Buying Tips for Hardwood Flooring

Costen offers natural hardwood flooring that enhance the beauty, warmth and value of your home. Here, you'll find enduring hardwood styles, plus rare and exotic choices that can help you achieve a one-of-a-kind look. Choose from hundreds of woods and styles, from classic oak to cherry, mahogany, walnut, maple, ebony, heart pine or even bamboo. We also feature the latest in pre-finished floors with flash cured factory finishes for uniform quality and easy installation with no sanding and urethane smell. Design your own inlay, we can do it all. We also handle all sizes of commercial projects.

Factory Finish vs. Custom Sand & Finish on Site
You should feel comfortable with either choice. However, factory finishing offers many nice advantages. Factory finished flooring is inspected for defects at the mill so you receive first choice every time. On-site finishing depends on the quality of the workmanship that day.

Factory finished flooring usually installs more quickly and without the dust and odors that are involved with on-site finishing. However, even though factory finished flooring comes in a variety of colors, on-site finishing allows for closer color match with existing woodwork or cabinets.

Both factory finishes and on-site finishes are available in either high gloss or matte. Both types have exciting new finishes developed with space age technology are require no waxing.

Engineered products install where no solid hardwood dares to go.
Prior to the development of engineered hardwood flooring, hardwood products could not be installed on slab or in your basement without a special subfloor system. Now you can enjoy real hardwood flooring in those areas without all that fuss and expense. A special cross-ply construction eliminates the problem of expansion and contraction usually associated with solid hardwood flooring.

Don't become overly concerned with thinner or thicker top wood layers associated with engineered products because it's the finish you are walking on. Generally speaking you won't need to re-sand and finish these products; just re-coat them unless you need to change the color.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: What to Expect
Costen Floors offers expert refinishing services and can quote you the price for one room up to a whole house or business location. Hardwood refinishing does create a fair amount of dust and smell with the polyurethane finish and many of our customers time their refinishing project with a vacation so that we can perform the service and have your home ready when you return from your holiday. We feature belt sanders for the main areas and use smaller hand sanders and scrapers for the edges and hard to reach areas and proudly use Minwax stains and finishes. We also offer cleaning kits that can help you keep your hardwood floor looking new for longer periods of time.

Special considerations when selecting hardwood flooring
Direct sunlight can affect the color of hardwood stains, therefore closing curtains or shades during peak periods will reduce damage. Area rugs left in place for extended periods of time may expose a shading difference once they are removed from the remainder of the floor.

Benefits of Hardwood Floors
No other flooring offers the warmth, beauty, and value of hardwood. Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room, and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years. In fact, in a national survey of real estate agents, 90 percent said that houses with hardwood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors.

Ease of Maintenance
Maintenance of today's wood floors is easy! New technology in stains and finishes call for regular cleaning that takes little more than sweeping and/or vacuuming, with occasional use of a professional wood floor cleaning product. You will want to use a cleaning product recommended by your flooring manufacturer, installer, or other wood flooring professional. This will ensure that you use the proper cleaner for your type of flooring and finish.

There are other steps you can take to minimize maintenance and maintain the beauty of your wood floors as well.
1. Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on hardwood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
2. Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your hardwood floors. This will prevent scratching.
3. Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
4. Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
5. Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
6. Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
7. Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
8. When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
9. For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
10. Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.

Hardwood floors are ecologically friendly. Since it is a natural resource, wood is both renewable and recyclable. Many of yesteryear's old wood ships , warehouses, barns, and other structures often find a second life in wood flooring. And, because wood does not collect dust and other allergens, many leading health associations agree that wood floors are the perfect choice for a healthy home.
Wood floors are one of the wisest environmental choices you can make. Not only will they very likely outlast you, they are made from nature's most remarkable renewable resource. Despite the millions and millions of trees that have been harvested to make countless wood products, we have more wood growing today than we had in 1920.
Wood floors make great insulators—inch for inch wood flooring is about 16 times as efficient as concrete and 415 times more efficient than steel. And they require far less energy to make, as well.

Today's wood floors are affordable. Over time, wood floors maintain their value. When other flooring options are looking tired and worn out, hardwood floors will still look beautiful and timeless.

Hardwood floors have come a long way in the past few years. Today, there are more styles, colors and species of wood flooring available than ever before. Whether you're looking for traditional Oak, rustic Pine, exotic Wenge or trendy Bamboo, you're sure to find a color and style to fit your décor.