Tips and Warning for installing laminate wood flooring

Adding laminate wood flooring is a great way to jazz up the interiors of your room. Laminate floors are only wallet friendly but are also easy to install and maintain. Given below are some of tips and warnings that may come in handy while installing a laminate floor.

When you purchase laminate strips for your floor make sure you take into account an extra 10 percent for any kind of wastage due to mistakes. It is always advisable to buy some extra and most dealers will happily accept the unused strips.

Using a string line stretched tight from end to the other can prove very helpful when you trying to determine the straightness of the first row of strips that you have applied.

Invest in a few knee pads as you will be constantly working on your knees while installing laminate strips.

Glues dry up much quicker when a room is well ventilated. Bear in mind that it is easier to remove all the spilled glue while it is still wet. Do not wait for the excess glue to dry as removing it can nothing short of a nightmare.

Time frame and Cost of Refinishing your hardwood floor

There are a number of factors that one needs to take into consideration while refinishing a hard wood floor to bring back its original shine and luster. For starters, your budget and the condition of your floor will help you determine what type of floor reconditioning you require. The most cost –effective way to boost dulled floors is to screen and re-coat a wood floor. The process involves removal of shallow scratches and superficial marks with the help of a buffing machine followed by the polishing of the top coat. More wore out floors with dents and dings will require a more complete refinishing job.

The time frame of such a project depends on the size of the flooring, stain and finish used and the weather condition. The screening process for an average size room (12’ x 14’) itself will probably take nothing less than a day or two followed by the finishing which could take nearly the same amount of time.

Always remember that the prices of refinishing at a retail store may always be steeper than quotes from contractors. This is because stores work their profit margin into the cost. But no matter who you choose to go with make sure you verify the party’s credibility before you give them the job.

How to keep your laminate flooring shiny?

Laminate floors are a good alternative to hard wood floor as it is inexpensive to install and very east to maintain. In contrast to wood, you do not have to polish a laminate floor to achieve a gleaming top coat. It already comes with it. And keeping the shine on is also a fairly non complicated affair.

If you laminate floor starts looking dull and grimy then all you need to restore its former lustrous top coat is a simple vinegar and water solution. Abstain from using any of the finishing products that is meant for hard wood floors as you may end up damaging your laminate flooring.

All it takes is five simple steps to make your laminate flooring look as good as new. Firstly you need to clean your floor off any dust and debris that is accumulated on it. Then make a cleaning agent by mixing four parts water to one part vinegar. Take a clean cloth and wipe the floors with the solution ensuring you wring out all the excess water. Lastly allow it to dry off completely.

Advantages of laminate flooring

While everybody may like a hard wood floor not all may be able to afford the cost of installing and maintaining one. If you wish to have wood like finish on your floor but do not want to break your bank then laminate flooring may be a great alternative. Laminate floors not only look and feel like wood floors but cost only a fraction of the real stuff minus all the high maintenance levels that wood demands.

Laminate flooring is made by slapping an image of wood, stone, brick or any other material onto an aluminum oxide layer. The end product is not only cheaper than wood but also more durable as the material is tougher than wood or tile. The difference is inconspicuous to an untrained eye and the installation is pretty easy too.

Unlike wood, laminate flooring is almost immune to damages caused by water. The layer of laminate backing fortifies the floor against moisture. A quick sweep with a damp mop is all you need to wipe down stains and spills. Laminate flooring do get scratched so special care should be taken while moving furniture and if you pets then you might want to trim their claws periodically.

How to restore the shine of a hardwood floor?

You gleaming hard wood floor will not always look shiny and new. Regular foot traffic, exposure to sunlight and damages will eventually wear off the luster. The key to preserving the shine of your hardwood floor lies in routine care and maintenance. The quickest and easiest way to restore the shine of your hardwood floor is by investing in first class refinishing products and strictly following the stipulated application process.

Before you apply the refinishing product you need to ensure that your floor is free of any dust, debris, oil and other particles. A good sweep and thorough vacuuming is a prerequisite for any kind of refinishing.

Choose wax as your refinishing agent if you fancy a satin finish. Apply the wax evenly on a soft cloth and massage it on to floor. Ensure that your rubbing action matches the pattern of the wood grain. Once the wax dries buff it with the help of a floor buffer.

Gloss finish is best achieved with a water based wood floor finish. Not only is more enduring than wax but also leaves a studier and more luminous top coat on your wood floor. The process of applying the finish is similar to that of the wax finish save for the last step. Water based floor finish need no buffing.

How to keep your hardwood floor happy?

Your wood floor can stay in mint condition if you employ these easy measures listed below. Not only do these tips help you increase the life of your wood floor but also trim maintenance and repair cost that you may incur over the years.

Rubber backed or in other words non-ventilated mats or rugs damage wood floors. Therefore, it is always advisable to pick rugs that are made specifically for hard wood floors. Frequent cleaning of the mat will ensure that the dust and debris collected in them does not damage the flooring.

Stiletto heels may look fabulous on the person wearing it but it does more harm than good to your precious hard wood floor. Dents and scratches are some of the by products of using such footwear. Golf shoes, spiked shoes and untrimmed pet claws could also lead to the same kind of damage.

Wood floors thrive in 35 to 55 percent relative humidity and enjoy a warm environment ranging between 60 degrees and 80 degrees. So turn on the HVAC as often as you can. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can not only zap the sheen of the wood floor but also cause to change color. Tinting your windows and covering exposed portions with a rug should protect you from harmful UV exposure.

A Do-It-Yourself guide to repairing scratches

With the use of the right technique you can wipe of scratches from the surface of your hard wood floor with minimum effort. Most cosmetic scratches can be tackled by employing a process known as a pad and recoat. It involves the use of a buffer to scuff sand the floor followed by the application of a wood finish.

Buffers are easily available in the home repairs and maintenance section of most departmental stores. Once you finish buffing you need to apply a coat of polyurethane stain followed by a second coat on the affected surface. While you need to wait for at least 8 hours before you recoat oil based stain, most water based stains can be recoated after 3 hours.

There a number of ways in which you can conceal minor scratches. For starters, you can fix surface scratches by using a stain filled marker. For a more stubborn scratch, apply a little paste wax and polish with a soft cloth. You can also use walnuts to fix scratches by rubbing shelled nuts on the affected surface. The oil of the nuts released while rubbing masks the scratches. For deep rooted scratches you may need to roughen up the area with extra fine sandpaper and complete the repair job by staining the wood with a paintbrush.

All you need to know about scratches

When it comes to taking care of your exquisitely finished hard wood floor prevention is always better than repair. You can prevent most damages that ruin the show of your floor by employing some simple and inexpensive measures.

Padding the bottom of furniture legs is an easy way to avoid scratches and dents formed by furniture legs. Alternatively, you can preserve the finish of your wood floor by throwing a few rugs and runners in areas that experience a high level of foot traffic such as doorways, entrance and exit areas, landing of a staircase etc.

Special care must be taken when you move your furniture around. To avoid scuff marks and scratches slip on socks onto the legs of your furniture. Homeowners who share their space with pets should regularly trim their pet’s nails as it can damage the floor.

The wrong kind of broom or vacuuming attachment used while cleaning can also lead to scratches. Make sure you use a soft haired broom while sweeping and remember to use the vacuuming attachment that is meant for wood flooring.

How to wipe off the water spots on your beloved hard wood floor?

Whether you choose a classic oak finish or a striking Brazilian cherry polish, you know that you are adding a touch of class by opting for wood floors. Needless to say, you would do everything in your capacity to ensure that the dazzle and glamour of your wood floor stays unaffected. However, no matter how careful one is the large number of footfall, onslaught of footwear, pets, etc does take a toll on your wood floor finish.

The formation of stains and spots on your hard wood floor is inevitable. Water, a commodity we cannot do without, is the biggest nemesis of an elegantly finished hard wood floor. Hence, it is of supreme importance that one takes every precaution that one can to ensure that water in any form should not be left on the surface.

The spillage of water can cause the formation of white spots on a wood floor’s surface. The right way to get rid of these spots is to gently rub the affected area in a circular motion with an extra fine steel wool pad dabbed in a small amount of mineral spirits. Avoid resorting to continuous scrubbing as it can cause warping, cracking and buckling of the wood strips.

Cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors

A hard wood floor would serve you well for years but nothing is immune to the ravages of time. No matter what finish you choose (shellac, varnish or penetrating sealer) after a while you will notice scratches and grazes that will bring down the sheen of your hard wood floor by at least a couple of notches.

Though hard wood floors do not attract dust and debris you will still need to wipe it clean from time to time. The lack of grout lines and gaps makes cleaning easier and a light sweeping is all you need to get rid of dirt or sand that scratch against the surface of your floor. Make a point to wash those carpets, runners or rugs as they gather the maximum dust which eventually lands up on your hard wood floor making them look dull and worn out.

Spilled food and water should be promptly cleaned and ensure that you mop and vacuum your hard wood floor frequently. If you are using a cleaner then make certain that it is a non abrasive hard wood friendly agent. The wrong kind can cause your floor to peel. Steam cleaners are a good alternative to the chemical based ones.