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What Makes Hardwood Floors Last a Lifetime?

Hardwood flooring is an American favorite, and for good reason. It can be durable and even last a lifetime. Have you ever thought about what makes hardwood floors last so long compared to other types of flooring? This week, let’s explore the reasons that your hardwood floors can last over 100 years.

Hardwood Floors are Made of Durable Materials

There are great ways to make sure the hardwood floors in a home or business last a lifetime. Hardwood flooring is made of a variety of lumber from trees such as teak, oak and walnut. The pieces of lumber are cut into shapes such as planks, squares or rectangles in many sizes to create materials to design floors. The different sizes and shapes of tiles and planks are placed on top of underlying surfaces such as concrete for stability. With the proper care, a home’s hardwood floors can last a lifetime, providing an attractive surface that is classic and stylish.

It is Easy to Care for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors do not require harsh cleansers or abrasive equipment to maintain the surfaces. To keep floors free of stains from spilled beverages or pet waste, clean up the debris immediately with a soft cloth. Use a soft bristle broom or dust mop to sweep away or pick up particles of food or sand to avoid scratching the hardwood floors surface. Electric vacuum cleaners are also appropriate for removing large debris from wood floors on a weekly basis, but make sure the wheels of the device do not create scratches on the tiles and planks. For all these reasons, hardwood flooring can be easy to care for and that makes them last longer.

Hardwood Floors have a Variety of Durable Finishes

Eventually, hardwood floors can lose their shine and even get stained. They may not technically be worn out, and don’t need to be replaced. Hardwood floors can actually be refinished to improve its appearance and make it last a lifetime. Understanding the type of wood along with its finish is necessary. There are many types of older and newer finishes for hardwood floors, including:

  • Polyurethane – water based or oil modified

  • Oiled – usually vegetable based oil

  • Varnishes – resins or solvents

  • Lacquers – colored or clear hardened solvents

  • Shellacs – alcohol combined with resins

  • Waxes – natural solidified oils from plants or vegetables

Refinish Damaged Hardwood Floors

If there are deep scratches in wood flooring, and the finish has been worn off, It is possible to refinish them to ensure the items last a lifetime rather than replace the planks or tiles. There are several ways to refinish floors such as sanding by hand with specialized tools or using machines. Removing as little of the hardwood as possible while improving and smoothing the surface of the flooring is essential. Coarsely grained sandpaper is used first to remove surface layers such as crumbling finishes. Next, finer grain sandpaper is used to make a smooth walking surface on the hardwood. The hardwood floor is often stained, painted or refinished with polymers to make it last a lifetime.

Hardwood flooring can last for more than 100 years due to being made of such durable material, being easy to clean and care for, and the fact that the finish can be replaced or the entire flooring refinished. The next time you make a hardwood flooring purchase, you can have confidence that your purchase may even outlive you.

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