Published at Monday, July 31st 2017. by Belda in Flooring.
Hardwood flooring is often a generic term that could apply to any type of wood flooring. Hardwood trees (oak, maple, cherry, walnut, elm, chestnut) are generally trees that had leaves which fall off in the winter. Softwood trees (pine, fir) have needles that may stay on all year and usually they produce cones. Hardwoods are usually more dense and more durable than softwoods. Of course, there are exceptions to these generalities. In our product line the hardwoods cost more than the softwoods.
Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4", 6",8" or 12". They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called "thinset adhesive"), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2" normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called "cement board", which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.
With reclaimed material waste factor is a huge variable. How much effort does the manufacturer take to give you a 100% usable product? Poorly milled with very little defecting and culling done on a solid wood floor that costs $6/sf and has a 15% waste factor actually costs more than a similar product that is milled better costing $7/sf with a 2% waste factor. That extra wastes costs more in shipping and labor to defect. This is one of the hardest things to demonstrate to a customer that the face value costs doesn`t necessarily represent the actual raw material cost unless one is truly comparing identical quality and specified products.
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.
Strip floors, were once the most popular type of sub-floor installed. But with the introduction of manufactured sheathing products, it has become less utilized. Strip floors consist of 1" by 6" or 8" boards, placed diagonally over the floor joist framing system. It is slightly more expensive to install, and requires experienced tradesmen. To install such floors properly, the lumber should be non-kiln dried, with a relatively high moisture content. This may seem odd, but in reality, as the wood dries out, it will shrink.
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.