Heartwood is the older, harder, central core of a tree. It is typically a much darker colour than sapwood. Hardwood is dense and durable, especially when compared to sapwood.
Sapwood is the soft, young wood that sits between the bark of a tree and the heartwood. Sapwood is much lighted in colour, is very permeable, but may be less durable due to its softness.
Area rugs (without a rubber back) are advisable at all entrances. They can help trap dirt, debris, and also help absorb moisture.
To further reduce the tracking of grit into the home, hardwood installers and finishers strongly recommend the use of exterior walk-off “welcome” mats. These outdoor mats are excellent at reducing snow, slush, sand and salt from being tracked into a home or office.
Hardwood flooring is very resilient, but it does require care. Floors should never be wet mopped. Instead, make a point to perform regular maintenance: sweep, vacuum and dust-mop. If using a vacuum, do not use the beater bar – opt for the hard surface mode.
Be attentive to potential spills areas in the home, including sinks, dishwashers, icemakers, water coolers, and stovetops. Other potential problems areas include household plants and Christmas tree stands. Where possible, invest in waterproof or absorbent stands for plants and trees. Boot trays are also an excellent investment and should be left available at each entrance door.
An elephant has a force of 50 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi) on a floor, while a 125- pound woman in high heels has the force of 2,000 psi. That’s 20 times greater than the elephant. Such force can damage any floor, not just hardwood. Exposed nail heads are especially brutal to a floor — their 8,000 psi is damaging enough to pulverize hardened concrete.
Moisture plays a major role in how wood flooring will behave before, during and after installation. Every wood species will act differently during the seasonal changes; for example, during periods of low humidity (winter), certain wood may be more susceptible to noticeable gaps between the boards. While temperature and humidity controls in the environment will assist in stabilizing a wood floor, the LRT team is happy to provide suggestions regarding which wood species may best suit an application. Contact us for more information and advice.
Gaps between individuals boards or planks is common in Canada. Due to our seasonal fluctuations in relative humidity, a hardwood floor will expand under high humidity and contract during periods of low humidity.
In order to minimize seasonal gaps, a humidifier or dehumidifier can assist in maintaining the correct humidity range. In most cases, the acceptable range will be between 35%-50%. Furthermore, residential and commercial HVAC systems can also be used to help control the fluctuations inside a dwelling or building.
There are many reasons a hardwood floor may be squeaky, popping or loose. The most common causes are movement in the flooring or the subflooring system; improper joist spacing; insufficient or improper nailing; a weakening subfloor; incorrect or insufficient adhesive; floor subjected to excessive fluctuations in relative humidity; or, the age of the floor.
Depending on the situation, whether the noise is only heard in one area or if the noise is carried throughout, there are several options for resolution. It is best to contact a certified hardwood flooring professional in your area for an on-site review and resolution.
Buckling is defined by an excessive expansion causing the wood floor to release from the subfloor. Buckling is caused by a high-moisture condition; burst pipe, wet slab, excessive humidity, poor grade condition, etc.
In order to correct a buckled hardwood floor, the floor and subfloor must be allowed to dry. The use of a dehumidifier is essential. Where possible, reducing the stress on the floor by providing relief from vertical barriers is advisable (furniture, cabinets, etc).
If buckling is caught early, removing a row of flooring may assist in helping the wood lay flat. In some cases, like a flood, a complete hardwood flooring replacement may be necessary. When in doubt, contact a hardwood flooring professional for an immediate review.
Whether finished or unfinished, wood can change colour over time. The causes for wood colour changes include exposure to sunlight and oxidation. Some species will lighten, while others will darken. There is no guaranteed colour fastness for hardwood flooring. Customers may wish to ask the LRT team about changes they can expect from the species they are considering or have chosen.
It is also important to be aware that area rugs can cause colour differences in the floor. This is due to differences in light exposure.
LRT Hardwood offers on-site hand scraping and distressing. For clients interested in these services, the following species adapt well to the techniques: Pine, Oak, Walnut, Hickory and/or Pecan. Harder woods, including Maple and the Exotics, can be more difficult to scape and may not lend themselves to the antique chic look. When in doubt, ask the LRT team for advice, examples and considerations.
Parquet patterns derived their names from places or famous people. For example, the Brittany, Canterbury, Marseilles and Louvre patterns are named for the places where the pattern is thought to have originated. Over time, parquet took on more geometric patterns, which is how the popular herringbone, rhombs and traditional “parquet” pattern got their names.
The key to a successful installation of an ornamental pattern begins with a solid design plan. LRT Hardwood has the expertise to assist clients select and design their desired pattern – be it a border, patterning element or medallions. The LRT crew will take into consideration the location of windows, fireplaces, hardwired lighting, and ceiling fixtures to ensure an optimal focal point on the floor is achieved.
LRT Hardwood has the knowledge to help you select the best wood species for your ornamental hardwood flooring pattern. Since different wood species will have varying rates of expansion and contraction, there is potential for movement. To minimize movement, our crews can help you design a pattern that can run in two directions.
For clients interested in a flooring installation which includes borders, inlays and patterning, LRT Hardwood will do an on-site review of the subfloor flatness. Subfloor flatness is critical in these applications, as any irregularities in the subfloor will be mirrored on the finished floor surface.
LRT Hardwood Flooring offers repairs, line painting and resurfacing for sports floors. This includes basketball courts, squash courts, aerobic studios, dance studios, yoga studios and more.
For specific care recommendations for sports floor, please use link below to contact LRT Hardwood for an in-person consultation.