One of the worst feelings is when something brand new gets broken or damaged. You worked so hard for that new car, and look at the ding in the door from some inconsiderate person in the parking lot! Floors are the same way. We'd love to tell you that there are indestructible floors, but unfortunately, there are not. And sometimes the damage is our own fault........
Here are some recent situations we have encountered. A client called that had used a "quick shine" product on her hardwood floors and did not like the way it turned out. She wanted to know how to get the product off. This is what it says on the bottle she used: "Restores the richness, color and beauty of hardwood floors. Made with pure natural plant-based Carnauba. Simply squirt and spread - Quick and easy." This product is not a cleaner, it is a wax. And there is no easy way to remove it.
Please, don't use random products on your hardwood floors. Always read the label carefully before you buy that new product. Words and phrases to watch out for include Polish, Finish, Glo or Glow, Fills in scratches, Shine, Protects from water damage, Leaves a long-lasting brilliant shine, Oil soap, Wax, Refresher, Rejuvenator. These words and phrases are telling you the product is more than a cleaner. There is some type of wax or dressing in the product which will almost certainly cause problems. Either it will not adhere (will peel or flake off) or there will be an unattractive residue on the surface of the floor. Please only use cleaners made by wood flooring manufacturers like Armstrong, Bona, or Mohawk.
Another client had a big holiday party and there are now little indentions all over his new hardwood floors from high heels. He was genuinely surprised that this had happened. Did you know that measured in pounds per square inch (psi), a car has a load of 28-30 psi, an elephant 50-100 psi, and a 125-lb. woman with high heels, when she takes a step and those heels hit the floor, 2000 psi! That's a problem for any floor -wood, ceramic, carpet, and vinyl. Indentation will occur from the heels themselves, and even more so from protruding nailheads. An exposed nailhead can exert a force of 8000 psi---high enough to pulverize hardened concrete.
Now you may be wondering what our client could have done to prevent this. Other than inspecting the shoes of every guest before allowing entry into the home, probably nothing. Using lots of runners and rugs to protect the hardwoods is an option, but this is an expensive solution. If you have certain friends that love their stiletto heels, consider buying several pair of inexpensive slippers and ask your guests to change into "more comfortable" shoes when they arrive. (Maybe you will start a new fashion trend!)
With today's technology, hardwood flooring manufacturers are able to strengthen their surface finishes with everything from Aluminum Oxide, Titanium to Ceramic particles mixed with the finishes. Quality manufacturers use 6 to 10 coats of these durable finishes on their flooring. These finishes create a very wear resistant durable surface for normal foot traffic for many years. Regardless of the brand of wood flooring or finish though, all wood flooring can be scratched or indented if something heavy and/or sharp is pushed, dragged, or rolled over its surface. This includes stiletto heels or even a pebble stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
The higher the hardness is of a specific wood species will help reduce the amount of dents caused by situations listed above, but ultimately no matter what the hardness rating of the wood species, wood is wood. Wood is made up of millions of cell structures that were once filled with water making it harder to crush or dent before the tree was cut from the forest. Once that tree becomes lumber and is kiln dried at the mill, the moisture in those cells is dried out leaving hollow cell structures that can compress when something heavy is dropped or rolled on the floor leaving dents within the surface of the wood.
Sometimes clients are surprised that their dogs are scratching their hardwood floors. Little dogs with sharp nails and large dogs that actively run in the house will dig in to get traction, possibly scratching the surface of any wood flooring. It is important to keep dogs' nails trimmed and to possibly limit their areas. Use lots of area rugs. There are companies out there that make dog booties that will protect your hardwood flooring. Also, make sure your pets are house broken. Pet urine is an acid and will damage the natural color of the wood flooring if not cleaned up right away, leaving a black stain that does not always sand out.
Another client's dog threw up on her carpet, and her trusty stain remover did not get the spot all the way up. Please, when something is spilled on your carpet, don't grab for any cleaner you can find. Take a quick moment to either call the carpet manufacturer or go to their website to find out exactly what you need to do to remove the specific stain. Some cleaning products can lock in a stain or permanently discolor the carpet. For many of the newer carpets, most stains will come up with warm water only. And never rub, scrub or use a brush. This may damage carpet fibers.
If you have bought new carpet recently please take a few minutes to put this information somewhere handy so that when something happens to your carpet, you know exactly where to go to find the correct cleaning information. Also know exactly what the fiber is: nylon, SmartStrand, solution dyed polyester, etc. Call and ask us if you do not know your fiber. Click the manufacturer links below to be linked to each website:
We Did It Again!
The results are in, and for the third year in a row, Enhance Floors & More was voted Best of Atlanta for Flooring. Kudzu.com tallies the results in numerous categories and announces the winners every January. We are so proud to be recognized for the work that we do every day to give our clients the very best service when they are shopping for new flooring and the absolute best installation experience.