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How to Measure

Wood flooring is sold by the carton or bundle.
Millwood's bundles of wood flooring can measure from 18 to 22 feet. Bottom line is you will have some wood left over. Not to worry, you may need it for repairs.

Measure the Room
If your room is rectangle shaped then you're in luck. If not then simply break the room up into rectangles. Calculate the sections and add them up. Be sure to measure from wall to wall. Do not forget the closets. After you calculate the rooms square footage add about 7-10% for waste. If you are going to install molding measure the perimeter of the room to get your linear footage. Its best to add a few feet for mistakes.

Hardness Chart

The Janka hardness test measures the force required to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. The higher the number, the harder the wood is.

Relative Hardness of Wood Flooring Species
Below are listed the relative hardness for numerous wood species used in flooring. These ratings were done using the Janka Hardness Test. The higher the number the harder the wood. This should be used as a general guide when comparing various species of wood flooring. Ratings will vary from where and when a tree was obtained.

Moisture Control

When receiving wood flooring the customer must acclimate the floor to the environment. Solid flooring should receive 10 - 14 days of acclimation and then check and see if the moisture level of the floor is between 6% - 9%. That is the moisture level percent for most regions. Dry climates can go under 6% and humid climates can end up at 10% or 11%. Acclimate the floor to your conditions. When nailing down a floor to plywood the difference in moisture content between the plywood and the flooring is not to be more than 2%. This is important to prevent moisture damage to flooring.

Moisture problems in wood floors can be caused by different factors. Wood absorbs or loses moisture until equilibrium with the surrounding air is reached. When the moisture content changes, shrinking, cupping or even crowning may occur.

Ambient conditions inside heated homes or offices usually range between 35% and 55% relative humidity when the temperature is 60 degrees F to 80 degrees F. Relative humidity between 35% - 55% should be maintained.

Floor installers have to deal with different relative humidity conditions depending on when and where the installation takes place. Average relative humidity differs between coastal and inland areas and between summer and winter. This is the main reason why acclimation is an important step when installing hardwood floors.

Care must be taken to maintain “live in” conditions to avoid increasing the tendency of natural wood to shrink, crack, swell and warp. The building must be acclimated to “live in” conditions while the uninstalled wood is at the job site and/or for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation and continually maintained at these conditions for the life of the floor. When exposed to low humidity (below 35%) wood flooring is susceptible to shrinkage and cracking. Certain wood species are much more susceptible to shrinking and cracking when exposed to low humidity. Some of these species are but not limited to: Jatobe (Brazilian Cherry), Ipe, Santos Mahogany, Wenge, Cumaru, Douglas Fir, Hard Maple, and Tigerwood.

Floor Care

Your new hardwood flooring will generally be easy to maintain. Just need to remember that water is the biggest enemy of hardwood floors. Your floors can warp, shift and lose their luster if you allow them to get wet. The best way to avoid these problems is to wipe up spills with a dry cloth and never use a wet mop to clean the floors. Keep floors dirt free with a broom or vacuum and only use cleaning products that are safe for wood floors.

You can also extend the life of your wood floors by placing rugs in high traffic areas. If you are moving furniture around the room, make sure you use felt gliders or some other fabric to protect the wood. Sunlight can also damage wood, so keep an eye on the parts of the floor that get direct sunlight. You can use curtains or blinds to limit the sun.

If you take good care of your hardwood floors, they will last a lifetime and require only periodic refinishing. The best part of hardwood floors is that scuffs, scratches and imperfections can be sanded out every few years, so that your floors will continue to look like they were just installed.

Don't Damp Mop
Water and hardwood floors don't mix! Use only the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products on your hardwood floor.

Vacuum Regularly
Small stones, mud and gritty dirt tracked in from outside can scratch the finish of your wood floor's finish. To help combat this use long bristle welcome mats placed at all outside entrances for people to wipe their feet on before entering onto the floors. Also, vacuum using a soft bristle brush attachment.

Don't Use Oil Soaps
There are many over the counter oil-based soaps and wax based cleaning products that may damage or dull the finish of your wood floor. The best suggestion is to only use the manufacturers recommended cleaning products on your hardwood flooring.

Never Wax a Urethane Floor
If your hardwood floor has a polyurethane finish never use a paste wax on the floor's surface. A paste wax may form a sticky film on your floor and allow tracked in dirt to stick to your wood finish. Polyurethane finishes will not adhere to any wax and adding a fresh coat of polyurethane to your floor will be very difficult.

Wipe Spills Immediately
When accidents happen and some liquid gets spilled on your hardwood floor, you should use a slightly damp white cloth, or paper towel to immediately clean up and dry the effected area. For more difficult spots, follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning procedures.

Use the Proper Chair Glides
Narrow wheels, sharp wooden legs or metal furniture legs can scratch and dent hardwood floors. Any furniture that rests directly on top of a hardwood floor should have felt protectors, or furniture coasters under all it's feet. For extremely heavy objects such as a piano, use wide, non-staining rubber cups. Purchasing floor protectors is cheap insurance for protecting your hardwood floor investment.