The Nature of Wood
that special care be taken by our skilled craftsmen. If the humidity is too high,
it may not be possible to properly install the floor. High humidity causes the wood
to absorb moisture, which causes expansion of the boards and can lead to "cupping"
or raised edges. Even after the floor is installed, a better and smoother finished
is obtained with our state-of-the-art sanding machines when the floor and the atmosphere
both are dry.
Your Wood Floor's Appearance
The beauty of wood, like all things in nature, is derived from the unpredictable
quality of each tree and board. Every board has its own individual grain. As a result,
each piece takes stain differently- sometimes lighter, sometimes darker- making
the color of individual boards look different from the surrounding boards. Such
individual differences are not defects. They create the character that makes each
floor unique. Also, depending on the temperature and humidity conditions at the
time of application, the gloss level on your new floor may vary from the showroom
Our Installation Procedures Ensure Lasting Quality
Because it is frequently beyond the control of your builder to reduce the moisture
content of your new home to a safe level in a short period of time, the proper installation
and finishing of your hardwood flooring may delay the completion of your new home.
At FCA, all of the craftsmen involved with the installation of your new floor take
the precaution of making regular moisture meter readings on both the hardwood floor
strips and the decking. They may recommend postponing the installation or finishing
of your floor if the readings are too high or too low.
Hardwood Expands and Contracts
In spite of everyone's best efforts, as a hygroscopic material, it is normal for
wood to expand and contract even after you move into your new home. It is normal
for wood to swell when it absorbs moisture. Also, it is normal for wood to shrink
when it loses moisture. Due to the inevitable expansion and contraction in all floors,
spaces must be left along the wall so that the floor has room to move. For this
reason, quarter round molding is used along the walls. Also, as the strips in a
hardwood floor shrink, the floor will begin to show "hairline cracks" between the
strips. Such cracks are considered normal if they close up during the non-heating,
highly humid months of summer and are not wider than the thickness of a dime during
the very dry months of winter.
Humidify During the Winter
To minimize shrinkage or "hairline cracks" in the winter introduce moisture into
the home by using a humidifier.
Dehumidify During the Summer
Conversely, in the summer, you may notice "cupping" or raised edges cause by high
humidity in your home. To help avoid this normal swelling process, reduce humidity
by using your air conditioning during the humid months. For even more control, operate
a dehumidifier in the basement.
Protect Your New Hardwood Floor
Use protective mats in front of sinks and doors leading to the outside. Put fabric
glides on the legs of your furniture; they allow furniture to be moved easily without
scuffing the floor. Clean the glides regularly since grit can become embedded in
them. Avoid casters made of hard materials like metal or hard plastic.
Never drag or push heavy chairs, furniture or appliances over your wood floor. High-healed
shoes will leave permanent dents in most hardwood floors. Dogs and other pets can
damage nearly all finishes with their toenails and claws.
Ultraviolet light will cause your hardwood floor to change color. To avoid uneven
appearance, move area rugs occasionally and drape or shade large windows.
Thank You for Your Business
Because we want you to be a satisfied customer, it's important that you have good
information and know what to expect with your new hardwood floor.
It's hard to put your finger on it, but there's something about a real hardwood
floor that just brings a room together. All the beautiful things that make up your
home take on a warmer glow and new elegance. It's not hard to imagine a hardwood
floor as the foundation of your personal sanctuary- a calming influence far away
from such worldly concerns as early morning meetings, traffic jams and demanding
While your new floor won't be a solution for the problems of your everyday life,
there is one thing we can say with certainty. A custom hardwood floor will make
just about anything in your room look better.
Like anything made from fine wood, there is a great deal of craftsmanship that goes
into producing the finished product. Every floor has its own distinctive character;
it is like no other.
Another important characteristic to remember is that wood is hygroscopic material.
That means that when it is exposed to varying temperatures and humidity, wood releases
or absorbs moisture until it is in equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere.
Caring for Hardwood Flooring
Custom hardwood floors, when properly finished, are the easiest of all floor surfaces
to keep clean and looking good year after year. Follow these guidelines:
Routinely: Dust mop, sweep or vacuum at least twice a week to keep
grit and dust free.
Spills: Soak up and blot spills promptly. It is safe to wipe with
a barely damp cloth and then towel-dry.
Restoration: Know the brand of flooring and the type of finish
on your floor before applying any cleaning products. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations
for proper care or consult a floor-finishing specialist.
Custom Finished Polyurethane Floors: Spot clean with PolyCare™
and PolyCare Scuff Remover™, available at any FCA store.
Do Not: Wet mop because standing water can cause wood to swell
and buckle. Also, do not use: Murphy's Oil Soap™, Fantastic™,
Formula 409™, dish washing detergents, powdered all-purpose cleaners, paste
wax, Endust™, Pledge™, Future™, Mop-N-Glow™, Brite™, or any similar
products. Above all, never use a self-polishing acrylic wax made for sheet vinyl
on a wood floor. These products make wood slippery and dull, especially if coated
with a polyurethane finish.
Cleaning Products For Hardwood Floors
Protect your investment by using the recommended cleaning, maintenance and restorative
products on your new flooring. Your dealer will usually have these products in stock.