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How to Select Hardwood Flooring Wisely!
By Alan Fletcher - Flooring Expert and Consumer Advocate
Buying Hardwood Flooring can be quite confusing for homeowners because there are so many different types, styles, grades and quality levels to choose from.
Don't assume that a low advertised price will provide you with the quality level you need, want or require. In the end, you want to be satisfied with the way your hardwood floors look, but you also want to make sure they are as durable and long lasting as you hope and anticipate.
Quality hardwoods tend to have a higher Janka density rating and are more durable because they are harder to gouge or indent.
Lower quality hardwood products are often poorly manufactured using less stringent specifications and that translates into more boards that are warped and therefore more difficult to install. This also increases the amount of material waste which means you will have to buy more materials, which ends up costing you more for both material and labor costs.
Many other factors come into play when considering how durable a hardwood flooring product will be including the Type of Surface Coating, Sealer or Finish that is used to protect the surface layer of the material.
The Janka Rating
The common method used to rate the hardness or density level of all hardwoods is called the Janka Rating.
The Janka hardness rating measures the pounds per square inch of density for each variety of wood species.
Read the Wikipedia.com explanation of the Janka Hardness Test
There has also been some major concerns lately about the levels of toxic chemicals that may be used in the manufacturing process of some hardwoods, including higher levels of off-gassing of chemicals including Formaldehyde. These chemicals can be harmful to pets and humans, and especially harmful to children.
It's important that homeowners take the time to learn more about these important issues that are currently unfolding in the world today and make wise and informed choices before making a purchase.
More information on what EPA is doing to protect against hardwood flooring formaldehyde exposure can be found here: http://www2.epa.gov/formaldehyde/facts-about-formaldehyde#EPAformaldehydeaction
Proper care and maintenance of all hardwood flooring products are they key to making sure your new flooring lasts as long as possible. Proper floor preparation and qualified installation requires your complete attention.
Pre-Finished Flooring v. Site-Finished flooring:
Benefits of Pre-finished Flooring
More benefits of installing a pre-finished hardwood floor:
Common complaints with Hardwood Flooring Products
Hardwood Sanding, Staining and Sealing.
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