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Hardwood Floor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There is no question that wood floors are a fantastic addition to any home, both for their aesthetic value and return on investment. However, as with any flooring material, you may have concerns from time to time with regards to maintenance, selection, installation, or repair. Here is a list of some of the more frequently asked questions from those with existing hardwood flooring and others who are considering making the switch.

Wood Flooring FAQ

General Questions

  1. How can I choose the right wood flooring for my home? In this case, knowledge is power. One of our dedicated flooring specialists will visit your home with a wide selection of samples and follow up with additional samples as needed.
  2. Can I install hardwood flooring in my kitchen or bathroom(s)? Yes! Because of moisture concerns in both of these rooms, engineered hardwood is preferable to solid wood, as it is more flexible with varying temperatures and humidity levels. Hardwoods are able to withstand the heavy traffic in your kitchen, such as oak or mahogany, and in the bathroom, special finishes can be applied to protect floors from water damage.
  3. Which are the most durable hardwoods? Brazilian Ebony is the most durable hardwood on the market today.


  1. How do I maintain my hardwood floors? Keep floors looking new with regular cleaning with a soft bristled vacuum brush or broom. Wash floors weekly with a damp, never wet, mop, using plain water or a specialized hardwood floor cleaner and wipe up spills immediately.
  2. How can I protect my floors from scratches? Use furniture pads to minimize scratches and place protective mats in entryways to avoid tracking in dirt.
  3. How do I know when it’s time to refinish my floors? Dull patches, cracks, deep scratches, and staining are all signs your floors need refinishing. Depending on the level of traffic to the area, plan to refinish floors every 3 to 4 years.


  1. Can I install my new flooring myself? There are any number of DIY projects around the home, but hardwood floor installation should be left to professionals with the right tools, experience, and knowledge.
  2. What should I look for when choosing a hardwood installation specialist? Choose a company that has been in business in your area for a number of years, is fully licensed, and will provide you a list of local references.
  3. What is the difference between solid and engineered wood flooring? Solid wood flooring is from a single slab of wood, can be sanded and refinished multiple times, and is more prone to expansion, shrinkage, or warping. Engineered wood flooring has a solid core with a layer of hardwood veneer on top, making it more resistant to heat and humidity.


  1. What should I do if I have water damage? Whether due to humidity, spills, or leaks, water damage is detrimental to wood flooring. Time is of the essence, so clean spills as you go, and call an expert if floors are cupping, warping, or there is major spillage or flooding.
  2. Why are my hardwood floors looking cloudy? Moisture damage and inappropriate cleaning products are the two most likely culprits. Ensure the solution you’re using is reputable and intended for hardwood flooring, and use only a damp mop to clean.
  3. Can my hardwood floors be restored to their original condition? Floors with deep scratches, or worn from heavy traffic can be made to look new with professional restoration techniques.

Professional Hardwood Floor Services in Silver Spring, MD

To hire an experienced, professional hardwood floor installer in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or the Washington, D.C. area, contact Elegant Floor Service of Silver Spring.

Best Methods for Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

We understand that your hardwood floors were an investment—which is why they are worth taking care of. If you want your wood floors to last a lifetime, you need to perform routine maintenance! With your busy schedule, everyday cleaning can become tough—but don’t let maintenance get pushed to the backburner! Lucky for you, you can keep your wood floor looking as good as new with a few simple tips. You can rely on Elegant Floor Services to handle the bigger maintenance tasks, but we’ve compiled a list that will help keep your hardwood floors in tip top shape.

Keep your Northern Virginia area home’s hardwood floors looking like new by scheduling hardwood maintenance or refinishing with Elegant Floor Services. Contact us online for a FREE consultation.

4 Tips for Hardwood Floor Maintenance

As a homeowner, you want your floors to look like new for many years. But in order for this to happen, you need to partake in regular hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance. The flooring experts at Elegant Floor Services have put together some tips to help keep your home’s wood floors looking like new.

  • Vacuum regularly – You should be vacuuming your home’s hardwood floors on a weekly basis. Do you know why you need to do it that often? Underfoot, the fine grit in dust is just like sandpaper and will slowly but surely wear through your wood floor’s finish! This is obviously not something you want to subject your beautiful hardwood to.
  • Remove residue – Keep a no-wax wood floor cleaner on hand so you can reach it in a moment’s notice. If someone spills something or dirt is drug through your home, use the wood floor clean to wipe up the residue leftover from the spill or dirt.
  • Minimize exposure to water – Although water is commonly known as a culprit that can damage your floors, it is often forgotten about in the most crucial moments. Water can not only ruin the finish on a hardwood floor but can penetrate deep into the wood and stain it! When rain is in the forecast keep your windows closed and remove wet articles of clothing before walking through the house.
  • Use doormats – Although many homeowners opt to have rugs in the entryways or highly trafficked areas for aesthetic purposes, they don’t realize they are actually helping to maintain their hardwood floor’s beauty! Water can not only ruin the finish on a hardwood floor but can penetrate deep into the wood and stain it, so protecting the floor with an area rug an minimize the wear and tear on your home’s hardwood flooring.

For additional tips, check out our infographic that demonstrates how you can protect your home’s hardwood floors in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC!

Hardwood Floor Maintenance in DC, MD & VA

If you don’t have time (or just don’t want to deal with) maintaining your wood floors yourself, that’s fine—we’re here to take care of all your hardwood floor maintenance needs. Let us take the weight off your shoulders and do what we do best. (But we still recommend that you follow the advice we provided above!) We promise that no matter what shape your floors are in today, we can get (or keep) them looking as good as new.

To schedule hardwood floor maintenance throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, contact us online or give us a call at 800-417-3172!

Why Is My Wood Floor Buckling?

Your hardwood floors were an investment, no question. A beautiful, unique, and totally worthwhile investment, but an investment all the same. So it stands to reason that when your flooring develops what we call buckling, or any other obvious signs of damage and disrepair, you can get quite frustrated. Finding your best solution can seem difficult, stressful, and not a small amount overwhelming. But don’t panic!

The flooring experts at Elegant Floor Service can provide the professional floor repair you need. In fact, we can guarantee a perfect solution every time. But what exactly caused that buckling floor in the first place? And can it be avoided? Answers to these questions and more follow!

Need professional floor repair that is guaranteed to bring you the results you want most? Contact the team at Elegant Floor Service today! You can reach us any time, any day online, or catch us on the phone at 800-417-3172!

What Causes Buckling?

Buckling is a particularly extreme-case situation with wood flooring caused by extensive exposure to moisture. The damage is characterized by your wood planks literally separating from the sub floor, lifting and shifting in sporadic places across the room, or in a small area. This problem is most commonly caused by:

  • Flooding
  • Water left on hardwood for extended periods of time
  • Excessively high home humidity levels
  • Damp basements or crawlspaces
  • Hidden water damage in walls and along ceilings

Again, buckling of wood floors is a rather extreme result of extended exposure to moisture. More commonly, a homeowner would recognize crowning or cupping first. These are concavity or convexity in flooring, domes or slopes respectively. Buckling occurs further down the line, when damage has progressed.

The Importance of a Timely Response

When talking about wood flooring, time is absolutely key. If any of these problems are caught early enough, your floor can need a simple repair to get back into shape. Though you should keep in mind that the moisture that caused the problem in the first place needs to be dealt with.

Because of how time sensitive the issue is, your best bet will always be seeking professional assistance. We carry all of the skill and experience needed to diagnose and repair your wood floors, and if Elegant Floor Service is contacted soon enough, you may have little more than a quick repair on your hands. Wait longer, and you risk some serious work—potentially even a total replacement.

Superior Wood Floor Repair in Maryland, DC, and Virginia

If you spot the signs of a bucking, cupping, or crowning floor, be sure to contact our team today! We offer comprehensive, full-service floor repair that is guaranteed to exceed expectations, and restoring your floor to its former glory is our top priority!

Why Do My Hardwood Floors Look Cloudy?

The hardwood floors in your Maryland home are a true treasure. Lustrous, timeless, and absolutely gorgeous, many homeowners are proud of their flooring. But what do you do when your floors lose their shine, instead developing a dull, milky residue that seems to resist your every effort at banishing it?

Trust our experienced specialists to walk you through the how and why of your funky hardwood! At Elegant Floor Service, we proudly provide information and service to our patrons in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Knowledge is power and you’ll need all you can get to keep your floors looking their best.

For superior flooring care and repair, contact the team at Elegant Floor Service today! We can clear up that cloudy flooring in no time, leaving you with a lustrous hardwood floor that shines in all the right ways. Contact us any time online or give us a call at 800-417-3172!

What Causes Cloudy Hardwood Floors?

There are a few common causes for this unfortunate result. Many of them deal with moisture and damage, while others are the product of an unfortunately misguided or overzealous owner. These situations can leave your floors looking damp and milky:

  • Problems with moisture. Moisture in the home is terrible for both floors and furniture. It can come as a result of spills and general accidents, or it may be that the humidity levels in your home are simply too high. We do, after all, live in a fairly humid area. If this is your root cause, it might be a fine idea to look into a dehumidifier system.
  • Improper cleaning solutions. There are a lot of cleaning products out there. Many are for hardwood and many are not. Be sure you’re using the right solution for your routine home cleaning, as using something not intended for hardwood can damage your floors and leave them looking dull and filmy.
  • Unfortunate claims. While there are loads of products aimed at cleaning and shining a wood floor, the unfortunate truth is that many of them are simply claims. Some products just do not mesh with wood floors, no matter what the manufacturer tries to tell you. If the cloudiness infecting your floors can right after a cleaning, this is likely your cause.
  • Wax off. If your hardwood floors are treated with polyurethane, you absolutely must never attempt to wax them. The wax will simply stand atop the poly finish, creating a dusty, cloudy appearance.

Restoring Your Flooring with Elegant Floor Services

To get the beautiful floors you deserve, the best method hands-down is to simply contact a professional. We carry all of the skill, experience, and equipment needed to not only find your original problem, but to address it as well.

By all means, make every effort to protect your hardwood floors. Routine and proper floor cleaning is key, but be sure you’re using safe and effective products, and never leave your wood floors damp. But once the damage is done, no one can get you the solution you need better than an expert.

Perfect Floor Repair in Maryland with Elegant Floor Service

To fight off cloudy or damaged wood flooring problems, we utilize only the best proven solutions and techniques. Having trouble with a dirty hardwood floor, or with any other common hardwood damage issue? Contact us today to get the repair service you need most!

Maple vs. Oak Hardwood Flooring

While the decision to install, replace or upgrade hardwood flooring in your home is an easy one, choosing which type is another matter. With so many options on the market today, picking the perfect wood floor may seem like a daunting task, involving over 50 species, and a myriad of types and finishes, but narrowing your selection early on will save you a great deal of time and effort. Two of the most popular, durable, and readily available types of hardwood flooring are maple and oak, both of which have a number of positive attributes, and are available as pre-finished or unfinished, and engineered, or solid wood form.

Contact us online today, or call the experts at Elegant Floor Service at 800-417-3172, for maple, or oak hardwood flooring installation, refinishing, or repair in Northern Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC. 

Maple Hardwood Flooring

Maple is light blond in color, with a subtle grain pattern. The smooth texture, combined with the light color make maple hardwood flooring the ideal choice for those who prefer a clean, modern look. It’s worth noting that not all maple hardwood is alike, with a variety of types and grades to choose from. The benefits of maple include:

  • Durability. Maple is one of the hardest domestic hardwoods on the market, making it incredibly durable and dent-resistant.
  • Consistent grain. Subtle graining has fewer imperfections, for a cleaner look.
  • Ease of maintenance. The frequency of sweeping or vacuuming required will depend on your lifestyle, but apart from this consistent routine, all that is required to maintain your maple hardwood flooring is a weekly mopping.
  • Affordable. Wide availability and choice of grade, make maple one of the more affordable options for hardwood flooring.

Oak Hardwood Flooring

There are two main types of oak hardwood flooring:

  1. Red oak. Distinguishable by reddish tones, and prominent grain patterns.
  2. White oak. Has more brown tones, and is harder than red oak, with less prominent graining.

Oak is a more traditional choice for hardwood flooring, and considered to be one of the oldest flooring materials in North America. Popular for its rich, warm tones, and prominent, distinctive patterning, oak is a timeless option guaranteed to transform the look of any room in your home. The advantages of oak hardwood flooring include:

  • Durability. Oak is an exceptionally strong wood, resistant to dings and scratches. The white variety is impervious to fungi and insects, and all types are resistant to splitting.
  • Character. Warm, rich tones, and uniquely patterned wood grains add to the character and charm of oak hardwood flooring.
  • Easy to stain. The slightly porous nature of oak makes it very receptive to staining, providing even more design choices and flexibility.

Choosing The Right Hardwood Flooring

In the battle between maple vs. oak hardwood flooring, there is no clear winner, as both have a number of advantages. No matter which one you choose, professional hardwood flooring installation, repair, or refinishing by Elegant Floor Service, is the key to your satisfaction.

With so many woods, colors, and grades of hardwood to choose from there’s no need to look any further, and if you need help deciding which type of flooring is best for your home and family, we can help with that too. Once your flooring is installed, call Elegant Floor Service for routine wood floor maintenance, to keep your investment looking and feeling like new.

For a free hardwood flooring estimate, contact us online, or give us a call at 800-417-3172, today.