How Long do Wooden Floors Last?

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    Wooden floors

    The endurance of wooden flooring hinges on several aspects of how it was initially installed. The very concept of wooden flooring has undergone a sea change with the advent of engineered wood for flooring. 

    Engineered wood for flooring has its pros and cons, but the direct answer to our question here would be “not as long as it used to” if it is your choice for flooring. The reason for the shorter longevity of engineered wood flooring in contrast to traditional solid hardwood flooring is that the former is fabricated mainly for the stability of the planks themselves. The integrity of the whole floor itself assumes less priority. The significant cost variance might drive the average home builder to forego the solid firmness of a hardwood floor.
    Wooden floor construction has radically changed with the easy assemblage of planks of engineered wood. This is significant because the whole floor can be replaced with fresh planks with the re-installation costing much less than the initial installation of traditional wood flooring itself. The click-and-lock method makes the installment very easy. Engineered wood planks are fabricated entirely different from traditional solid hardwoods. They consist of only a 6mm thick veneer of actual decorative hardwood. The rest of the thickness of the plank is made from 2 different layers of softwood, plywood or HDF. These two lower layers firm up the veneer of hardwood at the top.
    As an integrated plank of wood it has no resilience or strength as compared to solid hardwood planks. Solid hardwood flooring is more durable and lasts longer than almost any other type of wooden flooring. If it is looked after with diligence and care it can endure even up to a 100 years. Some houses from the 19 th century still have impeccable wooden flooring. Engineered wood flooring can still last up to 30 years or more with proper maintenance. It cannot be restored as frequently as hardwood. Engineered wood flooring planks can be easily replaced, even if they cannot be sanded and restored. The click-and-lock mechanism of these planks makes the re-assembling of the floor very much simpler.

    Crucial factors to consider before the installation

    For wooden flooring to remain intact longer there are crucial factors to consider before the installation itself.

    •  The preparation of the floor needs to be perfectly flat before laying the planks

    • The treatment of the wooden planks

      The planks need to be acclimatized before installation to factor in the effect of expansion and contraction. This effect can also be offset to an extent by adeptly working the sides of the planks.

    • The right method to install the planks for the specific site.

      The carpentry and installation techniques involved play a major role in the longevity of wooden flooring.

    The planking with solid hardwood without the tongue and groove feature, which was used traditionally, lasted longer than those used within the last century with the feature. The planks were at least an inch thick and were simply nailed into substructure on the floor.
    The older planking of wooden floors are usually kept in their original state without refinishing as the patina with its old world charm enhances the appeal of the room. Although when such planks are sanded, they present a much more luxurious finish than the later sort. The tongue and groove solid hardwood floor planking can only be refinished so many times. Styles and fashion refinish floors with nouveau art these days. Yet the flair of a smooth, pristine wooden floor never loses its glory. Perhaps the most common sense way to make a wooden floor last longer is the amount of care you invest in maintain it in good condition. Modern research into viable cleaning agents must be studied before selecting a cleaning agent for your wooden floor. The traditional methods like vinegar and water are thought to be more detrimental than beneficial, as the acidic properties of vinegar can breakdown finishes making refinishing more frequent. This will reduce the life of the flooring in the long run.

    How does Wood Flooring Affect Health?

    What can be said with certainty is that hardwood flooring is much more conducive to good health than carpeted flooring. Hardwood flooring does not foster allergens or micro-organisms. Dander from pets does not adhere to the wooden flooring and pesticides can be easily cleaned off. However regular cleaning has to be maintained to ensure that unsanitary accumulation
    of pollutants and organic agents do not accumulate. But his is not a highly complex issue. A micro fiber duster can lift dust of the floor and from the joints between planks. A good vacuuming after vigorous sweeping and brushing can leave your wooden floor clean and aseptic. A light antiseptic spray can get rid of anything that remained. Regular coating with polishes and oil-based refresheners help smoothen the floor too. This way scratches on the floor provide less surface for micro-organisms to collect Hardware stores stock a full range of cleaning kits dedicated to wooden floor cleaning. Mops and micro-fibre dusters are among a collection of maintenance products designed to cleanse your wooden planking and keep it as hygienic as possible.

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