Published at Friday, July 28th 2017. by Belda in Flooring.
Moisture is definitely a no-no when it comes to your hardwood floor. Even though you know that trees are grown from a major ingredient of water, you also know that water aids wood in changing its shape. Just for kicks, ask yourself this question: Would you wash down your intricately etched wood and antique finished dresser, curio or bedroom suit with any type of water solution? Your wooden floor needs that same type of care and attention in order to yield many years of comforting wood floor sheen, elegance and beauty.
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.
In this article we will be discussing several different categories of wood flooring. Solid wood flooring is one board with no glued up laminations; it is basically wood board that has been sized and profiled to a certain dimension. Engineered flooring has a on the top whatever species and texture you want, and this is glued to a plywood backer on the bottom. Engineered is still all wood but is made with multiple layers that are laminated for better stability and dimensional accuracy. Floors that we will not cover here are laminates or any composite products which are often not wood entirely through the plank or may be made with a photo printed surface. We also will not cover vinyl, carpet, stone, or tile.
One drawback is that this type of floor requires special hanger systems designed for the joists, to enable them to be hung from each other or against beams/bearing walls. Manufactured joists are becoming a popular flooring system, for they are relatively cheap, reduce labour time and provide adequate support. However, builders need to familiarize themselves with its installations, for poor installation can cause severe structural damage to the joists. A good example is a three point, center bearing joist, left with the top chord uncut, which can potentially fail or pull apart, over the center bearing point.
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+.