Hardwood floors feel sturdy, so most homeowners don’t realize how delicate they actually are. However, solid hardwood panels are subject to moisture absorption, fluctuating humidity levels and changing temperatures. In other words, everything that our homes are experiencing during the seasonal changes between summer, fall and winter.
So does this mean hardwood floors are a no-go for Hutchinson? Not necessarily. Here, we’ll discuss a few features to consider.
The Problem With Traditional Hardwood
Traditional (solid) hardwood floors are affected by changes in humidity and temperature. An increase in temperature or moisture levels can cause wood panels to expand. As expected, a decrease in either can cause wood panels to contract. Over time, this can lead panels to crack, buckle and warp.
The Solution: Engineered Hardwood
We’ve discussed the difference between engineered and solid hardwood floors previously. To summarize, engineered hardwood panels feature a layered design. As the name implies, solid hardwood panels are a single solid piece of wood. Engineered panels also tend to feature stable cores. As a result, they do a better job of resisting seasonal changes.
What are some of these challenges? For one, the layered design can also help prevent gaps from appearing between planks. This is a common problem with solid hardwood, since the colder weather causes planks to contract. The lower humidity levels can have a similar impact on hardwood planks.
Caring For Your Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood panels may be more durable, but they, like all hard surface panels, still require care and maintenance. This is especially true during Hutchinson’s harsh winters. While engineered hardwood floors are suitable for our area, there are still a few basic steps to help maintain a longer lifespan.
This is especially true during colder months, when tracked snow is common on your home’s floors. You may think that the snow on your shoes is just harmless ice that will melt and evaporate away. However, snow often includes small pieces of rocks, soil and grime that can scrape and damage your hardwood floors. That’s why mats should be placed at each entrance of your home.
Beyond that, maintenance is simple and just as routine as any other hard surface floor. Remember to sweep with a soft-bristle broom every few days. You can also use a vacuum as long as it has a floor-bush attachment to replace the bristle brush (never use this on engineered hardwood panels). Mop floors at least once per week with a cleaner that is specifically approved for engineered wood flooring.
By following these simple care techniques, you can ensure that your hardwood floors will last for years to come, even through our harsh winter seasons.
If you’re ready to make the right choice for you home, visit Hutchinson’s top flooring experts at CarpetsPlus COLORTILE of Hutchinson today!