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Hardwood floors are beautiful and durable. But before you have them installed, be sure to get the facts, and know what to do in case any challenges should arise. Here are some questions we hear a lot, and some of the answers may surprise you.

1. Is it better to get a solid or engineered wood floor?

Both types are excellent, environmentally friendly choices. Both are made of real wood. Engineered simply means that multiple layers of wood veneers are used. The top layer is high quality wood, and the layers underneath may or may not be the same species of wood as the top layer.

Which wood—solid or engineered—you choose depends largely on where you want to install it and the weather in your part of the country. Engineered wood won’t expand and contract as much as solid wood during changes in temperature and humidity. So if you live in an area with major weather fluctuations, such as the Northeast, you may want to consider engineered wood.

Both kinds of wood are excellent for high-traffic areas in your home, including the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, even bathrooms. The only difference is that engineered wood can be installed in a basement, nailed or glued down to the concrete floor, and solid wood cannot. On the other hand, solid wood can be sanded and refinished more times than some of the engineered flooring being sold today.  This fact is changing rapidly with new technology providing the same wear surface as solid flooring.

2. Should I get a factory-finished wood floor or have it finished at my home?

A factory-finished floor means that the finish is applied at the factory, then brought to your home to be installed. You won’t be able to have as much input in the customization of the finish, but the good news is you’ll be able to walk on the floors as soon as they’re installed, with minimal dust flying around your house.

If you choose to have your floors finished at home, you can customize the final appearance, choosing the stain, sheen, things that will impact the appearance and maintenance of your floor.  It depends on how much you want to be involved in the look of the final product.

3. My dog likes to dig, and I’m afraid he’s going to scratch and ruin my hardwood floor. What should I do? 

Don’t worry. Your hardwood floors can stay beautiful even if you have pets. First, consider placing rugs at doors to lessen the amount of dirt being tracked in, especially if your dog is a digger. Understand that scratches will happen, but usually they’re on the surface and not actually in the wood. If the scratch does penetrate the wood, talk with a professional about how to repair the scratches. Prevention may be the best solution, so be sure to trim your pet’s nails regularly, particularly for dogs and cats.

4. Can my furniture scratch a wood floor?

It’s possible that certain pieces of furniture that come in direct contact with the floor could scratch it. Sometimes you can prevent such scratches by putting floor protector pads on the bottoms of the legs of any furniture that you think might cause scratches.

5. Is there anything else that can scratch or damage a wood floor that I should know about?

Worn-out high-heel shoes and sports cleats can scratch the finish, or possibly create dents in the floor. Also be careful when dragging in certain items from outside.

6. How can I keep my hardwood floors looking new?

You should clean them regularly to remove dirt and grit that can wear them down and make them appear old before their time. To clean, either sweep or use a dust mop. Vacuuming is a good way to remove dirt that gets trapped between floor boards. But if you vacuum, turn off the beater bar first.

Don’t use a wet mop because it can dull the finish, and even damage the wood over time. Use scatter rugs at every door, but don’t use the kind with rubber backs, because this can cause discoloration of your floor. Choose special rug mats for wood floors instead.

If your floor starts to look dull, consult with experts about using a special wood flooring cleaner. This can renew the look of your floor as long as you use it correctly. Be sure to only use a product that’s compatible with the type of wood floor you have. If you use the wrong one, it could cause long-term damage.

7. What should you do if you spill food or drink on the floor? 

When a spill occurs, don’t wait. Immediately take a dry or damp cloth to remove it. If you wait too long, the finish could be damaged, and maybe even the wood itself. Taking care of spills quickly is the key to preventing any unnecessary damage.

When you’re ready to install new hardwood floors, Sequoia is the only name you need to know. Contact us today to get started!