Why does my hardwood floor show cracks in the winter?
One of the biggest threats to your wood floors during the cold winter months is low humidity. What happens when the humidity drops too low? Your wood floors respond to changes in humidity by shrinking and showing gaps between planks. In order for the wood flooring to perform as designed, the temperature and humidity conditions inside your home must be kept continuously within a certain range. This range varies slightly depending on the manufacturer and type of wood flooring. Generally, the required range is between 60-80 degrees with a relative humidity range of 35 percent to 55 percent. Here is a great winter guide from Master Craft.
Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.
Yes. However, for prefinished floors, always use manufacturer-recommended cleaners. For unfinished floors, finished at the job site, refer to the recommendation of the floor finish manufacturer. Do not use wax based cleaners.
The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop and/or vacuum the floors regularly. Hardwood floors also clean easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. You should avoid excessive moisture. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill.
No. You should never apply wax finish to your surface type finishes.
It is normal for hardwood floors that are exposed to sunlight to darken over a period of time. To eliminate the obvious tone differences, it is best to rotate rugs and furniture so that the flooring gets an equal amount of sun exposure. Any differences in light exposure will eventually fade away.
It is a good idea to implement a regular cleaning routine, as well at the use of throw rugs and felt or plastic floor protectors on furniture.
In order to maximize the durability and beauty of your hardwood flooring, we recommend the following practices as part of your floor’s normal care and maintenance.
- Place doormats or rugs at entrances to collect moisture, sand, grit and other potentially damaging substances from being tracked onto your hardwood floor.
- Dust mop or vacuum with a soft accessory to keep your bamboo floor clean from dust, dirt or grit. Hardwood flooring cleans easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop.
- For sticky spots, use a soft damp cloth to gently scrub the floor. If necessary, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Do not use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
- Do not use harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers, or corrosive chemicals to clean your bamboo floor.
- Avoid excessive water. Use mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to protect against spills. If a spill occurs, blot it up immediately with a dry cloth or slightly damp mop.
- Use only colorfast and non-scratch carpeting or pads on your hardwood floor.
- Protect the floor from furniture legs and do not walk on the floor with high-heeled shoes.
- Although hardwood flooring has effective UV inhibitors in its pre-finish, it is recommended that it not be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
Hardwood flooring is an extremely durable flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home that is above ground. There are several locations that are not recommended for hardwood flooring. Because hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that it be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your hardwood flooring to warp, swell or crack. Please note that certain species of hardwood are softer than others. You should consider using these harder species for high traffic areas.
Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular types of residential flooring. Here are a few reasons why you should choose a hardwood floor:
- Solid hardwood offers a variety of grain patterns, natural color variations, and the beauty of a natural material
- Hardwood floors are easy to clean.
- Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers as they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
- Hardwood flooring is longest-lasting. Although there is a 25-year structural warranty on our hardwood floors, many hardwood floors last for decades longer.
There are products that can be applied to prefinished urethane floors that will renew the floor back to its original appearance. Use only manufacturer recommended products.
Yes. Hardwood flooring is a natural product. Therefore, you should expect there will be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of character blemishes, you can expect color variations in all grades.
For stubborn stains, apply the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and scrub the desired area. Repeat if necessary. Do not use wax based cleaners.
Since we have recently been called out to repair some wood floors damaged by using a steam mop to clean, I decided to post this question. Below is an answer to the question by the National Wood Flooring Association magazine:
"Everyone has seen the commercials showing a steam cleaner magically sanitizing, disinfecting, deodorizing, and cleaning a wood floor. But that doesn't mean that wood flooring manufacturers or finish manufacturers think steam cleaners are appropriate for a wood floor; in fact, some have begun to specifically mention steam cleaners in their list of don'ts. Inspectors are also starting to come across floors that appear to have been destroyed by repeated steam cleaner use. Peeling finish, whitening finish and cloudy finish are just some of the side effects being reported by people looking at floors after steam cleaning. In general, the oft-repeated industry saying "Water and wood don't mix" holds true. Unless the wood flooring or finish manufacturer says it's OK, it's safest to assume steam cleaning is a no-no on a wood floor."