Hardwood Floors

Written by Patricia Skinner
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For centuries hardwood floors were the pride of our comfortably-off ancestors. Anyone who was anyone in Europe had exotic wood floors, specially crafted for decorative effect. For a while, the trend for expensive wood floors fell into decline while we all experimented with modern synthetic counterparts. But many of us are rediscovering the delights of this great way to make a house instantly into a home.

Now you can choose between new hardwood floors, traditionally made from well-seasoned hardwood, or recycled timber. This is often referred to as vintage lumber or antique hardwood flooring. Because it is often still extremely beautiful, extremely durable and finished the old, labor intensive way, these vintage flooring timbers are often more expensive than their new counterparts.

Enemy of Hardwood Floors

Much of our modern way of life is an enemy of expensive hardwood floors, so it's important to learn how to care for it properly if you're to protect your investment! Central heating of any kind is cruel to wood. It dries the air mercilessly, and if you don't take steps to keep the atmosphere humid, you may discover unsightly gaps appearing between your floorboards. Conversely, too much moisture can cause wooden flooring to buckle and distort, so it's important you protect against this. You can either use old fashioned waxing techniques, or a few coats of modern polyurethane varnish. The latter is undeniably much cheaper if not as attractive.

If your boards are making a noise, you may have to tighten the nails, or replace them if they're the wrong sort. Bouncy hardwood floors can be a very bad sign. It may indicate that the wood has worn thin, or it could be that your floor has been attacked by insects or fungus from beneath. Either way you need to consult a specialist fairly quickly when you notice bouncing.

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