In August of 2017, we installed wide plank hardwood floors in our bedroom. I’ve been getting lots of questions. How are our hardwoods holding up?
We’ve enjoyed these floors in our bedroom now for over a year and a half. This August it will be 2 years! I thought it was time I wrote an unbiased post all about the floors and how they’re holding up. I’ve gotten many questions since installing them. Wood floors are such a huge commitment in time and investment that I wanted to share more about our floors. In no particular order here are the answers to your questions:
WHAT IS STRUCTURED OR ENGINEERED WOOD? IS IT REALLY WOOD?
Sawyer Mason is not laminate but is structured wood flooring. The floor is made from a sustainably harvested hardwood with properties harder than oak. The core is constructed of solid hardwood as opposed to multiple layers of pressed Birch plywood. Within the core, individual strips of hardwood are hand-placed to run perpendicular to the length of the plank. This inhibits the wide planks from cupping and other movement, providing the most stable wide plank flooring.
CAN THESE FLOORS BE REFINISHED?
Yes. The wood on these floors is very thick and can be refinished. This was one of the reasons we were drawn to this product. As you know we have 2 dogs and 2 boys. So there’s a lot of wear and tear in our home. These floors can be sanded up to 5 times.
WERE THEY HARD TO INSTALL?
No, Stonewood Products can recommend installers but you know Luke and I, we like to DIY. There’s a couple of options for installing these wide planks. You can nail, glue, nail and glue, or float. We decided to do the last based on the requirements for this. We felt it would be the easiest for us as well. You can read this post completely devoted to installation, but I thought you might like to see this video, too:
I can’t believe how much Conor has grown up since we made that video. How quickly time passes! He still likes to help and is eager to help us with the playroom painting this weekend 😉
CAN YOU INSTALL RADIANT HEAT UNDER THESE FLOORS?
Yes, you can, but we decided not to do radiant heat in our bedroom. The warranty was only good if we installed a certain type of radiant heat that used water. We had redone our living and dining room ceilings (which are below this) and were worried water might leak. I would double check with a professional if you’re interested in doing this in your own home.
DOES THE STAIN PENETRATE THE WOOD?
Yes. Sawyer Mason uses a reactive color process that reacts with the tannins and sugars in each plank so the stain penetrates the wood, it doesn’t just sit on top, the depth of color is breathtaking. They have even more options than when we were looking. I’ve included a few favorites at the bottom of this post.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POLY TOP COAT AND AN OILED FINISH.
Many floors have a poly top coat. Usually if you have old floors refinished they apply poly on top. Our other floors in our home have this poly top coat. It’s a plastic that sits on top of the wood surface. If poly coated floors get damaged or scratched you usually have to completely sand them down, re-stain and do another poly top coat. Sawywer Mason floors have an oiled top coat. What does that mean exactly? These floors are pre-finished at the mill with UV oil which means you don’t have to apply a top coat or poly once the floors are installed. The oiled floors can be buffed if a scratch occurs using Woca oil into damaged areas.
WHAT DOES PRE-FINISHED MEAN?
It means the color you select in the showroom is the color of the planks when they’re installed. There’s no staining in your home. It’s already done before the floors arrive. So it’s less messy.
ARE THEY REALLY DURABLE?
Yes, our floors look just as amazing as they did they day we installed them. That’s with two dogs. Poppy used to scratch her way under our bed and the floors still look amazing. Part of it is that the stain goes all the way through the wood but also the durable oiled top coat. I’m really impressed. I realize our bedroom isn’t as high traffic as a mudroom or family room, but I’ve seen contractors putting these floors throughout homes. I think people think that because the floor isn’t shiny it isn’t durable and that just isn’t the case. We’ve found these floors to be very durable.
I think this gives the perfect example (below) of how great they still look:
Oh, my slippers are from acorn and our so cozy (a gift from my mom at Christmas).
FOR ADDED DURABILITY WE BUFFED THE FLOORS WITH A PASTE. IS THIS NECESSARY?
No, I don’t think it is. This step was time consuming and hard. We rented a buffer and I accidentally rented one that was heavy duty so it was very hard to control. We applied the paste to the pad and buffed the entire floor. We were told this would increase the durability but I think the floors would be just as durable without this step. Luke actually hit the wall inside our closet with the buffer.
WHY DO I LIKE THE MATTE FINISH?
This look is very popular in England and saw these floors in many places while we visited two years ago, especially the mews house we stayed in. I like the look of matte wood more than shiny wood because I think it makes it look older, as if it’s always been part of the home. I also think the grain of the wood and imperfections look nicer on a matte surface.
These wide planks instantly made our room feel warmer and more inviting. I love how they feel underfoot.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY FLOORS?
Usually I just vacuum or dry swiffer. I try not to wash them too often. Woca makes a special soap (affiliate link) for hardwoods and when I wash them I use this but mostly it’s vacuuming and swiffering.
WHAT COLOR ARE OUR FLOORS?
Our finish is the Chestnut Hill finish. Originally, it was called Sierra but has been renamed.
If you’re putting in hardwoods (Sawyer Mason or others) I would recommend getting a bunch of samples as the flooring will look different in your home than in the showroom.
WHAT ARE THE NEW FLOORING TYPES DO I LOVE FROM SAWYER MASON?
As I said above there are so many new varieties of flooring from them. Luke is lucky they didn’t have the herringbone when we installed our floors. Ha! Ha! Here are some of their new floors that I love the look of: