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My $.02 ...

Posted by Jay J on October 6th, 1999 03:34 PM
In reply to Hardwood Floors - Oak vs. Maple by met on October 6th, 1999 02:39 PM [Go to top of thread]


In short, your selection should come down to preference. There are hard maples and soft maples. Oak has a great tendency to be pourus. If something spills on your floor and you don't clean it up ASAP, or you use the wrong 'thing' to do the cleanup, you'll get stains on BOTH floors. Nothing is absolute although you can come close to that if you follow your floor manufacturer's Recommended Maintenance & Care Information pamphlet.

I suggest you chose a floor that fits your taste. Hopefully, you're buying a pre-finished floor. (Why, you ask?) These days, the manufacturing facilities can create ideal conditions in their facilities for staining and for applying many, many coats of polyurthane. This would be impossible to do with unfinished wood in the home under natural conditions. It's recommended that the flooring be 'spread out' in the house before it's installed for a few days to upwards of over a week. This way, the wood can aclimate itself to the home before it's installed. In doing this, you minimize the expansion and shrinkage problems down the road. Do understand that wood DOES expand and contract but that's the way it is. You shouldn't get buckling like you describe, or rifts either, assuming you've given the wood a fair chance to aclimate, and you have a competent installer.

Whatever you decide to do, get a copy of the Installation Instructions for your reading. Make sure your contractor follows them INCLUDING bringing the wood over early on. You'll have to pay some $$$ in advance for the flooring but that's normal. (He won't take the loss if you change your mind.) For more information on hardwoods, go to The Hardwood Org., click the 'About The Hardwoods' link (on the left), and read about hardwoods in general, and about Maple and Oak. You can even e-mail them with questions. If you're under the 'gun' to get the floor in, see if you can reschedule. If you're asking the kind of question(s) you're asking, you want to be sure you know enough to fell comfortable about your decision.

Jay J

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