Published at Saturday, July 29th 2017. by Aveline in Flooring.
Undoubtedly you`ve seen wood floors where it seems that the edges or seams of boards joined together curl up or the width of a board creates a bow like upward arc in the middle. These are indications of moisture damage to a wooden floor. For example, there have even been instances where moisture damage caused floor boards to arc together to raise a full length sofa about three feet into the air. That was merely from the curl effect and strength of water on wooden floor boards. So, by all means do dry any spills to keep moisture and liquids away from your wooden floors.
Dust, grit and moisture are gifts of nature and we all have to deal with them. Grit which stems from sand or dirt being tracked from the outdoors on the surface works like sandpaper on the floor finish. Dust mites, balls and the like are merely pulverized bits of dirt which in essence acts in the same way as grit over the long haul on your floors. Once your floor finish gets damaged grit and dust left on the surface tend to discolor the hardwood while being ground into the surface pores with each step made on top of it like a hammer pounding stroke after stroke.
Fourth, factor in the cost of refinishing the floor later or doing touchups. This is a whole another article. Some finishes can be spot touched up like some of the oils while others require a full sand over the whole floor. Some finishes require a professional installer and may have extreme odor during the cure. If you live with the floor for very long, factor these decisions in for the type of finish to choose for lifetime durability and the cost & effort to refinish.
Are you going to be able to enforce the warranty? Also, do you really think that a finish can last a lifetime? For example take a nail and try scraping it across the surface. Sure it is a durable, well applied finish, but it is impossible to make a product that won`t get abused at some point in its lifetime. Do you think that the only serious trial your floor will ever see is a stinky sock? Read the fine print on the warranty and regardless of what it says consider the true replacement cost on the floor. It probably only covers the cost of material of the specific damaged product under normal wear and tear. Your product may not be made exactly the same later (trends and product lines change) to replace the section that is warrantied, so you may have to replace the whole floor years later. You will have labor cost along with displacement of trim, cabinets, and appliances. Also most of these lifetime finishes cannot be repaired or sanded because of a micro bevel put on the edge of prefinished floor. Our advice is instead to buy a quality product that can be refinished and repaired because something will go wrong in the lifetime of the floor; don`t get a false sense of security.
We personally do not care for prefinished flooring due to installation problems associated with it, so our product requires site applied finish. This means that your floor finish if site applied will be easier to sand and refinish than a prefinished floor. Also you do not have to deal with that micro bevel groove between each board that tends to fill up with dust and crumbs. Most prefinished hardwood floors really can`t be refinished easily. To sand it off means that the wear layer has to be thicker than the height of the nails and have room to sand off the micro bevel between boards; that amounts to a lot of sanding. You also will not be able to spot sand or touch up parts of the floor.
So, a top quality oak engineered flooring will look the same but will it actually last as long?. How long a floor will last is mostly down to something called its `wear layer`. The part of the floor that is classed as the wear layer is from the surface of the board down to the tongue and on a solid oak board this would be around 5-6mm. Now, the wear layer on engineered wood flooring is the top layer of oak. So if you purchase an engineered oak flooring which has a 5-6mm solid oak top layer it will result in the flooring lasting just as long. In conclusion if you want an engineered flooring that is going to last as long as a traditional solid oak floor then make sure it has a nice thick top layer of wood, ideally 5mm+.