5. Hardwood Floor Sizing: From Strips to Planks
- Thickness: 1/2" to 3/4".
- Width - Strip Flooring: 1 1/2", 2 1/4", 2 1/2"
- Width - Plank: Six inches or wider.
6. Staining Your Unfinished Hardwood FloorStaining and sealing are separate steps. While sealing is mandatory, staining is not.
7. Sealing: Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring?Increasingly, solid hardwood floors are sold as pre-finished, with a factory-applied aluminum oxide/polyurethene coating. Unfinished wood flooring is becoming a rarity. When making a decision about pre-finished vs. unfinished hardwood flooring, consider these points:
- Pre-finished flooring takes the noxious finishing process out of the home and into a factory.
- Unfinished flooring allows you to choose the finish treatment rather than having it chosen for you.
- Pre-finished wood flooring typically comes with a microbevel between floorboards.
- By finishing your hardwood flooring after installation, the sealant can cover the seams between the boards, providing a tighter surface.
8. InstallationReal, honest-to-God solid hardwood installs by nail or staple through the product's tongue and groove. End pieces, where tongue-and-groove fastening is impossible due to space, are face-nailed.
Because special equipment must be purchased or rented, and then you must learn how to operate this equipment, it is advisable to hire professional floor installers.
9. MaintenanceWater, pets, and kids are the enemies of solid hardwood floors. Fortunately, scratches inflicted by the latter two are sandable (see below).
Water is a more serious matter. But given quick enough action, even flooded hardwood floors can be saved.
10. Sanding Your Solid Hardwood FlooringThe true beauty of solid hardwood--and the factor that distinguishes it from all other types of flooring--is that is can be repeatedly sanded.
- Drum Sander: The "beast" of floor sanders, the drum sander is capable of ripping a quarter-inch off of your solid hardwood floor in the blink of an eye.
- Orbital Sander: A lighter sander that is easier to operate. Yet deep sanding is not possible.