What's the difference between engineered and hardwood?

The easy answer is that once down on your floor they’re both one in the same. An engineered floor refers to a real layer of hardwood on top constructed with multiple layers of a different wood as its base, making a layered product as opposed to a solid hardwood which is the same wood from top to bottom.

Why would I choose an engineered hardwood?

There are some great reasons to do so. The most important of which, is the affect swings in humidity can have on solid wood floors in Ontario. In the summer excess humidity can swell a solid plank of hardwood creating small waves across your floor. In the winter, dryness contracts the wood and creates small gaps. Because an engineered wood is layered in alternating cross-sections, it is not affected by these swings in moisture nearly as much.

What level of humidity should I maintain in my home?

For hardwood floors, if you keep your relative humidity at 35-55% you should be fine. Get a small digital humidity reader and keep it in a corner somewhere. Check on it every once in a while to see that you’re on track.

How should I clean my floor?

Use a non-acidic cleaning solution with a spray bottle  and a terry cloth mop. In a pinch, a little bit of water will do but we sell a variety of quick evaporating cleaning solutions. A couple of no-no’s to sort out: never use products like Murphy’s Oil to clean your floor and never apply a steam mop. The oil will leave a residue that’s hard to get off and the steam mop injects moisture into your wood causing huge issues down the road.

Can I install my own hardwood floor?

It completely depends on your level of competency around power tools and how much time you have to get your project done. A great option for DIY’ers is a developing trend that uses click technology with real hardwood. This method requires no glue or nails and is floated over an underlayment. 

How important is hardness in hardwood?

There’s a scale called the Janka Scale that a lot of sales people like to pull out and use to close a deal. And while it’s important to note the lowest ranking woods for their softness (see American Cherry and American Walnut), it’s more important to select the right finish and style of hardwood. This will have more of an affect on how many dents and scratches you see on your floor. An antiqued, hand-scraped Oak (1490 Janka) with a low gloss finish is going to hide a lot more than say a Brazilian Cherry (2800 Janka) with a high gloss finish. 

Should I be trying to match my new floor with my existing hardwood?

If you can find the exact make and dimensions of your existing floor and you have a sample to cross-reference, then by all means go for an match if that’s what you want, but beware of trying to match colours between two different brands. Each manufacturer has its own staining techniques and  more often that not an attempt at matching in this way fails. Instead of trying to straight-up match, we always recommend to identify complimenting colours in wood and to choose something different, but suitable. You’ll be much further ahead that way.

What should I do with my baseboards?

If your baseboards are in good shape, we can take them off before the wood goes in and replace them back. There’s always a risk that they break however, and this can be a real pain. Many customers choose to add a thin profile to the bottom of the baseboards to cover the gap between the floor and the boards. This profile is the same as they make doorstop out of and it looks great.

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