Atlanta flooring company owner discusses hardwoods
Who we talked to
Eli Harrell grew up in his family's hardwood flooring business, so it's no surprise that he followed in his father's footsteps and now owns Apalachee Hardwood Floors. "I've done some construction and electrical work, but when my parents moved to Charleston four years ago I took over the business," he says.
What are the advantages to having hardwood flooring in your home?
"Hardwood is maintainable and gives your room a warmer feel. Wood is quickly becoming one of the most popular options when it comes to flooring. Carpet people are starting to realize how dirty carpet really is, especially when allergies develop and doctors recommend people get rid of their carpet. Wood floors can be extremely flexible with types of colors and sheen. But mostly the health benefits and easy maintenance are the biggest advantages."
What do you do when you clean hardwood floors?
"Keeping the grit off the floors is your No. 1 goal because that's what wears them out. I recommend a hardwood floor vacuum. If you have wood floors in an area that sees a lot of spills, they should only be mopped with a terry-cloth mop. You can use vinegar and water or a cleaner made by a hardwood floor company. You don't need to wax or polish the floor. And you don't typically need to get them cleaned professionally, as long as you keep them clean."
Is there any type of stain or etch you can't remove?
"The only stains that usually aren't removable are really bad pet stains. Also, we had a client whose cleaning people plugged one of those refillable air fresheners into the wall upside down. All the oil spilled out and ate through the finish. But if you're refinishing a floor, you can repatch the area. Another client had painters in after we stained her floors. Well, she had to let them go so they dumped paint all over the floor before they left. The paint came right up and didn't damage the floor a bit."
What can homeowners do to maintain their hardwood floors?
"Definitely use some sort of protector under the furniture. In the past, and I think some people still, anticipate having to refinish hardwood sometime in the future. But it doesn't have to be that way. The finishes available now are so advanced. Find out what type of finish you have so you'll know what to do if you have a problem."