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6 Myths About Wood Flooring and Its Maintenance
1. 'Wood Floors Are Expensive'
Well, they cost more than pretty much any other alternative on the market, no questions about it. But let’s distinguish cost and cost-effectiveness. A fine solid wood floor can be refinished multiple times and last around a hundred years if you maintain it properly. There are examples of hardwood floors which have lasted for around three hundred years. If we are to summarise, we’d say such a beautiful and durable surface in your home guarantees you a long-term strength and longevity. Of course, you can always buy a cheap laminate and see how long does it last but the results probably won’t be to your liking.
2. 'Wood Floors Are Not Eco-Friendly'
People are understandably concerned about mass deforestation. There are non-profit organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council who supervises a responsible treatment of the forests. Floor manufacturers accredited by FSC have to keep up to certain standards and show they hadn’t harmed the woodland or the wildlife inhabiting it in a negative way. Wood has to come from somewhere, that is true, but how much you cut and how you cut it can make a huge difference. A responsibly managed forest may actually be growing in size because planting new trees is the best way to ensure you have a sustainable resource.
3. 'Wood Floors Are Hard to Maintain'
Excessive moisture is the number one enemy for any product vulnerable to water. Timber is no exception. Does that make the cleaning and the maintenance of a hardwood floor harder? Not in the least! You just have to know how to avoid certain circumstances when cleaning it. Steam mops, for example, are not a good idea. Damp, not wet mops, are an acceptable alternative. Regular cleaning is very easy - sweep, vacuum or dust mop while paying a bit more attention to any dirt or grit left between the floorboards and it is done!
4. 'Wood Floors Are Easy to Mark, Dent or Scratch'
Time is unforgiving. Contrary to the statement above, wood is holding pretty well as long as the protective coating hasn’t worn off. There are two main types of finish – oil and lacquer. Lacquers are more popular because they protect the surface better. Oils soak into the wood itself but provide lesser durability. The good news is that the finish is getting scratched and worn out, not the timber itself. As long as the damage isn’t too severe, you can always polish your floor and if the finish has faded too much - sanding is an ever-present option.
5. 'Wood Floors Are Bad Choice If You Have Pets'
Pets can cause two major problems. First, their claws can scratch the surface of the floor. This can be prevented by regularly trimming their nails. Some homeowners simply go for distressed floors where every dent and scratch is actually part of the floor's character instead of a flaw. Second, some animals happen to have ‘accidents’ and the ammonium in their urine can discolour the affected areas. If you cannot wipe it fast enough use hydrogen peroxide as it can usually help remove the stain.
It also depends on the type of timber. Keep in mind that there are many different wood types with unique properties. Durability and strength vary from species to species. For example, a walnut will have a hardness rating of 1,010 lbf according to the Janka scale while some exotic woods can reach more than 3 times that number! Naturally, they will be harder to wear and tear.
6.'Engineered Wood Is Not Real Wood!'
Engineered floors are real wood! They are usually made out of multiple ply layers with a hardwood veneer on top. Once installed, engineered boards are almost indistinguishable from solid wood planks. One of the main reasons people may claim that engineered flooring is not real wood is because they confuse it with laminate. Laminate also has multiple layers but with a high-density fibreboard core and printed image of timber on the top.
As parting words, let us say that wood is attractive, valuable and desired flooring material. If you seek something fashionable and durable at the same time you need to look no further!