The last thing you want as a hardwood floor owner is to find your hardwood floors warping. You go through all that trouble to research floor options, choose a floor and have the floor installed, just to discover the floors warped quickly. That isn’t fair. Hardwood floors are supposed to be durable and long-lasting and floors. Moreover, hardwood is supposed to be the top consumer’s choice. Why would you pay all that money for a floor that warps?
Unfortunately, warped hardwood floors are likely a result of your own doing. The thing is, hardwood floors are durable, and they are long-lasting. The owner simply has to avoid a few scenarios in order to keep their floor in line with these stand out qualities. Consider the following to understand warping, and to avoid it in the future:
Too much moisture on or under the floor.
The key to maintaining a hardwood floor is MC (moisture content). Or, you might as well think of it as moisture control. There needs to be a balance of moisture all throughout, or else floors warping. For example, consider a basic spill. No matter how narrow your space is between each wooden plank, there is space to allow water to seep through. Once moisture sinks to the bottom, it will naturally expand. The wood expands and compresses at the edges, causing the edges to raise up. This occurrence is known as cupping.
Cupping is a result of too much moisture to a specific area of the hardwood floor, such as a spill. However, there is a separate term for wood floors that are exposed to long-term moisture. Crowning occurs when greater amounts of moisture sink to the bottom of the wood. Instead of raising at the edges, crowning causes the middle of the plank to raise. For instance, say you use a steamer to clean your hardwood floors. Steam dries quickly, but maybe not quickly enough. Steam covering an entire wood surface will allow some moisture to sink into the wood and could result in crowning. Hence, it is recommended not to steam clean hardwood floors.
Not enough moisture = Floors warping
On the other hand, there is also such thing as not enough moisture. Hardwood floors exposed to overly humid temperatures can result in shrinking. This has more to do with the temperature inside your home, rather than outside. Winter months threaten wood shrinking more so than the remaining months of the year. Reason being, we turn on the heat in our home throughout the winter. Heat comes with humidity, and humidity can cause your hardwood slabs to shrink. Lack of moisture can also cause cracks in the hardwood.
A valuable purchase to avoid high levels of humidity is a humidifier. A humidifier will spread moisture into the air at a gradual pace. You can place the humidifier in the furnace to avoid too much moisture. Just be sure not to place it on the hardwood floor directly or else you may run into cupping or crowning.
There you have it…the answer is MOISTURE CONTROL! All you have to do is monitor the moisture inside your home to best protect your hardwood floors. Floors Touch is here to provide helpful flooring tips; however, we offer so much more.
Contact Floors Touch for all of your flooring needs. We offer a wide selection of flooring and we promise you’ll be satisfied with our service from the start!
Is it ok to steam clean hardwood floors?
Here’s a hardwood flooring question that makes consumer’s head’s spin: Is it okay to steam clean hardwood flooring? The answer, though open-ended, is the use of a steamer can execute a good cleaning, however, it must be used with caution. A steamer makes cleaning hardwood floors quick and easy. Very little effort is required from the user when steam cleaning. It allows for a quick clean with good results, at least on the surface. It’s what goes on underneath and between the surface that could affect the long-term quality of a hardwood floor.
Cons of steam cleaning
To steam clean is basically a process of using heated water vapor. Though, instead of evaporating like water vapor, steam turns into a gas. Moreover, steam does not disappear into the air, it sinks. Steam used to clean a hardwood floor will seep into the seams of the floor if it is not dried right away. Steam is much thinner than liquid water, thus, it is easier for steam to enter through the seams of a hardwood floor. Once entering the seams, the steam will eventually condense back to liquid water. At this point, the long-term damage can occur. Even if the surface is dried immediately, any bit of liquid that penetrates a seam will be lost forever, unable to be controlled. This can result in warped hardwood floor.
Another important note is to ensure the hardwood floor is completely sealed before steam cleaning. A non-sealed floor is asking for trouble. A steam clean will show its bad side quicker and more extensively in this circumstance. A sealed hardwood floor, on the other hand, can better protect against the negative side effects of steam. It doesn’t make the floor seep proof, but it will help.
Any hardwood cleaning product that uses actual cleaning ingredients is more surefire. Specific ingredients are meant to work with the water to ensure it does not seep through the seams. Plus, immediately drying the floor will further avoid any issues.
Ultimately, the fact that steam cleaning relies solely on water is the dangerous factor. As strange as it sounds, water by itself is considered volatile when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.
The one exception
Vinyl flooring is the exception. Because vinyl consists entirely of man-made material, it will not be negatively affected by steam cleaning. It is not technical hardwood and it is not a laminate; therefore, it can’t be ruined by steam.
In summary, it is not against flooring law to use a steamer to clean a hardwood floor, but it is frowned upon. If you opt to use a steam cleaner, be sure to dry the floor as soon as possible to counteract potential negative effects. Steam cleaning can work. In fact, there are many consumers out there that would lobby for everyone to use steamers. However, if you’re a skeptic and weigh on the side of caution, you may want to shy away from steam cleaning. It may seem like an outstanding cleaning option initially, but you may see its wrath overtime, as your hardwood floors could warp.
If you would like to speak directly with an expert about steam cleaning, feel free to contact Floors Touch. Located in McKinney, TX, Floors Touch can assist with all flooring needs, including hardwood. We are the top flooring source around!
At Floors Touch, our customers often ask what types of flooring are waterproof. These are floors they’re thinking of installing in their basement, bathroom or kitchen. While no floor should be flooded with water on a regular basis, there are some that are excellent at resisting damage from water. They are:
Glazed Porcelain Tile
Glazed porcelain tile is probably the gold standard when it comes to waterproof flooring. It is made from clay that has a good amount of minerals called feldspar and kaolin and fired at temperatures as high as 2600 degrees Fahrenheit. This vitrifies the clay, or makes it like glass. Adding a glaze to porcelain makes it even tougher and more water resistant. Porcelain and ceramic tiles can look like themselves, which is lovely, but now they can be made to look like wood or natural stone.
Glazed ceramic tile is also treated with glaze to make it tougher and water-resistant. The difference is ceramic is softer and less durable than porcelain, is not as pure and does not contain as much kaolin or feldspar. It’s less dense than porcelain and if left unglazed would absorb more water. Ceramics are fired at lower temperatures and are not fired for as long as porcelain. Both porcelain and ceramics are beautiful and come in many colors and patterns, but what attracts our customers to ceramic flooring is its price. Ceramics tend to be less pricey than porcelain.
Vinyl Waterproof Flooring
Vinyl is famous for being water-resistant to the point of being waterproof. It is a type of resilient flooring and comes as both easy to install tiles and sheets, which are better left to the pros to install. It is not only waterproof but extremely tough, strong, smooth and feels good to walk on.
Vinyl flooring is made of a wear layer, which protects a layer of printed vinyl, then a waterproof core, then an underlayment. Besides the core, vinyl itself has no pores to soak up moisture. It is just the material for rooms that get heavy traffic, such as the kitchen or the bathroom and comes in beautiful designs and textures. Now it can even simulate more expensive materials such as stone and wood. Indeed, a newer type of vinyl flooring is WPC, which stands for either Wood Plastic Composite or Waterproof Core or both. Experts claim this type of vinyl flooring is truly waterproof and can even be installed in a damp basement. Moreover, its ability to mimic even exotic woods is astonishing.
People still buy rubber flooring for their homes. Laminate comes in many colors, absorbs sounds, is wonderfully slip-proof and feels even better beneath the feet than vinyl. Like vinyl, rubber comes in tiles and sheets. It is great flooring material not just in the kitchen or bath but in the home gym. Rubber costs about as much as high-end vinyl flooring and is best installed by one of our professionals.
For more information about waterproof flooring, give us a call at Floors Touch. Call (214) 326-0100.
Happy New Year!
With the New Year comes with new goals and new trends. Trends in floorings do not often change like home decor or clothing, but we are in a moment of rapid evolution thanks to advancing technologies. The following are best flooring trends that we saw in 2017.
Wood tile is another hot trend. The wood floor looks natural with with knots, grain, and warm color rather than the cold rock looking surface of other floors. It is ideal for bathrooms.
Top trends of 2017
There is nothing incredible calming than neutral and muted grey whether the installation is on walls, floor or textiles. Grey hardwood is not new on the market, but it is gaining popularity and is expected to continue trending upwards in 2017. It has a well-punctuated colors such as forest green, dark turquoise or fire engine red.
Alright, we will admit that while carpet might not be the best idea for the kitchen, or the bathroom, but it is so nice to set your feet down on a nice plush soft carpet or rug. While hard floors have become wildly popular now what we are seeing is an increase in usage of area rugs. They add color and character to the room, and adding a round rug to a square room will actually make the room look larger and give the room a little more dimension.
Stone floor adds timeless elegance and natural beauty to your home. It naturally comes from the earth, making each floor unique with its natural variations. It is an excellent option for durability and luxury. The prices are incredibly low and have a wide range of selection ranging from slate, marvel, granite, and travertine. It is no doubt that it will trend in 2017 and beyond.
The laminate style is trendy among many homeowners. It is a synthetic fiber which has two thin sheets of paper incorporated with melamine. It looks like a natural wood or stone, but it is a grain that has a covering of a transparent protective layer. It is trending because it is easy to install and affordable. Additionally, laminate floor is easy to clean and do not require regular maintenance.
For guidance on what floors will work best for your space come in and talk with our pros, give us a call at (214) 326-0100, or visit our website.