Coming from hardwood trees, the material is known to be denser, making it stronger as compared to other types of flooring materials. With hardwood flooring, there are multiple kinds that you may choose from, based on how they have been manufactured or developed. Engineered hardwood is one of the more well-known of these kinds. You may refer to the following to understand more how these kinds of hardwood flooring differ:
o This is one kind of hardwood flooring where solid wood undergoes the processes of sanding, sealing, and application of a protective coating. These processes are important in making the flooring panel more durable and will be able to withstand different external pressures that come in contact with it.
o The flooring panel is created by bonding together multiple layers, also called plies, of wood veneer. A veneer may be made out of softwood, plywood, and even hardwood. The top layer uses the hardwood veneer. This will determine the type of hardwood used in making the flooring panels. A hardwood flooring panel may consist of 6-8 plies of wooden veneer, which helps in making the panel stronger against impact. The bonding used is a strong adhesive that would also ensure that moisture will not be able to seep through to the different plies. This also ensures that the plies would not disassemble or break.
o This kind of hardwood flooring is able to withstand the effects of extreme climate changes, which unprocessed wooden flooring is known to have problems with. Hot and cold air have effects on wood that would be crucial for any flooring material. During summer, wooden flooring may tend to expand due to the hot air affecting the material. This would cause the flooring to rise up. The opposite happens during winter as the cold air would cause the flooring panels to shrink. This would make gaps in the flooring and will be difficult to fix. These are not issues when you use engineered hardwood flooring.
o Solid hardwood flooring comes in 2 kinds. For unfinished solid hardwood flooring, this kind uses only the wooden material that is taken from the hardwood tree. The solid wood is cut and formed into a flooring panel. It does not go through any other processing. The other kind is called prefinished solid hardwood flooring. This also uses only the solid wood from a hardwood tree. The difference it has with the unfinished solid hardwood flooring is that it undergoes processing by the manufacturer. It is sanded, sealed, and coated with a protective finishing before it is released to the market. This makes prefinished hardwood flooring panels more durable than unfinished hardwood flooring panels.
o This does not actually use hardwood material. This is used to mimic the look that hardwood flooring gives to the house.
o Without using any solid wood on the panel, it uses a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mixed with different compounds instead.
o A vinyl hardwood tries to copy the color and sheen of real hardwood flooring.
o There is a design layer which is where the design of the preferred hardwood look would be printed on. It is protected by a wear layer before a protective finishing is added.
o It is best used for internal application. Vinyl hardwood has a good wear and tear capability. However, it may get ripped or marks will be made if it gets in touch with sharp and hard objects.
o It is the same as vinyl hardwood since it does not use any real solid hardwood layers.
o A laminate hardwood flooring panel is made by laminating multiple layers of fiberboard panels.
o It uses a photographic appliqué layer to resemble a preferred hardwood design.
o There is a clear layer added on top to ensure that the design of the flooring panel has added protection.
o It is more durable against scratches as compared to vinyl hardwood flooring panels.
o It is not recommended that you place it in areas that get wet regularly as the laminate tends to swell with moisture.
Maintaining Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Even if you keep a well-maintained household, you will never avoid dirt and dust from entering your house. Also, with regular foot traffic, flooring will normally show signs of wear and tear. In addition, if you have pets that constantly touch your floors, scratches and marks will be inevitable. Engineered hardwood flooring is a very popular option for people living in the province of Ontario. It is known to be a type of flooring that can be cleaned and maintained easily. Unlike other types of flooring that you may need to use strong chemicals or complicated devices, engineered hardwood flooring does not need any of those things. You may refer to the information below for more information on how you can clean and maintain your engineered hardwood flooring:
Sweeping or vacuuming depends on how much foot traffic affects your engineered hardwood flooring
o If you used this type of flooring on areas where people pass through on a daily basis, you may need to sweep or vacuum the floor daily. With engineered hardwood flooring, there are no spaces for any type of debris to hide into. This means that anything left on the floor will be very visible. By regularly sweeping and vacuuming, this will ensure that dust, dirt, and any other debris will be removed from your flooring. If you have pets staying in these areas, you may need to clean any pet hair as well. However, you should also remember to avoid using vacuums that have a rotating bristle bar as this will damage your floor. For areas that do not get much traffic, you may wait for any debris to be visible before cleaning the floors.
When engineered hardwood flooring starts to look dull, this is a sign that you will need to mop your floor
o Mopping engineered hardwood floors should be done with a damp mop. You must avoid using a wet mop as there might still be a small chance that water can seep through the flooring material. Even though it is known to be able to resist water from entering into the different layers of the flooring panel, you should still take extra precaution so as to avoid damaging the panels.
Use cleaning material that is specifically designed for engineered hardwood flooring
o Even with a regular cleaning schedule, there will still come a time that the build-up of dirt and grime are not cleanable using a damp mop. When this happens, you should schedule deep cleaning for your engineered hardwood floors. You should only use chemicals that are compatible with hardwood flooring. Stronger chemicals will damage your flooring and should be avoided. Cleaning agents that use ammonia will have negative effects on any type of hardwood flooring. If you will be using a mop to apply the cleaning agent, always remember that the mop must be damp and not wet. Always use soft materials when cleaning your floor. Avoid using steel wool brushes or scouring pads.
Repairing scratches and marks can be done using a concealer
o With any type of hardwood flooring, the chance of scratches from showing will never disappear. However, by using scratch concealers, the job can be done easily. This can be used to remove the lines made by the scratches, and it would also help seal the area. This would prevent further scratching from the affected area.
Maintaining Your Engineered Hardwood Flooring Will Help with Its Longevity
Engineered hardwood flooring will always give your house a beautiful and authentic look and feel. You should never forget to tend to your flooring, especially when you see signs of dirt and grime forming on its surface. Signs of scratches and dust will be very clear with hardwood floors. This is why you should act on fixing or treating them as fast as you can to prevent any possible damages to your hardwood flooring. Remember to use only materials that are compatible with hardwood flooring or specifically, engineered hardwood flooring. This will ensure that the chemicals and components used are not harmful to any type of hardwood flooring.
If you have any concerns with regards to engineered hardwood flooring, you may contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624.