Cleaning hardwood floors is not as simple as one may think. There’s a multitude of options, and the trick is to find the right one for your case.
Cleaning or refinishing?
If your hardwood floor has become so worn out that you no longer find pleasure in showing your home to your friends and colleagues, it is the time you start considering refinishing it. In carrying out this project, it is important that you make a decision on the type of finish and color you would use in order to protect your home’s flooring from further degradation. Although there are various types of finishes in the market, ranging from Conversion Varnishes to Moisture-Cured Urethanes, Wax, Shellac, and Varnishes, narrowing down your choice to a couple of them will make the decision easier.
Oil Modified Urethanes vs Waterborne Urethanes
From the above list, we shall be looking at Oil Modified Urethanes and Waterborne Urethane. Since they come with their various advantages and disadvantages, after we analyze them, you will be able make a great choice. Starting with the Oil Modified Urethanes, they are petroleum-based finishes with a combination of plasticizers, synthetic resins and a host of other ingredients that help the finish to form a durable and moisture-resistant film coating on the application. When the finishing finally ambers, it leaves your floor with a warm and natural look.
Still on refinishing hardwood floors and the use of oil modified urethanes, these finishes are more cost-effective than the other types of finishes. Also, after application, they maintain a smooth look and feel that gives your flooring a richer aspect, the type that cannot be achieved with the use of waterborne urethanes. These are the advantages of using oil modified urethanes and when it comes to the disadvantages, since the oil-based urethanes contain Volatile Organic Compounds, VOCs, they are more toxic than the water-based Urethanes. They produce strong smells which linger in your home long after the finishing has been applied. Also, it takes a longer time to dry in comparison to the water-based finishes.
Waterborne Urethanes products used in refinishing hardwood floors are also made with a combination of plasticizers, synthetic resins and other components that produce a firm and moisture-resistant coating for your floor. This type of finishing, unlike the oil-based counterpart, comes in single and double component types. While the single component is ready to be used from the container, the same cannot be said of the double component type, since it needs some crosslinker mixed in before it can be used. It is mostly used on commercial properties that experience huge traffic. It is also more durable.
In comparison to the oil-based finishes, the water-based finishes are environmentally friendly, since they contain a lower quantity of Volatile Organic Compounds and as such, do not leave a heavy odor. Unlike the oil-based finishes that amber after some time, the water-based urethane maintains its color. They also dry quicker, which means the floors can be used earlier than if it were refinished with oil-based urethanes.
The disadvantage of using water-based urethanes for your refinishing hardwood floors project is that they are more expensive and in terms of smoothness, they don’t produce great results like the oil-based finish. With these facts right before you, it surely would not be a difficult task deciding what type of finish to go within retouching your floor. Whichever you choose, it will surely serve the purpose of protecting your hardwood flooring from the several feet that walk on it on a daily basis. Now that we’ve got this covered, let’s move to vacuuming.
Tips for Choosing the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
There are a lot of benefits of using wood floors in your house. A mild vacuum should be enough to keep your wood floors appearing terrific. They have fewer maintenance costs than carpeted floors. With a very little maintenance program, they, in fact, appear better as the years go by. The next reason why individuals like them would be because they are very tough against impact. However, if you do not do appropriately maintain your wood floors, their beauty can quickly fade. You need to know that the main opponents of wood floors are dirt, dust and grit. They act as an abrasive, potentially scratching and dulling the surface. We highly suggest that you utilize a vacuum cleaner to eliminate these factors. However, it is vital for you to utilize a vacuum that is created specifically for cleaning hardwood floors, if you want to obtain the finest results. The best units possess adequate power and versatility to manage dust, dirt and grit without harming the floor. Nonetheless, purchasing a vacuum is not as easy as it used to be, simply because of the numerous options offered on the market. In case you are serious about getting a vacuum, below are some practical tips which will aid you to find the best vacuum for wood floors for your needs.
Firstly, you have to make certain that the vacuum cleaner which you wish to buy does not damage or scratch your hardwood floor. Consequently, you should find the vacuum that has casters or rubber wheels that might move when you do. Aside from the vacuum, the head of the device that might keep the wood floor clean should also have casters and/or soft bristles. Devices with roller bars should be adjusted or switched off to prevent creating damages in the floor’s surface.
Top 3 vacuum cleaners for hardwoods – comparison chart 2017
There is a huge range of vacuum cleaners available on the market, and you have to screen the features deeply before you establish the one to be bought. A button that turns off the brushroll may be needed. On a hard surface, the spinning bristles would spread dirt and debris. Suction control can help too, by lessening airflow, when light suction is all that’s needed. Also useful if you’re planning to get a all-in-one unit: manual pile-height adjustment, so you can clean bare hardwood surfaces to thick carpets.
The next thing that you might want to take into account is the price of the vacuum. The price of a wood floor vacuum would start from $100 and run up to around $1,000. The final thing you want to do before you purchase a vacuum is to analyze the quality and functions you require against your budget.
In case you are asthmatic or suffer from eczema, you need to be extra cautious. A standard vacuum can not catch the smallest particles which induce allergy signs. There are a lot of different sorts of vacuums designed for allergy suffers, but the main component you wish to make sure each has is a HEPA filter. HEPA is an acronym for “high-efficiency particulate air”. Primarily HEPA is a type of filter which could trap a large quantity of extremely small particles that other vacuum cleaners may simply recirculate back into the air of your house.
Here are the latest 3 models of vacuums, great on hardwood floors, on which we really bet our money:
|Top 3 hardwood floors vacuum cleaners||Overall Rating (1-10)||Suction Power||Usability||Bin capacity||Customer Feedback|
|Shark Rocket Powerhead||9.1||9.5||8||8||9.2|
|Dyson V8 Absolute||8.8||8||9.5||7.5||9.2|
|Miele Classic C1||9.1||9||9.2||9||9.4|
*Click on the vacuum cleaners above to see additional customer feedback reviews and price on Amazon.com
Typically, a vacuum cleaner is an ideal tool if you want to keep your wood floors looking their best. There are however other options, such as floor mops, Swiffers or appliances such as the Shark Sonic Duo, so make sure you inspect all options.