So, you are thinking about getting hardwood floors installed. What should you expect? At Luxury Wood NYC, we put together a little information to help you know what to expect with a hardwood floor installation. We have found that when our customers are familiar with the process, everything goes a little more smoothly, and we end up with happier customers.
What to Expect from Your Installation?
Once you have decided to install or refinish a wood floor, you may wonder what will happen next. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place, will help ensure a high-quality job.
Before work begins, remove all furnishings, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room. For new installations, the wood will need to acclimate to the job site, which will vary depending on the species.
If the floors are being sanded, finished, or refinished, be prepared for some noise and disruption. Dust containment systems can minimize debris, but no system is 100% effective, so cover or remove any items you want to keep dust-free. When the finish is applied, stay off the floors until it has dried. The time will vary depending on the type of finish used.
After the finish has dried, put felt pads on the bottoms of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. Place throw rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor your floor. Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels in disrepair.
Keep in mind that no two floorboards will be identical. Variations in appearance are normal. As the floor ages, some color change can occur. This also is normal but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Seasonal humidity changes may cause the wood to expand and contract. Gaps are normal and will appear and disappear between floorboards during seasons of high and low humidity. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.
Finally, keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them. Use a cleaning product recommended for your floors, and maintain relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent, and temperature between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, to keep them performing well for years to come.
Five FAQs When Installing a Hardwood Floor At Luxury Wood NYC, we get lots of great questions from customers who are considering installing a hardwood floor in their home or business. If you are thinking of enhancing your home with wood floors, these answers will help you decide which kind and learn about some of the other options you may not have even thought about yet. Here are the top five questions we are asked when it comes to installing wood flooring:
1. What Are the Main Advantages of Hardwood Floors?
Value – Hardwood floors may be a little more expensive to install initially, when compared with other flooring options, but no other floor covering lasts as long. Hardwood floors last for decades and can be refinished several times in their lifetime.
Low Maintenance – Hardwood floors are easy to take care of. Today’s stains and finishes simply require regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product.
Sustainability – Hardwood floors are renewable and recyclable. Current trends include “new” wood floors that are made from recycled wood from old ships, barns, and other structures. Wood can carry a history with it that adds character and value.
Allergy Friendly – Because hardwood floors do not collect dust or other small particles, they are much better for allergy sufferers.
2. What is the Difference between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Floors? Solid hardwood floors are made from a solid piece of wood from top to bottom and end to end. Engineered hardwood floors are created by stacking multiple layers of wood together in various directions and binding them into a solid form with heat and pressure. A thinner hardwood veneer is glued on top. Both wears evenly (since both are solid hardwood on top) and today’s engineered planks have a deep enough wear layer to allow them to be sanded and refinished many times like a solid hardwood floor.
The main advantage to engineered hardwood is its strength and stability especially when exposed to moisture. Solid wood will warp along natural grain lines when exposed to moisture. Engineered wood does not contain natural lines and therefore will not be prone to warping or bending. Engineered hardwood floors (both unfinished and prefinished) are best used in lower levels and areas where moisture or humidity might be present.
3. Which Is Better to Install – Prefinished or Unfinished Wood Floors?
Both have advantages. It depends on what you are looking for. Prefinished has a more durable finish because it is created in a controlled environment in a factory. You can also avoid fumes, mess, and a longer installation time with prefinished wood floors. It will also save you a little on installation costs because it will take less time. Pre-finished floors will also be more tolerant to humidity changes.
Unfinished may work best if you are repairing or expanding an existing wood floor and want to “lace-in” or seamlessly match the existing floor or if you want to match cabinets or trim. Also, if you are looking for an unusual wood species or width, it may not come pre-finished. You may not like the look of the beveled edges that accompany pre-finished planks, so unfinished would be best for you.
4. How Long Will my Wood Floor Last?
The NWFA (National Wood Floor Association) says – “Simple care and maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors need only to be refinished every 10-15 years or 10-12 times during a floor’s life.”
5. Is a Wood Floor Durable Enough for a Kitchen or Bathroom?
Yes. The finishes on most new wood floors stand up to heavy traffic, making wood flooring fine for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing, and no waxing. Of course, if water is allowed to sit for extended periods of time, it could cause damage. But, with proper care, there should be no problems.
The Luxury Wood NYC Installation Process
Step 1: Free Wood Floor Consultation
Every wood floor installation starts with a free virtual consultation. This is important because we want to make sure your hardwood floor is exactly what you want. We offer many diverse types of wood floors – varied species, plank widths, stain colors, patterns, etc. Because there are so many choices when it comes to hardwood floors, we want to make sure you know all your options so you can make an informed decision down to the smallest detail. We can provide you with samples so you can see them firsthand in your home with your cabinets and other flooring to make sure that it will blend with your home. We can even custom mix stain to give you exactly the shade you want.
Once we know what you want, the real fun begins. Our expert installers can create any custom wood floor design you can dream up, making your floors unique to your home. We can add beautiful inlays, intricate medallions, decorative borders, and more, giving you gorgeous floors that will last a lifetime.
Step 2: Wood Floor Preparation
The only thing you need to do before the installation is remove as much as possible from the room(s) getting new floors. This requires removal of the furniture, drapery, and anything hanging on the walls. This minimizes the risk of any of your furnishings getting bumped or broken during the installation process. We will let you know when to expect us, providing you with ample time to prepare.
Step 3: Sanding
Before sanding, we repair any cracks, holes, or gouges that we find. If your floors are being sanded, be prepared for some noise, but not a lot of dust. Our dust containment system eliminates the dust and cleanup of regular sanding. With dustless sanding, nearly 98% of the dust is whisked away to an outside container before it has a chance to spread all over your home. This makes for a faster, cleaner installation.
Step 4: Hardwood Floor Installation
This is the most disruptive part of the process. Expect some noise and traffic in your home as our crew installs the planks. Once the planks are in place, they are sanded for smoothness. There is no need to vacate the home because we use a dustless sanding method that contains the dust and whisks it outdoors to our truck-mounted container.
This dustless sanding process is great if you are refinishing your floors as well because it requires no chemicals to strip the old finish. It is environmentally friendly, and very convenient because you will not have to seal off the room or leave the home. We make sure the wood planks we are installing have had time to acclimate to the temperature and moisture levels in your home, so they fit perfectly.
Step 5: Staining and Finishing Your Hardwood Floors
Our multi-step staining & refinishing process ensures a fabulous final product. We carefully apply the stain which really brings out your floor’s personality. When the stain is dry, we finish the floor with several coats of an environmentally safe, durable, and quick-drying topcoat. You can choose from low luster to high gloss or anywhere in between. We screen, buff, and vacuum between refinishing coats for the absolute best results possible. Two to three hours after the finish is applied you can walk on the floor with stocking feet. No pets for 48 hours (about 2 days) or furniture for 7-10 days (until the floor is fully cured).
Our wood floor installers are experts in the industry. In fact, we have won many local and even a national award for our wood floor designs and installations. For our installers, it is not just a job, it is an art form.
How to Keep Your Hardwood Floor Beautiful
Because hardwood floors will last for decades, you will want to know what to do and what not to do once you have them in your home to keep them looking their best. Here are a few dos and don’ts for hardwood floor care:
After the floor is ready, you can move your furniture back in. We recommend putting felt pads under your furniture legs and feet to reduce any scratching.
Sweep or vacuum your floor often to get rid of dirt and grit that scratches the floor.
Place mats at entrances to catch dirt and grit. Do not use rubber-backed mats as these may discolor your floor.
Remove spills promptly with a soft damp or dry cloth. Sweep or vacuum for dry spills.
Always avoid walking on hardwood floors with cleats or high heels.
Trim your pets’ nails to avoid scratching.
Never slide furniture when moving or rearranging it. Lift and carry it instead.
Never use cleaning products not recommended for wood floors.
If your floor starts to look dull after a few years, call us for hardwood floor cleaning. It is non-abrasive and removes the toughest dirt and grime from your hardwood floors without hurting the finish.