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Types: There are many different types/species of hardwood, including red and white
oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory, or pecan. Each species has its own unique
graining and texture. Graining in hardwood is determined by the way the hardwood
was cut. A sliced cut will give a more uniform pattern, where a rotary cut will
show a larger, bolder graining pattern. Within each species you will have a choice
of color and finishes.Choose a color that will either coordinate or contrast with
your cabinets and furniture. Darker woods tend to be more formal while lighter woods
are more casual. Hardwood can be finished in either a high gloss, low gloss, or
with a matte finish.Low gloss finishes are better in a more active setting, while
high gloss finishes are better for a more formal setting. Lower gloss finishes
hide dirt better than high gloss finishes.
Sizes: Hardwood board widths can range from 2 1/4" wide to 3 or 5" widths or wider.
Wider boards work well in a larger room, and narrow boards can expand the look
of a room. Edge choices on hardwood boards include squared, beveled, or eased edgeds.
Beveled edges are helpful in catching dirt and grit and helping to prevent scratches
and make clean up easier.
Construction: Hardwood can either be solid or engineered. Engineered hardwood is
constructed of two or more layers or plys which vary in thickness and lend dimensional
stability to Engineered hardwood is more resistant to warping or cupping of the boards
due to moisture differences. When installing hardwood directly on a concrete slab,
engineered hardwood is what is used. Solid hardwood is exactly what it states, and
is solid thru out. Solid hardwood ranges in thickness from 1/4" to 3/4" in thickness.
Upgrading: Upgrading your hardwood gives you the option of a wider selection and
more exotic species of woods to choose from with a wider selection of colors as well.
Most higher end products come with extended warranties and enhanced finishes. Higher
end products will last longer and perform better than base grade products.
Care and Maintenance: Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen.
For tougher spots, you can use acetone nail polish remover on a clean white cloth
to remove the stain, then wipe with a clean damp cloth. Avoid letting liquids stand
on your hardwood floor. Vaccuum using the hardwood attachment, and not the beater
bar. Dry mop or sweep the floor regularly, to minimize dirt and grit build up. Do
not use oil based, wax, polish, or strong amoniated or abrasive cleaners to clean
the floor. Never use any type of buffing machine on a pre finished hardwood floor.
Do not use rubber or foam backed mats as they may discolor the hardwood. Use floor
protectors under all furniture and heavy items to prevent indentations or scratches
from heavy objects.