Expectations are extremely important with large purchase items like flats. This is especially true with hardwood floors. There is no doubt that a new hardwood floor will add a dimension of beauty and warmth to your home. Many consumers are unaware that hardwood floors have some unique characteristics that make them not the perfect choice for everyone. This article is not intended to discourage you from buying a hardwood floor, but these four little-known facts about hardwood floors should be considered before you make a purchase:

1) Hardwood floors are guaranteed to scratch

There are various finishes that manufacturers put on hardwood floors to make them more scratch resistant. The most popular finish these days is aluminum oxide. Hardwood floors also typically carry a 5 to 50 year wear warranty. However, wear warranties generally only guarantee that the veneer will not wear out completely. There are no guarantees against scratches in the wood flooring business. All hardwood floors, regardless of the finish treatment or quality of the wood, will be susceptible to surface scratching. With that being said, be sure to prepare your home for a hardwood floor prior to installation. It’s a good idea to use furniture protectors, mats, and rugs to protect hardwood floors from scratches. Also, you may want to consider installing tiles at the entrances, as this is the area where the most traffic usually occurs. If there are large pets or children in the house, you may want to consider looking for a laminate floor, which is much more resistant to scratches.

2) Hardwood floors are guaranteed to bleed

Wood floors are by no means a soft product, but they can be susceptible to dents from heavy use or drops. No hardwood floor is dent-proof, but different species of wood have different degrees of hardness. The Janka test is used to measure the hardness of a species of wood. Using this test, species of wood are scored based on the force required to embed a steel ball into the wood. It is said that the higher the score, the better the species of wood with permanent dents and wear. Northern red oak, the most common wood species used for flooring, is the standard by which all other species are measured. It has a score of 1,290. There are species of wood that score over 3,000 on this test, and while they may wear better with daily use, they will probably dent if something heavy like a hammer or food can is dropped on it. wood. . If you’re really concerned about your floors’ ability to resist indentations, you have other options. There are high-pressure laminates and “wood-look” porcelain products that are much more resistant to pressure and wear. Also, an aged or hand-scraped hardwood floor will do a better job of hiding dents and other wear and tear in your floor.

3) Hardwood floors are guaranteed to age

The aging of most floor coverings is generally related to the way a floor loses its shine over time due to wear and tear on the floor. If I were to say, “Your carpet has aged,” you’d think it’s time to buy a new carpet. However, one of the most unique attributes of hardwood floors is their ability to look better over time. Hardwood floors already come with a lot of character and natural beauty. With proper maintenance, normal use and traffic should add to the beautiful character of your hardwood floor. A real hardwood floor can also be refinished to restore its original luster and shine. This is something that cannot be done on wood-look products like laminate, vinyl, and porcelain.

These are all good attributes, but what I really want to mention in this section is the photosensitivity of hardwood floors. Wood tends to change color over time when exposed to sunlight. In fact, some hardwood floors can take up to a year and a half to mature to their full color. Other floor coverings, on the other hand, can be vulnerable to fading or discoloration when exposed to prolonged sunlight. So while sunlight makes other floor coverings look older over time, it beautifies hardwood floors, allowing them to achieve their true color. This is an important attribute for consumers to know, because a newly laid hardwood floor will not always look like the sample you saw in the showroom, allowed to reach its full color.

Consumers should also be aware of moving their rugs and furniture periodically to prevent discoloration. Exotic hardwoods and hardwoods with a natural finish tend to be the most photosensitive. Most hardwoods darken and get bolder over time, but some woods like Santos mahogany actually turn lighter in sunlight. If you are really concerned about the effect of sunlight on your floor, buy a hardwood that has been stained with a darker stain, or buy a species like northern red oak, which is a less photosensitive species.

4) Hardwood floors are guaranteed to be affected by moisture

Wood floors are extremely sensitive to moisture. That includes changes in surface moisture, subsurface moisture, and humidity. Damage from moisture-related issues can cause wood planks to crack, cup, or warp. It is important to hire a skilled installation team that is familiar with wood and its reaction to moisture. Proper maintenance by the consumer is equally important. Standing water should be cleaned up immediately and hardwood flooring should be kept in a climate controlled environment.

One way to combat the effects of moisture on your floor is to choose an engineered wood floor. Engineered wood flooring is a much better option than solid because its construction adds dimensional stability to the planks. Plywood layers under the veneer are laid crosswise, reducing the wood’s ability to expand and contract along the grain when there is a change in humidity levels.