Malkin’s Pros Answer Common Hardwood Floor Questions

Helping customers with questions is a passion at Malkin’s Flooring because we believe that educating customers leads to raving fans. Over the decades we have been in business, many questions about hardwood floors tend to be repeated and this is why we are offering our best advice to you.

How do I choose a hardwood floor type, color, and board size that is right for me?

You need to consider the effect you’re trying to achieve in the room. The current fashion is for wider and longer boards, and gray is the up-to-the-moment color. At the same time, if you want a more traditional look, you should consider a narrower board and a more neutral tone, as these approaches never go out of style. Durability also plays a factor in the selection process should you have children or pets and want to minimize the appearance of those inevitable scratches. And every wood floor will eventually have scratches, which can be improved with resurfacing, refinishing, and corrections.

While the decisions may seem endless, trust the experts at Malkin’s Flooring to help guide you to a selection that will make you a raving fan, too.

Can hardwood flooring be used in high traffic areas?

While hardwood can be used in high-traffic areas, you need to understand that dirt, grime, water, and even high heels are your wood floors’ worst enemies. We recommend using heavy mats outside all exterior doors. When folks step inside, place small area rugs at all entrances. To go a step further, you should ask guests to remove their shoes before coming into your home. We would also suggest that you offer socks or slippers to guests.

How can I protect my floors from scratches?

Use furniture pads to minimize scratches and always place protective mats in entryways to avoid tracking in dirt and grime that can damage your beautiful hardwood floor.

Can we install hardwood flooring if we have a dog or other indoor pets?

The answer is yes. At the same time, pets’ claws may scratch the finish of the wood flooring, so you will want to keep their nails trimmed. And should your pet have an accident, you will want to clean that right away. Keep in mind, pet damage to the flooring is usually not covered under warranty by manufacturers.

Key tip: don’t put your pet’s food or water bowl directly on the wood flooring, use a mat or other protective surface.

Can I install a hardwood floor in any room in my home?

If you select a solid hardwood floor, sadly, the answer is no. We don’t recommend solid hardwood for bathrooms, or other areas subject to moisture.

Engineered hardwood is more moisture-resistant and can be used in more moisture-prone areas such as basements. As always, proper installation is the key to ensuring these products perform properly.

And should your basement be very moist or subject to periodic flooding on an annual basis, you may want to consider luxury vinyl planks, as they can mimic the look of hardwood, but handle water much more efficiently without warping.

How do I handle spills or accidents?

Liquid spills or accidents need to be cleaned right away. Water is your wood floor’s enemy, and it needs to be removed as soon as possible to avoid warping.

Is solid wood flooring better than an engineered wood floor?

There is no easy answer to this question as it usually comes down to your choice and price point. Solid wood flooring is beautiful, but it does require care and can be on the upper level of the price scale. Engineered wood floors will last for years and years, and may need to only be refinished once or twice throughout its lifetime since the flooring and finish are stable. In addition, engineered wood floors are also more stable than solid hardwood flooring so they can be used in many situations where solid wood is not recommended.

Should I expect color variations in my hardwood flooring?

Absolutely, since that’s the magic that makes natural wood so appealing. Each floor board is like a finger print, so no two boards are exactly alike. Each floor board will accept stain differently, some boards being lighter or darker. Also, the distinct patterns or grain in the floor board will vary, providing a unique character.

If you want absolute consistency versus rustic charm, vinyl or laminate flooring may be a better choice.

Do I need transitions for my floors?

In most cases, the answer is yes, especially if you are changing levels or going from hardwood to carpet or tile. A Malkin’s Flooring professional can give you the right advice for your new installation.

Can I use area rugs on a hardwood floor?

Yes, area rugs won’t harm the floor. At the same time, when the summer sun is beating down, you will want to move the rug from place to place, just to be sure no discoloration occurs. Think of it like applying sunscreen, if you miss a spot, you will notice it.

What’s the best way to clean my hardwood floor?

Avoid water—Water can seep into the edges and get under the floor and cause damage. We recommend daily sweeping or mopping, and using only manufacturer recommended cleaners when required.

Regular daily cleaning—Use a dry mop or brush, or the hardwood cleaning tool on your vacuum each day, to ensure dirt and grime is not ground into the surface.

More extensive cleaning—Every manufacturer will recommend a cleaner specific to its floor. Avoid furniture polish or wood soaps. Use the preferred cleaner rather than any Internet suggestion as something as simple as vinegar and water will dull the finish over time.

Can I use a paste wax on my hardwood flooring?

This is not a good idea, as paste wax can impact the finish of your floor, and it is not needed. Trust the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and maintenance.

Can I use a steam cleaner on my hardwood flooring?

Malkin’s does not recommend using steam mops as they rely on water vapor under pressure, which may cause the wood to swell. Sweeping, followed by a recommended cleaner, is usually all that is needed to clean your hardwood floor.

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