Common Hardwood Myths

Hardwood Myths You Often Hear

Finally, Unlock the Truths About Common Hardwood Floor Myths!

Wood floors should not be used in a kitchen.

Kitchens are a popular choice for hardwood floors. Built to withstand heavy traffic and give long lasting beauty with minimal maintenance, hardwood floors are a great choice.

Hardwood floors should not scratch or dent.

Although Hardwood floors are durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of daily life, top finishes and wood can still scratch or dent given enough applied pressure or resistance. Higher gloss will show more imperfections. Manufactures do not warrant against scratching and denting.

When wood floors warp or cup, it is because the wood flooring is defective.

Cupping is due to excess moisture or over drying and is considered jobsite related. Plumbing leaks, moisture from the crawl space, basement, & concrete slabs, and too high or too low relative humidity are common reasons.

I should be able to use every piece of wood I purchase.

Wood is a product of nature and is not perfect. The industry allows a tolerance not to exceed 5% for defective boards, natural or manufacturer related, based on the total purchase. Remember, there will also be waste because of all the different cuts needed for proper installation.

Kitchen floor cleaner with vinegar, ammonia, oil-soaps or abrasive cleaners are great products to use when cleaning my

Never use these kinds of cleaners, as they can dull and damage your hardwood floors and void warranties. Use products safe for urethane finishes.

My floor has more different colors and grain variations than the store sample, so I must not have received what I ordered.

Wood floors are like snowflakes. No two trees are alike; no two boards will be alike, even if taken from the same tree let alone from the same species growing different part of the world. Your floor is assembled in your home, and is made up of hundreds to thousands of different pieces of wood. Your custom floor is unique, never to be duplicated!

It is always best to use my vacuum with a rotating brush to remove grit and debris from my wood floor.

While weekly vacuuming is important for removing dirt and grit, a hard bristle brush beater bar can scratch and damage your hardwood. Use only a soft bristle brush or felt brush for vacuuming. Swiffer sweepers work excellent as well.

Tables, chairs, and furniture should not scratch or dent my wood floor.

Wood is a natural material and can dent or scratch. Place adhesive felt furniture pads on the legs of all chairs, tables, and all furniture to prevent damage to the floor's surface.

Will Wood floors increase the value of my home?

A quality hardwood floor will offer a lifetime of beauty and service and is an investment that will add considerable value to your home whether for your own enjoyment or for resale value.

Once the wood floor is installed repairs cannot be made.

If needed, pre-finished boards can be replaced one at a time. Job site finished boards require more time and effort, but can be done, although sometimes requiring refinishing a whole area after the damaged boards are replaced.

When my wood is delivered can I store it in the garage, out of the weather?

No. Wood flooring should never be stored in a garage, in a basement, or directly on cement. No exposure to moisture of any type should be permitted. Uncontrolled humidity or moisture vapors can penetrate into the wood flooring, causing it to swell or cup.

Hardwood floors are indestructible.

Despite today's advanced technology, water spills, dirt and other abrasive substances can damage a wood floor's finish. Location, traffic patterns, how often the floor is vacuumed and cleaned, children and/or pets are all factor that influence wear.

If I get down on my hands and knees, I can see all kinds of small defects.

Product claims are viewed and determined from a standing position.

The area is prone to moisture and/or high humidity, can I still have a wood floor?

If using wood, Engineered is the floor of choice. However, Tile or Vinyl may be best for these areas.

Full bathrooms and laundry rooms are fine for wood floor installation.

Not usually recommended

How can I get my technical installation questions answered?

Just call 1-206-Do-Floor and ask to speak with our technical specialists or leave a message with your question and contact information. Click here to send an E-Mail form.

Damp mopping is a great way to clean a wood floor.

On the contrary, water and wood do not mix. Throw away that bucket and mop! Water causes deterioration of the wood itself as well as the finish. Use maintenance products and procedures that will not harm your finish. Ensure compatibility with your particular finish.

High heel shoes will not damage a wood floor.

High heels or spiked heels are damaging to hardwood flooring. They strike the floor with more force per inch than an elephant's foot. High or spiked heels in disrepair are especially harmful, as the heel acts much like a tiny hammer pounding away at the floor with as much force as 10,000 pounds per inch!

If my wood floor changes colors or fades, it is because the finish or wood is defective.

No. Actually all wood floors can experience color shade change overtime. American cherry and many exotic species like Brazilian Cherry, Tiger wood, are photosensitive and will gain a richer, darker patina. Area rugs and large furniture that cover the floor should be moved periodically to allow exposure to UV light and air on the area. Eventually, the entire floor will reach the same even shading. There are no known values established for this natural condition, therefore, Manufactures do not warrant against these natural characteristics beyond its control.

If my wood floor shows gaps between boards in the winter months, it is defective or poorly installed.

No. Nearly every wood floor endures some separation in between boards. In winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring releases some of its moisture and shrinks. When this happens, small gaps appear between the boards. In the spring, when the heat is off and the indoor environment regains moisture, most gaps normally close. Installing a good humidifier can eliminate this shrinking process. Wood boards become dormant, neither shrinking nor expanding with indoor humidity levels of 35-55% and temperatures of 60-80ºF.

It is best to keep the relative humidity low or dry in my home.

The wood flooring industry recommends that you keep the environment at “normal living conditions”. That is, a temperature from 60ºF to 80ºF, and a relative humidity at least 35%, but preferably 45% to 55%, with a continuous flow of air across the floor.

All hardwood species and wood floors have the same hardness factor.

Not true. All hardwood floors can dent, mar and scratch under various conditions. The wood industries have developed a hardness rating scale or Janka scale that represents the resistance of wood to denting, marring, and wear. The higher the number, the harder the species, and the more resistant it is. Refer to Hardness & Stability Chart.

My roller chairs should be ok and should not damage my wood flooring.

Roller chair wheels can damage a wood floor if equipped with hard plastic or metal rollers. The wood industry recommends barrel-type rollers made of non-marring rubber.

Wood floors require a lot of time and effort to maintain them.

Unlike other types of floor coverings, hardwood floors can be kept looking like new with a minimum amount of effort. Use only products designed for wood floors. Just spray and dry mop the floor.

Wormholes, mineral streaks, and knots are defects in wood.

Because wood is a product of nature, most character marks such as wormholes, mineral streaks, and knots are allowed in most grades. If a board is undesirable to you, tell your installer not to install it.

My wood flooring can be delivered and installed the very same day.

The industry and most wood manufacturers recommend that solid wood flooring be delivered to the job site at least 3-5 days before the installation. This properly acclimates the wood to 'normal living conditions' in the home. Temperature of 60ºF to 80ºF and a relative humidity of 35% to 55% with the HVAC fan left in the “on” position to provide a continuous flow of air across the floor is ideal. Most engineered wood floors require less time for acclimation.

Wood floors cannot be installed in a basement on a concrete floor.

Not so. Many fine quality engineered wood floors that feature cross-grain ply construction work great. These floors are very stable and resist expansion and contraction. Be sure to test your concrete floor for excessive levels of moisture over 3%. Concrete installations (Gluedown or Floating) normally require moisture barriers.

Engineered floors are not “real wood” floors.

Engineered floors have a real hardwood veneer wear layer with a multi-layer cross grain construction, perfect for at-grade or below-grade cement installations. These can be sanded and refinished about two times.

I have radiant heat, so I can't install a new wood floor.

Many of our floors work well over radiant heat such as Floating floors, Laminates and Engineered wood. For solid wood, always shop for stability. Be sure to follow the radiant heat manufacturer’s guideline for thermostat controls. Do not exceed 85ºF surface temperatures.

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