Controlling Humidity Levels To Avoid Flooring Problems

Because it is a natural product, hardwood floors respond to temperatures and humidity levels in your home. For example, when the humidity level in your home is high, wood flooring expands. On the other hand, when humidity levels drop, the flooring in your residence will contract.

The reality is that this cycle of expanding and contracting can actually cause unnecessary and damaging wear and tear to your wood floors over time if the levels are extreme enough. There are tactics that you can and should consider employing to address the issue of rising and lowering humidity levels in your home as a means of prolonging the life and luster of your hardwood floors.

Install Humidity Controls Before Placing Hardwood Floors
If you are planning installing hardwood floors, you can be proactive when it comes to rising and lowering humidity levels. Before you have your hardwood floors installed in your residence, you can first have a humidity control system added to your home.

This type of system is the only real way in which you can garner continuous and reliable control over fluctuating humidity levels. Although there are some other strategies that can be employed to control humidity levels in your residence, an automated system is your best bet. Once it is programmed, it really does all the work for you.

Optimal humidity in a residence is between 40 and 60 percent. If it deviates beyond this zone, hardwood flooring can be impacted in a negative manner.

Controlling Humidity in Wintertime
In the wintertime, particularly when the heater is on in the residence. humidity levels drop. When humidity levels drop, wood contracts. This can result in gaps between the planks of a hardwood floor.

If the home lacks a humidity control system, a portable humidifier can be placed in the room or rooms that hard hardwood flooring. In the alternative, in the absence of an installed humidity control system, a humidifier can be added to the furnace.

Controlling Humidity in Summertime
In the summertime, humidity levels can rise significantly inside a home. Humidity levels can rise as high as 90 percent in some instances based upon your home’s location.

High humidity results in an expansion of wood. It can result in planking, as has been discussed. If this persists, the wood planks that make up a wood floor can lose their integrity and become damaged permanently.

In the absence of a humidity control system, a homeowner should look at installing a dehumidifier to control rising humidity levels.

Dealing with Floor Cupping
Cupping is the ultimate problem you may experience with hardwood floors when you have humidity issues in your home. Cupping occurs when hardwood floors bows up, usually rather slightly, but noticeably.

In addition to humidity being a potential cause of cupping, it can also be caused by a plumbing leak, usually in the basement under the floor. In most cases, cupping corrects itself when the source of the moisture, a leak or humidity issue, is corrected.

If cupping is more than minimal, some additional work may be need to be done on the floor in order to restore it to a normal condition. It may need to be sanded and refinished. Keep in mind, however, that the floor must be completely dry before the restorative processes are commenced.

Domestic Versus Exotic Wood Flooring
A homeowner needs to keep in mind that some of the more exotic types of wood flooring is more susceptible to cupping and other problems associated with variable humidity levels. Domestic woods tend to be heartier and less susceptible to significant issues associated with humidity fluctuations.

Contact a Flooring Specialist
If you find yourself having problems controlling your interior environment in your home, do not hesitate to consult a specialist. You invested a good deal of money in your hardwood floors. You do not want your floors to suffer permanent damage because of an issue like humidity levels that truly can be regulated and controlled.

Your Health and Humidity
There is a major side benefit to getting humidity levels under control beyond taking care of your hardwood floors. A constant humidity level is believed to improve the health of residents in a home. This includes lowering the incidence of lung related issues and other maladies like the cold and flu.

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Three key types of hardwood flooring

There are three key types of hardwood flooring: solid, longstrip, and engineered.

Solid wood floors are typically a single plank of wood, with “tongues” and “grooves” that allow the pieces to connect. Solid floors are extremely moisture sensitive, and generally nailed down to ward off humidity fluctuations. As we’ve discussed before, seasonal moisture shifts cause wood to contract and expand—cold weather causes wood to shrink, while more humid climates cause wood to expand. Because of this, expansion space should be considered when placing your planks.

Longstrip and engineered floors share a key trait: both are composed of multiple sheets (called “plies”) of wood pieced together to create a single plank. For longstrip flooring, the core of the piece is usually a more pliable, softer wood. The top layer, however, can be any number of hardwood species. Longstrip production creates an interesting effect—a board a few planks wide and many planks long. Each piece resembles a single preassembled chunk of the floor. One advantage of longstrip floors is that they’re easily replaced if they’ve suffered irreparable damage.

The layers which make up Engineered floors are arranged in opposing directions. This is often known as “cross-ply” construction. This method effectively guards the flooring against moisture-related problems. The planks’ arrangement causes the expansions and contractions to counter one another, limiting or reducing the amount of cupping and crowning a floor can exhibit when exposed to differing levels of humidity. Engineered floors are versatile, allowing them to be installed in any part of the home whether it be the basement or directly on slab. These floors can be stapled, glued, nailed, or even floated over existing subfloors.

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How to protect hardwood floors from rolling office chairs?

Are you concerned about the appearance of your hardwood floors becoming ruined by office chairs? This is a legitimate concern for many hardwood floor owners who enjoy sporting hardwood floors in their office, either at work or even at home.

Rolling office chairs undoubtedly overtime will leave marks on your hardwood floors unless you take proactive steps in an effort to prevent this issue from occurring. Scuff marks are the number one issue, which occur from wear and tear moving back and forth, especially if your chair has hard casters on it.

Follow our advice below to prevent shredding your hardwood floor from rolling office chairs.

1. Check Your Chair’s Casters/Wheels

Check out your chair’s casters, or wheels, and see if they feel hard or not. Chances are they will be hard as most are made from hard plastic or hard nylon.Replacing them with a softer alternative is what we recommend. Softer alternatives include rubber, urethane, and neoprene options. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully in order to replace your casters.If this is too daunting of a task, then we have an easier approach you could try. Place a layer of duct tape around the caster’s circumference and this will lesson the impact on the floor.

2. Utilizing Area Rugs or Chair Mats

Look in to purchasing a chair mat for your rolling office chair. This will keep the wheels on the mat and off of your hardwood floors. If you find yourself moving your chair around often and in wide space, then consider purchasing a larger area rug instead. Rugs of woven material are recommended.

3. Maintenance

Maintenance goes a long way. By consistently keeping your floors clean from debris, as well as your chair’s rollers or casters, very little damage will happen to your floors. Combine this with the other 2 options we suggested above and your office floors will shine for many years!

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How to Protect Your Floors/Furniture from Exposure to Sunlight

If you’ve ever had an upholstered sofa or a decorative rug in front of a window and noticed it fading more and more each year, you know what direct sunlight can do to your furniture and belongings. You might not realize that it can actually even change the color of your wood floors and bleach your artwork and family portraits. Sun damage isn’t only unsightly, though. It is also costly and will likely force you to replace your rugs and other home furnishings more often. While you might not be able to slather a layer of sunscreen on your sofa, there are a number of preventive measures you can take to ward off sun damage. Use these tips to protect your belongings and save yourself a little money while you’re at it.
What Is the Best Form of Protection?

Obviously, some measures of protection are relatively common sense, such as keeping your curtains closed and blinds drawn. However, if you’re like most of us and don’t want to feel like you’re living in a dungeon, you may want to consider other options.

Windows – One of your first lines of defense is your windows themselves. If you are in the process of building a new home or upgrading your windows in your existing home, a great option for your windows is laminated or low-e coated glass. Some manufacturers claim their products made with this type of glass can filter as much as 99 percent of harmful UV radiation. Keep in mind, though, that this option may cost more than traditional windows.

Window Film – Window film is another option to consider if you’re not in the market for replacing all of your windows. Not only does this film filter UV light, but it also makes windows resistant to breaking and facilitates less heat loss. If your main concern is sun damage, then focus on UV protection when you are selecting films. You can purchase window film from a local home improvement center and install it yourself, or have a professional complete the install.

Floor Protection – Sun exposure lightens certain types of wood and darkens other. Be sure to move furniture around regularly so as to create more even sun exposure throughout the room. Likewise, consider applying a sun-resistant sealant on your wood floors. Depending on the type of floors you have and the look you’d like to achieve, you can use varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, or shellac. There are also several wax and oil finishes that will protect your wood floors.

Carpet and Rug Maintenance – Rugs and carpets are also highly susceptible to sun damage. You may want to consider applying a spray-on protector, though their efficacy has come under debate in recent years. Likewise, rotating your rugs and moving furniture around periodically can help equalize fading.

While you may not be able to completely eliminate sun damage to your floors and furniture, you can prevent and reduce a great deal of it. Follow these tips to minimize damage and keep your floors and furniture as pristine as possible for as long as you can.

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Guide to Choosing the Perfect Floor for Your Home

Choosing the perfect flooring for your house can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure about the material that suit your requirements the best. To come to a decision, you need to know about the pros and cons of using a particular material for your floors. You can select the type of floors you need, depending on the usage of the room. You may also want to keep in mind the overall aesthetics of your home. The floors should match the theme that you have set for all your rooms.

Materials that are popular

Stone floors are a favorite since they are sturdy as well as stylish. They are cool and comfortable to walk on, making them a good choice especially for warmer locations. Since they are natural, they have their own unique colors and patterns.

Granite is one of the hardest stones that can be used for floors. It has a natural shine to it and is very resilient. However, it tends to be rather cold, which may not be suited for a cooler climate. The right marble can make your home look stunning with its polish and attractive patterns. It is a little softer when compared to granite due its porosity, which is why it can get easily scratched. Slate is another tough material, and tends to have a darker hue. Limestone is a hardened, calciferous stone, and often looks like wood, making it a trendy choice.

Ceramic tiles and vinyl tiles are also widely used because of their huge variety of colors. However, they may not be as resistant to cracking and staining.

Choosing material according to the room

Depending on the room, you can decide how strong a material you’ll need for your floors. If it’s a room that will be used by a lot of people, you could use something like slate or granite. Bathrooms are a place where you would want to use something that can absorb moisture, and limestone is one of the best choices. Marble too, is popular when it comes to bathroom floors.
Ceramic floors are good for rooms where you entertain guests. Due to the availability of a variety of shades and colors, they can be easily blended in with the theme of the room. However, care should be taken to select those which offer more durability.
The kitchen is yet another room where durability is the most important aspect. Granite and linoleum are good choices. They are easy to clean if spilled on, and require less maintenance. A lot of people also opt for hardwood floor, but the material needs to be given a proper finish to avoid any possible damage caused by moisture.

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How to prevent hardwood floors from fading over time?

First you must understand the 2 factors that cause hardwood floors to change color at all:

1. Exposure to sunlight.
2. Applied finishes and/or stains.

Minimizing exposure to sunlight.

The key here is to reduce your hardwood floor’s exposure to sunlight. The best way to accomplish this is by covering up your windows, as windows are the main source of sunlight to your floors. Blinds, drapes, or shutters all work very well. More costly options include upgrading your windows to low emissivity glass or window film, but work very well at keeping UV rays and IR light at bay.

Outside of windows, you may also utilize furniture and rugs to your advantage. By constantly moving rugs and furniture around, you spread he sunlight across all areas of the wood, which will slow down the fading process greatly. Also, it can be very fun to move your interior around every so often – it’s a nice change of pace.

Choosing the right finish.

Lastly, let’s talk about finishes. Oil-based finishes bring out very rich colors in your floors, but will yellow over time for a slightly amber appearance. Some people may be very pleased with this. However, if you’re absolutely concerned about maintaining your hardwood floor’s original color, then we recommend applying a water-based finish, which essentially remains clear the entire time, minimizing any long term fading that may occur.

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Should I install hardwood floors myself or pay someone to do it?

Installing hardwood floors is not as easy as taking a staple gun and connecting boards together. The process is much more complicated. And in certain conditions and climates, it can add an extra layer of difficulty.

Here are a few things to consider first and foremost.

Why We Recommend Against Installing Hardwood Floors Yourself

1. The raw materials are not as easy to replace in case you make a mistake.

Unlike painting a wall, or replacing your kitchen cabinets, the raw materials of hardwood floors are expensive. This means that if you decide to take the task upon yourself and run into a mistake along the way requiring you to use another board, you’ll be making costly mistakes.

2. Special tools are required.

You’re going to need a lot more than just a hammer and nail to get the job done. Many power and hand tools are required for a successful installation of hardwood floors. Just to give you an idea, here’s a list of tools required on the job:

• Saws of all types for getting the right dimensions of boards and planks
• Hygrometers for testing moisture levels – very important• Staplers
• Sanders
• Glue adhesives
• Floor leveling tools
• Air compressors

• Knee pads to prevent wear and tear on your knees
• Nail guns
• Buffers
• Adhesive removers & glue adhesives

Many other tools are required; this is just a basic list of what’s needed. Chances are, you won’t really be saving much money in the long run if you decide to install hardwood floors yourself, but lack all of the necessary tools.

3. Extra working knowledge is required.

If you’re literally working from scratch without having any prior knowledge of either hardwood floors or installation projects in general, then the likelihood of making a costly mistake along the way will be very high. We don’t recommend this be a project you decide to challenge yourself on, unless you truly know what you are doing.

You’ll need to know information such as how to center rooms, how much space should be left for gaps, how do I work around closets, fireplaces, staircases, etc.

By leaving the entire job to a professional, you’ll be certain to have the job done well & correctly from the start. If any mistakes happen, it’s on the professional to correct them on their own dime.Tsianfan industry has a team dedicated to providing you with the most cost effective solutions for design and manufacturing wood flooring display rack.More info ,please click our website:flooringdisplaystand.com

The three phases of flooring installation

There are basically three phases to a flooring installation :phase one, floor prep;phase two,installation of the floor; phase three, the finishing details, are the most important.

Phase 1
Phase one, floor prep, means making sure your substrate is clean, flat and dry. This is critical to any installation. For soft surfaces, making sure you have backed up or replaced any loose tack strip or old metals will make your carpet job smooth and relatively stress-free. There is nothing more frustrating when you are power-stretching carpet than to have popping tack strip.

For hard surface installations, not properly flattening, sealing and prepping your floor is usually the difference between being a pro and a weekend warrior. If while working on a floating install, you feel like you’re walking on a trampoline, then you probably left your 10’ straight edge at home. At this point you better stop what you’re doing, go home and get it. Pull up what you have done and fix it now, as fixing it later will take much more time and cost much more money.

Phase 2
Phase two is the actual installation of the floor. Sure, it looks pretty easy when you watch them do it on the DIY channel, which is why so many homeowner’s attempt to do it themselves. How hard can it be, right? Well, what they don’t realize is when you are paying for a quality installation, you are really paying for an excellent job not just in phase two, the install, but phases one (floor prep) and phase three (finishing details).

Phase 3
Properly installed base boards, quarter round, base shoe, T-moldings,  scribe moldings and other trims will make the difference , and set you apart from the DIYers. If you really want to set yourself apart from other installers, learn to stain and finish your own trims.

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Cause of Squeaky Floors

Squeaks are a common issue with hardwood flooring and have a number of causes. Squeaks can occur between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor or even between the subfloor and the floor joists. Solid wood floor joists can shrink ¼”. If the subfloor isn’t glued properly to the floor joist, it can create a gap between the subfloor and the floor joist and cause a squeak.
Why a subfloor matters for hardwood flooring

A subfloor, especially OSB can shrink when exposed to a dry environment, which is quite common above main heat ducts. This causes the subfloor to loosen its grip on the fastener. This is especially the case if the subfloor has been exposed to moisture prior to installation, because the subfloor would have expanded and then shrunk excessively.

Another cause of squeaks is an uneven or unlevel subfloor. If there is a dip in the subfloor, the wood flooring may not bend and contour to the subfloor and the fasteners may not hold properly. The void between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor at this section may create deflection and cause a squeak.

What cupping and settling does for squeaks in hardwood flooring

Squeaks can also occur in a hardwood floor that has cupped and then settled back down. When the floor cups, the boards edges are raised, which loosens the fasteners making them less effective and creating movement between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor.

Lack of fasteners in hardwood flooring

The most obvious cause of squeaks is a lack of fasteners. If an installer runs out of fasteners in a section of the floor or if there is an inadequate number of fasteners, there will be squeaks. When the wood flooring naturally shrinks and expands, it requires an adequate amount of fasteners to hold it in place of it will become loose and squeak. None of this is to be confused with the “Snap, Crackle, Pop” effect that occurs in every brand new hardwood floor.

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Different types of floorings to make your home look elegant

If you are planning to renovate your home then you can try out different types of floorings. They are stylish and unique. Popular ones are oak flooring, wood flooring, Hardwood Flooring.
There are many online stores that deal in different types of interior decoration items. These stores are generally by interior designers who over the years have decorated many homes and offer an expertise outlook and finish to ones homes. If you check out these sites you will see that they cover almost all the aspects of a home starting from the ceiling to the floors. In short you will get everything out there. So if you are planning to renovate your house but have no idea how to go about it then it is best to check out these sites and speak to the designers.
The best idea is if you check out the different sites and then select a few on the basis of the items that they offer. Accordingly call up the interior designers and fix an appointment with them. During your face to face interaction show them the interiors of your house and tell them what exactly you are looking for. Most of us want to give our home a unique and different look that is not easily seen so that everyone who visits our house praises our home a lot.
A great way to give a new and completely different look is by opting for different styles of floors for your home. Generally the floorings of one’s house is mosaic and as such they lack any depth. What you can do is opt for wood flooring. This type of flooring will look great if you want to give your home an old world charm. As the floor is made out of wood they are easy to maintain and clean. Even if they get dirty or there are somestains on the floor, you can easily clean it by only using a cleaning agent and a piece of cloth. These type of floors comes in different shades of brown –dark, light and so on. Depending on the color of the walls and the overall look of the house you can easily pick and choose the color that you would like to opt for.There are other varieties as well from which you can pick and choose. Oak flooring and hardwood flooring are the other popular varieties that you can check out.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and check out the stores. Find out the costin volved. See what the designers have got to say. In fact you need to be sure that if you opt for these type of floorings you will be able to maintain the look and style. Don’t opt for it simply.You need to be completely sure as well.