We believe one of our responsibilities is to help our clients be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to flooring, manufacturing, the cleaning process and so much more.

Today our goal is to tackle some wood flooring myths and get to the truth of the matter.

Myth #1: A wood floor does not last as long as other floors.

Parquet wood flooring at Thomas Jefferson’s parlor at Monticello. By Monticello.org

We often hear a wood floor is not a lifetime floor.

Truth: A wood floor will last as long as it is maintained well, and it can certainly last multiple generations. We love this example. Consider Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Those wood floors are more than two hundred years old. If you travel abroad, you’ll find wood flooring easily more than a century old when you visit Paris’s Louvre or tour European castles, such as Neuschwanstein in southern Germany.

A wood floor can last a very long time and handle a good deal of wear, so maintenance is an important key to its longevity. The floor’s finish should be administered and maintained according to the best recommendations for that finish type. By doing this, you avoid damage to the wood fiber from moisture, and you can achieve a lifetime floor.

Myth #2: An engineered floor is not a real wood floor.

Real Wood Floors, Brick & Board collection, engineered flooring

Many times, people talk about an engineered wood floor as if it is laminate flooring.

Truth: This is incorrect as a laminate floor is not a wood floor at all; it is a composite of wood chips and a photographic wear layer.

An engineered floor is absolutely a real wood floor. It contains a very real layer of desirable hardwood (or softwood) species, on top of a plywood-like base. Because of the way it’s produced, this type of floor has some extra benefits such as it can be installed in places where a solid wood floor cannot, like basements with moisture and relative humidity changes.

Myth #3: A wood floor can be cleaned with water and/or vinegar.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby from Unsplash

With a few internet searches, you’ll quickly find a variety of methods for cleaning wood floors, including water and/or vinegar advertised as a safe alternative to store-bought wood floor cleaners.

Truth: Cleaning with water and vinegar solutions is a no-no.

If you just use water, it will leave residue. And because water does not have a surfactant in it, it will not be able to pick up all the soils from a dirty floor. Since vinegar is an acid, regardless of your finish, it has the potential to harm the wood fibers in your floor. While water is sometimes great for cleaning, and vinegar is a good disinfecting agent, neither should be used to clean a wood floor.

Myth #4: Color variation is not normal.

Truth: Wood species have inherent differences in their color. Some species have a very uniform color and tone, while others naturally have a very diverse color palate.

Also, when woods are stained, and depending on the stain that is used, some floors can have uniform coloring and some can have very broad color variation.

Generally, the lighter the stain, the more variation you will find, unless you have significant light pigmenting in the floor. But in most cases, a lighter floor will reveal more color variation while the darker the stain, the more uniform each board will be to itself. This is primarily because dark stains do a better job of covering the natural color variation of the fibers.

In addition, some wood floors are produced specifically to highlight their natural variation. For example, the reactive staining method we use in our Revelarre coloring process is meant to accentuate the natural variation not only board to board, but within a board from grain ring to grain ring.

We are always here to help.

If you have any technical questions related to your wood floors or an installation, please contact us today through our website or by phone, 877.215.1831.