25 May 2012

A guide to wood floor cleaning products

Whether you buy a real wood floor or engineered wood floor, cleaning it regularly is vitally important if you want your investment to last. With so many wood floor cleaning products on the market it can making choosing the correct cleaning product quite daunting.

One of the best manufacturers of wood floor cleaning products in the world is Bona. Having been in business since 1919 their understanding of wood floors is unsurpassed and the products they develop to treat, clean and maintain them are outstanding.

At Wood Floors Online we recommend the following Bona products for cleaning your wood floor:-

Bona Cleaner 
This product is a concentrated pH neutral detergent especially designed to be used on sealed wooden floors. The new formula is a powerful, low-foaming sealed wooden floor cleaner. It is best used with an auto-scrubber but is equally effective with conventional cleaning methods.

This is a convenient, ready to use, pH neutral, spray-on wood Floor cleaner that is also suitable for laminate flooring, waxed and oiled floors. The special ‘non-smear’ formulation leaves no build-up of sticky residue whilst effectively cleaning the toughest of dirt and grime.

Bona Soap 
This cleaning product is slightly alkaline based, specifically designed for oiled wood floors. It includes additives designed to nourish the surface and replace the material removed during the cleaning process. It is suitable for commercial and domestic use.

Bona Remover 
This product is specifically designed for removing heel and scuff marks. It is a concentrated polish stripper designed to remove Bona Polish. Bona Remover can also be used to treat floors which have become slippery and for the removal of black heel marks. Floors which have been previously treated with polish must be sanded back to bare timber prior to over-coating. Bona remover will also remove applications of Bona Freshen Up prior to over-coating the surface with further coats of lacquer.

Goo Gone 
Goo Gone is a combination of citrus power and scientific technology designed to eliminate the very toughest problems. It has minimal impact on our environment and is safe to use on nearly any surface. It is excellent for removing any gooey, gummy, greasy, sticky cleaning problems. Although not made by Bona it is still a great product.

17 May 2012

An Introduction To Wide Plank Flooring

Choosing which flooring you would like in your house can be a difficult decision.
“Would the kids prefer carpet? Would I prefer tiles? What would perfectly suit our decor?”

Wood is the perfect way to give your flooring a fresh and new style. Wide plank wooden floors come in a wide range of different styles, finishes and species. This determinates their firmness, durability and colour. Cherry, oak, mahogany, beech, walnut or ash woods are known for their durability and toughness. Moreover, every species has a unique finish. You might want to select your wooden floor based on the durability if you have lots of little children or pets, whilst you may prefer to select it based on the colour or grain of the wood.

Oak is a very strong, heavy and durable wood. It has a nice finish and an open grain.  Mahogany is also a very strong and durable wood and easy to work with. Cherry is a beautiful wood with a fairly close grain and a rich, deep colour.  Beech is hardwearing and tough but can be demanding and difficult to install.  Ash has a light colour and is great for bringing brightness into an otherwise dark room.  Walnut is famous for its smooth texture that also resists shrinking and warping.  It is a strong wood and perfect for families.

Here are some examples of wide plank wood floors

- 21 mm depth 

- 2.2 m lenght

The rustic grade allows for a natural variation of colour and grain.

Nature Grade American Black Walnut, Lacquered 

- 190 mm width 
- 21 mm depth 
- 1.83 m lenght

Beautiful, warm walnut wide board flooring that can be used with under floor heating providing the correct installation process is followed.

Oak Double Smoke Lacquered Nature

- 180 mm width

- 20 mm depth

- 1.80 m length

This can be laid directly onto joists.

Most people are looking for high-quality durable floors but you might also want to include environmentally friendly floors.

Wide plank flooring has many advantages. It is suitable for tighter budgets, easier to care for and easier to install. Installing a wide plank floor couldn’t be easier and can easily be installed by yourself. If you’re installing your wide plank floor yourself we have written some tips for you at below.

First of all, you’ll need to measure your floor correctly to find out the total area to cover. You should buy 20% more than you require to be extra careful and for any mistakes or accidents.

Furthermore, you’ll have to equip yourself with tools to prepare your flooring such as a table saw for cutting planks down to size. You’ll also need a hammer, right square, ruler, pencils, shims and an individual saw to help you fit the floor around cabinets, corners or a doorway.

When you’ve bought your wooden flooring, you’ll need to remove your furniture and take up your old floor. It’s best to use different lengths of wood to begin your installation. This will give a more natural finish and look. Also be sure to put shims between planks and your wall to allow for natural expansion.

After all your planks have been laid, you’ll need to trim the final planks to the correct width. Be careful not to damage the floor with your tools as well – although with the extra 20% you should be covered!

Wide board wooden floors can completely transform your room and the look and feel of a space. This kind of flooring looks elegant and can add warmth and character to any room.  

If you need further information about wide plank wood flooring, please contact us.

Wood floors: Protecting your investment

Wood Floors Online understands that a quality wooden floor in the home is not just a decoration, it is an investment. Hardwood floors made from Oak or Walnut or Teak for example, are sought after features in the property market as they can add substantial value to a property.

Having a wood floor in the home comes with the added responsibility of maintaining it. And that starts from the very beginning. Fastening a wood floor with the right adhesive in the right way is the key to achieving a great end result.

For parquet floors we recommend Bona’s R850T Adhesive. This versatile adhesive can be used on many different types of substrate, including non-absorbent ones. It can be used on the following substrates: concrete floors, plywood and chipboard, cementitious screeds, anhydrite screeds, leveling compounds (at least 2mm thick), mastic asphalt which has been primed with Bona R410 and non-absorbent surfaces such as ceramic tiles or metals.

A key part of maintaining your wooden floor is protect it. If for example your business has just refitted the office reception with oak wood floors, it is reasonable to say that there might be quite a lot of foot traffic, ideal for products like Bona’s Traffic anti-slip.

Combining anti-slip products with others that add durability is also recommended. For areas that will receive a lot of heavy wear such as commercial spaces, we recommend the Bona’s Mega coating product. For the home Bona’s Novia or Resident products would be ideal.

Moisture is a wood floors biggest enemy and something we recommend you take measures to protect against. If left unchecked moisture and dampness can wreck havoc on wood floor. Even the strongest Oak will succumb to moisture. Products like Bona’s R580 and R4100 are designed to protect against the damaging effects of moisture.

To maximise the lifespan of your wood floors also requires regular cleaning with the right product. This means you need to find out if your wood floor has been finished or oiled. This will then determine that right wood floor cleaning product for you.

So, to protect your investment in wood floors requires forward planning from the beginning. How its installed, treated and maintained will ultimately determine the lifespan of your wood floors so look after them carefully!

4 May 2012

Hardwood floors vs. Engineered wood floors

When choosing your ideal wood flooring for the home there is a huge amount of choice. The two broadest groups of wood floor that people choose between are engineered wood floors and hard wood floors.

So, to be clear engineered wood floors are typically pre-finished with two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank and usually with bevelled edges. Alternatively hardwood floors are manufactured from solid wood without compromising the structure of the flooring.

Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages. Hardwood flooring is limited in a number of ways such as the inability to install it directly over concrete or to use it with radiant floor heating.

Furthermore hardwood flooring is prone to “gapping” (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre).

However, for some people there is no match for high quality, well maintained hardwood floors. Homeowners in particular know that well made products that stand the test of time and have a classic, timeless appeal. Wood meets all these criteria, and is also popular for its practical qualities, including durability and ease of maintenance.

On the other hand, engineered wood flooring has its own advantages compared to hardwood floors. One of which will be highly relevant to homeowners is the easy installation process. You won’t have to lay out vast sums of money because they have been made to let you do it yourself at home. And even if you’re not comfortable with this and require some assistance it would not take a much time, saving you money.

In addition engineered wood floors have been designed to prevent expanding and contracting when water or moisture has penetrated it. It is also an extremely versatile type of flooring which is suitable for bedrooms, lounges, basements and kitchens as it can withstand changes in temperature and water. As a result engineered wood floors are much less likely to warp or suffer any other problems.

So which is better hardwood flooring or engineered wood flooring? The answer is totally dependent on your requirements, budget and willingness to maintain. It may be the case that engineered wood flooring might be best in the kitchen but hardwood flooring is best for the lounge. Whatever your decision, hardwood or engineered both will look fantastic.

Speak to experts like those at Wood Floors Online to find the best wood floor solution for you!