Hardwood flooring passes style, durability test

Hardwood flooring passes style, durability test

Peggy J. King, owner
Flooring Solutions, Alpharetta, Ga.

Peggy King founded Flooring Solutions in 1999 after a long career in the construction industry, learning lessons that now form the baseline philosophy of her business. “They weren’t giving the customers a lot of choices when it came to flooring, and I never saw them educate the customers properly, either,” King says. “So my main goal focuses on customer service and education, allowing them to make the right decision.” Flooring Solutions holds Super Service awards from 2006, 2008 and 2009.

What do I need to know about installing and caring for a hardwood floor?

Peggy J. King: "The key is the look and the feel you want to create, while considering factors such as cost, maintenance, durability and installation. Red and white oak are still the most common.

"But we have many more options now, including "green" options like bamboo and exotics like Brazilian cherry. If you don't have to match existing hardwood, these exotics offer different styles and durability and a change from the typical graining of oaks. With exotics, you'll of course have to pay more, as it usually comes from overseas.

"Hardwood can go anywhere, and it's most common on the main level - the living room, dining room, halls, etc. But I wouldn't recommend it in bathrooms with tubs, showers, etc. Water and wood do not work well together, and I see issues all the time relating to that.

"If maintained properly, hardwood is long-lasting and durable. Applying a polyurethane finish offers great protection. If you keep coats applied, hardwood floors can be a lifetime product.

"You might notice the wood is lighter underneath a rug or any other covering. Unfortunately, polyurethane is affected by the sun over time. If they remove the rug or the item, the hardwood underneath will catch up in color in a few months.

"With a good polyurethane finish, no waxing or staining should be necessary. As for cleaning, sweeping, dusting and/or vacuuming should be fine. When vacuuming, make sure the beater bar doesn't hit the floor.

"If you want to use a hardwood cleaner, get it through a major hardwood manufacturer. A lot of the products on the market say they work on hardwood, but end up ruining people's floors and leaving a residue.

"If you're considering a prefinished hardwood product, take new rather than reclaimed. It's more likely to be available in the years to come, which helps if you need to find a match.

"We can typically install 300 to 400 square feet of hardwood in a day. If it's prefinished, you'll be able to put furniture on it that same day. If it's unfinished, you will need to wait at least four days.

"Our costs include materials, removing and disposing of the existing flooring, and installing the hardwood and shoe molding. It can run anywhere from $6 to $10 per square foot all put together. If it's an exotic hardwood, like a Asian walnut, it'll probably be closer to $10.

"My installers have been with me since I founded the business, and that's why I believe I'm so successful. Make sure the installers have a whole lot of experience."

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