What is the Janka Scale?

Did you know that each species of hardwood has a different level of hardness? Some common domestic species like walnut, cherry and birch are less hard in comparison to other common domestic species like maple, hickory and oak. The hardness of solid wood is measured according to a system called the Janka Scale.

The Janka Scale gives a good indication of how well a wood species can be expected to withstand dents and dings. The scale is determined by the amount of pound-force required to push a .444-inch diameter steel ball halfway into the wood.

Ratings for both domestic and imported species are included in the scale; however, none of these values apply to engineered wood flooring. While Janka values give a general sense of how hard solid wood is, other factors also contribute to the durability of wood as well. This can include things like how the wood is cut and the finish that is applied to the wood.

Durability

Paws and claws? No problem! Wood floors are designed to withstand the traffic of busy families, including man’s best friend. Wood floors are extremely durable. They can withstand the rambunctiousness of a puppy and still look beautiful for decades. Just be sure to pick a species that can endure Fido’s playful spirit, sharp nails and occasional accidents.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Create a Dramatic Difference in Your Room

Photo: Shaw Floors

Unlike furniture and décor, flooring trends shift and evolve slowly, making it possible to select a style that stays fresh for years. Here’s a list of time-tested trends that have captured the attention of flooring and design experts.

Low-Glow
Delustered flooring—meaning no glossy finishes—creates a dry, European look. Choose hardwood with a raw, hand-hewn appearance and carpet with a woolen, cottony finish. These styles shine without any added luster.

Domestic Hardwood
The trend is moving away from exotic looks to a feeling that’s more familiar. The classic nature of these traditional domestic grains has another benefit; knowing exactly where the wood is sourced ensures environmental responsibility as well as quality.

Play With Patterns
This is no passing fad. Patterned carpet can create layers of texture that add plenty of visual interest to any space. Choose a classic pattern to accent your style without overwhelming it.

Go Wide
When picking your planks for hardwood looks, go for wide and long. These bigger pieces add just the right amount of modern for a clean look that’s still traditional.

Bespoke Charm
Not all floors are truly bespoke, or made-to-order, but trends are leaning toward floors that are made-to-last. Choose a high-quality floor with unique details for a look that will be in style for a long time.

Source: Shaw Floors

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Pure Genius from Lauzon is an air-purifying smart hardwood floor that improves the indoor air quality of your home without compromising the quality and appearance of your hardwood flooring. It’s like having three trees in your home.

Learn more about Pure Genius in this brief video from The Weather Channel.

Three Myths About Wood Floors

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Photo: Bona

Wood floors are expensive. 

Wood floors initially may cost more than other flooring options, but over the long term, wood flooring is actually one of the most cost-effective flooring options available.

When properly installed and maintained, wood floors can last for hundreds of years. Other flooring options will likely have a service life of 10-20 years, which means they will need to be replaced 5-10 times as often as wood floors.

There are numerous examples of wood floors in excess of 300 years old that are still in service today. Most wood floors can be sanded and refinished several times during their service lives to restore beauty and luster. In addition, wood floors can adapt to many décor and style changes over the years while other flooring options can look dated and require replacement based on new decorating trends.

This makes wood floors a great long-term investment, and one of the least expensive flooring options available when considering total service life.

Wood floors are hard to maintain.

Routine maintenance for wood flooring is really very easy. Simply sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floors with the beater bar turned off to remove dirt and grit from between the floor boards.

Wet mops should be avoided because excessive water can dull the finish over time, or even damage the wood itself. When spills occur, they should be cleaned immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth.

When the floor begins to look a little dull, using a wood flooring cleaner recommended by the installer will help renew luster. If you are not sure which cleaner to use, visit a reputable floor covering store like MODA Floors & Interiors for a recommendation.

Wood floors can scratch easily.

All flooring options will show some wear over time, but wood floori

ng is the only flooring option that can repair that wear to make it look new again.

Most scratches in wood flooring will occur in the finish, not the wood itself. These can be repaired through a process called pad and recoat in which the finish on the flooring is lightly abraded and then a new coat of finish is applied. This process is much like refinishing a piece of furniture where the old furniture is lightly sanded to give the new paint something to adhere to.

For scratches that are deeper and in the wood, the flooring can be sanded and refinished. A wood flooring professional who is properly trained, and also has the proper equipment, will remove just a small amount of the flooring material to make these kinds of repairs. Then, after the scratches are removed, a new coat of finish will be applied, restoring the floor to its original luster.

Scratches on wood flooring can be prevented and minimized by placing scatter rugs at all entryways from outside, putting felt pads on furniture legs, clipping pet nails, and avoiding walking on floors in athletic cleats or high heels in disrepair.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

How to Select the Floor You Need

Photo: Tarkett

Photo: Tarkett

Choosing a new floor is very exciting. You probably already have some ideas about the style you would like, but the following tips will help ensure you get the floor you want and need.

Floors can be installed over a variety of different surfaces:

  • Concrete, tiles, stone and marble – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Wooden floor – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Very short-pile carpet – vinyl, laminate and wood
  • Embossed vinyl – laminate and wood, but must be removed or covered for vinyl
  • Long-pile carpet – must be removed for all new floors

Which Floor for Which Room?

Entrance and Hallway – People coming and going will bring dirt and dampness into your home, putting special demands on this part of the floor. Choose a hard surface that can stand up to moderate dampness and is easy to clean.

Office – If keeping your office quiet for concentration and comfort is a top priority, you should consider floors with good acoustic properties. If you expect a lot of visitors, you’ll probably want a tough surface that won’t be easily damaged by office furnishings or heavy use. Floors with anti-static properties can be a wise investment if you use a lot of electrical equipment.

Kitchens –Spills and dropped food and equipment are a fact of life no matter how careful you are as a cook. Choose a floor that not only has good stain and traffic resistance, but that will also stand up to light moisture and repeated cleaning.

Bathrooms –Water makes the bathroom a challenging environment and you must be careful to select a floor that is water-resistant. In addition, for safety you’ll need to be sure that the floor won’t be slippery when it’s damp and that it will be easy to clean.

Bedroom –Your bedroom is often a very personal space so you’ll be looking at a wide range of decorative finishes. Don’t forget that looks are just part of the equation and that you’ll also want to be sure that it’s comfortable and warm for bare feet.

Kid’s Bedroom/Playroom –These bedrooms often have to accommodate a wide variety of play as well as sleep. To cope with active youngsters you’ll need a tough, practical floor that’s comfortable but also easy to look after and clean, and that will also help to keep noise levels down.

Living Room – You need a multi-purpose floor that reflects your style but can stand up to the challenge of a variety of activities. A tough surface that’s easy to clean and look after will reduce the time you need to spend keeping your living room looking good.

No one wants to spend every minute worrying about stains and cleaning. By choosing a floor that suits the area, you’ll cut down on the cleaning and general care you have to provide. You should also select a floor with the best possible surface protection.

Source: Tarkett

 

FAQs About Wood Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Is it cost-effective for home builders and renovators to select wood flooring instead of less-costly materials?

Yes. Residential real estate agents say homes with wood floors sell faster and fetch higher prices, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association. By a four-to-one margin, real estate agents said that a house with wood floors would sell faster than a house without wood floors. Some 90 percent said a house with wood floors would bring a higher price.

Does wood flooring go well with most design styles?

Yes. In a survey commissioned by the NWFA, 96 percent of interior designers find that wood flooring works well with many decorating styles – modern, traditional, and formal. Designers rated natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods and finishes are available to complement the décor and style of any room.

There are so many species of wood. How do I select one?

Choosing a species of wood involves more than selecting a color to match your décor. Other appearance-related attributes are important too, such as texture, grain, and cut. Installers will want to consider mechanical properties like dimensional stability, machinability, and ease in finishing. And any specifier will need to consider availability and cost.

Does wood flooring provide good acoustics?

Churches, synagogues, and other clients with auditorium projects increasingly request wood floors for its warmth and acoustic attributes. Ask your wood flooring professional at MODA Floors & Interiors about special installation techniques that can increase acoustic abilities.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association