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FAQs About Hardwood Flooring

CA Hardwood Flooring | California Wood Floors

Our customers ask us a lot of questions about hardwood flooring, and we have lots of answers. Let’s look at common questions we have heard about hardwood:

Which hardwood floor provides the longest-lasting surface?

All hardwoods provide extremely durable flooring, and the major differences between them come from their color and grain. There are slight differences between woods for the hardness they exhibit when tested against each other, but they will all provide many years of quality service. If you buy hardwood, your major decision should be how you want the floor to look, not the hardness of the wood used for the flooring.

Santa Barbara wood floor boards

Explain the difference between finished and unfinished flooring

Finished flooring has a finely beveled edging that adds a distinct look to the finished floor. It also has received several coats of sealant to provide long-lasting wear protection. Unfinished flooring has a straight edge between adjacent pieces, and it has no sealant. Unfinished flooring is finished on-site after it is installed.

How will moisture affect my floor?

Excessive moisture can cause the floor to change shape, resulting in an uneven floor once it is installed in place. Buckling or even cracks can occur, therefore we don’t recommend using water to clean your hardwood floor. Any liquid spills should be cleaned up promptly and only use damp cloths to clean up spills, making sure the floor is dry when done.

Do I need to use a moisture barrier when I install my floor?

We do recommend a moisture barrier be installed, particularly if your floor is installed over a basement or unheated spaces, or if installing above the concrete. A 15-pound felt paper can be used or newer moisture barriers that also act as soundproofing are available. These sound barriers are usually made from closed-cell foams. These will repel moisture and also reduce the noise created from walking across the floor.

Can hardwood floors be installed in basements?

We don’t recommend that hardwood floors be used in basements due to the higher potential for moisture damage. We have a wide range of laminate and engineered flooring that is more suitable for basements, so contact us for more information.

How should I clean my hardwood floor?

Regular cleaning with a dry dust mop, microfiber towel, or similar cleaning material is the best way to clean your floor and prevent dust and debris buildup that can lead to wear and scratches. If you spill something, only use a damp cloth or mop to clean it up, and make sure the floor is dry afterward. You can use a vacuum if it has a selection to turn off the rotating brush because repeatedly vacuuming with the brush on can lead to scratches.

These cleaning techniques are the same for pre-finished or on-site finished flooring. If you have any questions about cleaning techniques or correct materials for your floors, give us a call.

Can I expect color variations in my hardwood floor?

Hardwood flooring is a natural wood product. As a result, you can expect there will be variations in color and grain across an entire floor. This is expected and many customers prefer the natural look provided by real wood.

You can make the floor look more random by choosing boards from different boxes when installing the floor. Also, offset all board joints by at least six inches from row to row. This will prevent the floor appearing artificial, and offset joints make the installed floor more stable.

What are moldings and why are they used?

When a hardwood floor is installed, a small gap should be maintained around the edge of the floor near the walls or existing baseboards. Wood flooring will expand and contract with changes in the home temperature and humidity, so this gap is needed to allow this change. Molding is installed to hide this gap. There are different shapes of molding to cover different areas including gaps near walls, transitions between rooms, transitions between the wood floor and adjacent carpeting, stair treads, and so forth.

If you need hardwood, laminate, or engineered flooring you need to contact us here at We have the products, knowledge, and expertise to help you find the perfect hardwood flooring for your next project. Check out our website or give us a call, we look forward to helping you with any flooring projects.

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