Why wood floors?
Step on any wood floor and you'll appreciate the warm and inviting tones and colors. As one of the world’s most versatile floor coverings not only do you get traditional beauty but also practical advantages.
- Lasting good looks.
- Resists stains, including wine and food.
- Warm to the touch.
- Easy on your feet.
- Easy to clean.
- Fully restorable
- Hygienic & dust free, especially good for allergy sufferers. And leading allergists agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home.
What's the Value?
Like a fine piece of furniture, wood flooring increases in value and becomes more beautiful with time. In a national survey, 90 percent of real estate agents said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for more money.
Because of its renewability, hardwood flooring can actually cost a lot less than other types of flooring. If it’s not hardwood, you’re generally left with one option when flooring gets worn: you replace it. With hardwood, you have three options. Use a refresher to liven up the shine, lightly screen and recoat with urethane to bring back the original luster or completely sand and refinish the surface to make your floor look brand new.
Are Wood Floors Green?
This is by far my favorite question. Many of our clients ask us for bamboo floors, because they are green, and I have to agree with them. It is green; however the truth is that any wood floor is green as well. Bamboo is just a Chinese Green that is overpriced for what it is, and is not helping our economy in the USA. Also a lot of people tell me that we are destroying the forest cutting wood. This is also misleading information. I have a BA in Agriculture Engineering and a Nature lover and these are the real facts:
- In the USA we have more trees and forests than 50 years ago, all due to reforestation and management. We are producing more than we can consume and at the same time providing more habitats to other species. By 1996, timber growth surpassed the removal of trees by 47 %. As well, the improved efficiency of wood harvesting and manufacturing has also contributed to the stability of U.S. forests during the previous 50 years.
- The beginning of 2009 Congress passed a law that any wood to enter the US has to come from a certified forest. This means from a forest that has been renewed. This will force other Countries to go the same route as the USA. This is happening already in Brazil.
- The most important fact is that an untouched forest does not do anything for the environment. Trees only take the CO2 from the air when they are growing to build their mass. A forest that is stable stops taking the CO2 from the air. It consumes as much as it produces. When we cut mature trees and let new ones grow in its place, we are constantly removing the CO2 from the atmosphere, and storing it in lumber form.
- If we want to be green, we should eat less red meat. There are 1.4 billion cows worldwide, each producing 500 liters of methane a day and accounting for 14% of all emissions of the gas. Methane has 23 times the warming potential of CO2 so reducing its emission as important as reducing carbon dioxide from cars and industries. Maybe more important because the millions of acres of cattle pasture can easily be converted to managed forests to retrieve the CO2 from our atmosphere and provide ecosystems for other species of plants and animals.
In conclusion, wood floors are the greenest floors that we can have. Much more than tile and marble, because to produce tile we burn an absurd amount of fuel, and to cut and polish marble an equal amount of energy, and no retrieving of CO2.
Are Wood Floors Healthy?
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that indoor air quality is one of our top health threats. Installed in the home or elsewhere, wood floors help contribute to a healthy living environment. Hard surface flooring such as hardwood floors does not rap or harbor dust mites or molds. That creates better air quality for all inhabitants, but especially for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from allergies. The hard surface of wood floors also helps avoid artificial substances such as pesticides that can accumulate on some floor coverings. A recent EPA study found that pesticides used in gardens and homes accumulate on floors and other surfaces in the home, but that wood floors greatly reduce the accumulation of such toxins. Another concern for the home environment is the off-gassing of toxins that results from some synthetic materials. Any of these chemicals can make people in the home chronically ill.
Are Wood Floors good in Florida?
I have to say that the tile and marble people did a very good job selling this idea. At least 80% of my clients ask me this question. This is absolutely not true, and very easy to prove.
Up north in the USA, almost every house has hardwood floors. During the winter everybody has to use an in house heater that dries the house and consequently the wood shrinks a bit. During the summer, a lot of people do not even have ACs, and it is as hot and humid as in Florida, as a result the wood expands a bit. So during the year the wood expands and contracts as nature made it to do. Well in our sunshine state it is basically the same weather all year around, so the wood stays mostly the same. Due to the fact that we use the AC generally all year around we recommend bringing the wood two weeks before installation for acclimation. It will dry a bit under the AC before we install it. During the winter if you do not like AC, just open the windows, no problem. The humidity problem do not come from the air; it comes from the concrete slab. For this reason we never glue down wood floors, we always put moisture barriers under our sub-floor and another over, and never a problem. Another proof is the enormous amount of houses built on the 50’ here in Florida with real wood floors. We refinish these on a regular basis and they look beautiful and brand new. Not bad for a floor that is on its 50’!
How to Clean and Care for Wood Floors?
In the contrary of what many people think wood floors are easy to care for. First you vacuum to remove sand and big particles then you mop with a micro fiber lightly dump. At the same time spray good quality wood floor cleaner like BONA. The secret is to mop it always in one direction and turn the mop on the end and keep the front of it always to the front. Basically in a zigzag motion. Wood floors have no grout to get dirt, and its smooth finish makes it difficult for dirt to stick to it. (BONA floor cleaners can be found in Lowe's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart and other retail Stores)
Do Hard Wood Floors Scratches?
I always say to my costumers that wood floors basically scratches on the first week. That is because most scratches happens when people, specially movers are pulling and pushing furniture, and contractors are finishing jobs like plumbing, cabinet installations, painters and they don't care about your wood floors....
What is the best type of wood floors?
Every type of wood floor has advantages and disadvantages. Engineered is not better than solid and solid is not better than engineered. It all depends on the situation, application and your personal preference. We can help you make an intelligent decision on your purchase.