Wood Flooring: The Environmentally Friendly Flooring Material

What makes wood flooring the environmentally friendly flooring option?
To grow one pound of wood, a tree uses 1.47 pounds of carbon dioxide and gives off 1.07 pounds of oxygen. Consequently, an acre of trees can remove about 13 tons of dust and gases from the atmosphere. However, once a tree stops growing and begins to decay, the process reverses. For every pound of wood that decays, the tree uses 1.07 pounds of oxygen and releases 1.47 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.

When harvested at maturity, hardwood lumber not only decreases the amount of carbon emitted into the environment but also provides a durable and beautiful flooring material that the National Association of Home Builders notes will last 50+ years in a home.

Hardwood forests in the United States are healthier today than they were 50 years ago due to single-tree harvesting methods. By mirroring natural occurences, single tree selection is a long-established form of biomimicry that supports natural forest regeneration. Hardwood forests regenerate naturally and prolifically when sustainable forestry practices are utilized making tree planting unnecessary. These practices have been the predominant form of harvesting for many years which is why the supply of American hardwoods is nearly double what it was in 1950. Each year the amount of hardwood grown in American forests far surpasses the amount that is harvested.

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Brief overview of A Quality Wood Floor

Here is a brief overview of the different aspects of picking out a quality wood flooring product.

Raw Materials
This can be difficult to ascertain but it is important to note that quality products start with quality raw materials. In engineered flooring this pertains to the backing material (plywood for multiply products and wood fillets and backing veneers for 3ply products), the actual hardwood veneer, and the glues used to process the product into a piece of usable flooring.

How are the floors made? What type of equipment are they processed on? Flooring produced on high-end German machinery are more likely to have tight fitting tolerances and less over-wood (height differences) than product made on lower end machinery. Not to mention contractors will have less difficulty installing products that are easy to work with. That translates to less time they are working in your home.

Investment Value
Is the floor you are purchasing made in such a way that it can be expected to last a long time in your home? This pertains mostly to the thickness of the wear-layer on an engineered floor. Is there enough usable hardwood to be refinished multiple times so that a few years down the road you can have them re-sanded and finished rather than paying for removal and replacement of new flooring?

There are other considerations but these are a few key items to explore when choosing a floor for your home.

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Wood Floor Finishes

Wood flooring can be finished in numerous different ways. Some finishes are burnished into the wood, some are natural oils that harden over time, some are a top coating that actually builds a film of protective finish over the wood and others chemically bond to the wood fibers to seal the wood from being able to absorb moisture, dirt, etc.

First off there has been for some time now a renewed interest in very flat sheen levels on hardwood flooring. This is in some ways a throw back to what the old waxed wood floors looked like before the use of topical coatings became popular. Waxed floors generally have a very flat sheen as well as a depth of color that is difficult to achieve with a topical coating, especially the widely used waterbased top coatings in use today. This renewed trend in flatter sheens has brought to market some products that have been in use in the European market for some time that can achieve these looks while being easier to maintain than the wax finishes of yesterday.

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Tips to maintain your Real Wood Floors flooring

Follow these helpful tips to provide preventive maintenance to your Real Wood Floors flooring. It will extend the beauty and lifespan of your investment in the home.

  • Place a rug around sinks to prevent water damage.
  • During the winter months, use a humidifier to prevent gaps or cracks.
  • Avoid the common mistake of over-waxing the floor. Try buffing to bring back the shine.
  • With children, spills are common, make sure to wipe them up immediately with a damp towel to avoid staining.
  • Never use a wet mop. The standing water will dull the finish or worse, damage the wood.
  • Use rugs around doors to minimize dirt and debris scratching the wood floor.
  • Getting ready for an evening out? Carry the high heels to the front door, they can dent a wood floor.
  • Never slide furniture across a wood floor. Pick it up to protect the floor.
  • Put glides like the options available at Rockler under your furniture to avoid scuffing.
  • Never use vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Especially self-polishing acrylic waxes that will dull quickly and loaded with chemicals that can harm the floor.

The more time you spend caring for your wood floor, the longer the floor will maintain its beauty and style.Tsianfan industry has a team dedicated to providing you with the most cost effective solutions for design and manufacturing Flooring display racks.More info ,please click our website:flooringdisplaystand.com.

Protect Your Wood Floors From Added Foot Traffic

If you have family or friends planning to visit, for holiday festivities or just regular festivities, don’t forget to give your wood floors some extra care and attention. The added foot traffic means extra wear and tear on your floors. The following tips can help you make sure your wood floors are properly protected as you welcome guests into your home.

If you have wood floors in your kitchen, be sure to protect areas near the refrigerator, sink, dishwasher and stove with area rugs to avoid water and food stains. Place rugs or floor mats near any entrance into your home so guests can wipe their feet and keep any harsh materials from making their way onto your wood floors. You may also want to asks guests to remove their shoes when entering your home. If you need to move furniture to make room for extra guests, be sure to use felt pads on table and chair legs to avoid scratching your wood floors. If you have wood flooring in areas of your home that you anticipate seeing high traffic, you may want to use area rugs in those rooms as well.

These tips can help ensure that your wood floors maintain their finish and shine, even under added foot traffic. Taking these few extra steps to protect your floors can also help ensure that you can enjoy your time togetherwith family and friends without worrying about the safety of your floor.

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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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