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FlooringCherrywood Hardwood Flooring : Installation and Maintenance Tips
Cherrywood, also known as yellow birch, is a light wood species known to be uniform in terms of tone, without being completely homogeneous. Its colour varies from pale white to dark brown and has more golden hues than oak or maple, for example.
This tree has been the emblem of Quebec since 1993. It is often used for residential renovation as a flooring material and is known for being resistant and easy to maintain. With a relative hardness of 86%, cherrywood is a fairly dense wood essence, designed to withstand shocks and heavy traffic in a room. This article will cover everything you need to know about cherrywood flooring!
Birch, also known as yellow birch, is a light wood species known for its uniform tone, without being completely homogeneous. Its colour varies from pale white to dark brown and has more golden hues than oak or maple, for example.
You'll need a fair number of tools to get the job done properly, but here are the essentials to remember:
a rubber mallet;
a mitre or circular saw;
a pneumatic nailer;
a hardwood hammer;
a tape measure;
an extension cord;
a table saw.
If you rent or borrow some of this equipment, make sure it is in good condition before you start laying the floor. Then, keep the relative humidity between 37 and 45% during laying in addition to maintaining a temperature between 20 and 21 degrees Celsius, to make sure that the wood doesn't react too strongly before laying.
This is why it's best to leave the wood in the room for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours to give it time to adapt to the room temperature. If you install a hardwood floor in a room that is too humid, shrinkage cracks will be visible as soon as the humidity returns to normal.
Once all these conditions have been taken into account, you can start laying your floor.
To establish a budget before renovating your floor, see our article:
First, use chalk to draw the parallel guidelines. The starting line must be drawn over a distance equal to the width of the visible slats. The starting line must absolutely be drawn at right angles to the wall so that the floor is straight.
Next, choose your planks and lay them as close to their final laying position as possible. Adjust the chosen planks to evenly distribute the different colour tones throughout the room.
If you find that a board has any imperfections that could affect how it fits, use the tools you have to cut it. Otherwise, leave it aside.
When installing the second row of planks, do not push too hard on the notches between the two rows to make them fit together: there is a risk of moving the first row of planks, which would cause the floor to start askew.
To keep the joints from lining up, the procedure is simple: choose longer or shorter planks than those of the previous row. In doing so, the joints between the boards will not line up from row to row.
Nail the board in place every 8 to 10 inches with the nailer angled at 45 degrees. Since cherry wood is a bit softer than other hardwood essences, adjust the pressure accordingly (90 to 95 pounds, as opposed to 100 pounds pressure for maple wood, for example).
Once installed, you can protect it with finishing products. Please note, however, that a floor that is varnished or protected by a finishing product is not waterproof! You will still have to pay attention to the relative humidity of your room and limit the contact of water with the floor.
There are too many finishing products to mention on the market, but keep in mind that they are categorized by their composition (based on oil, water, solvent, alcohol or acid), their lustre, their transparency and natural colour, their scent, their hardness and their toxicity. Choose the finishing product that best suits your floor!
If you prefer to install a floating floor, this article on the different types of floating floors will help you make your choice.
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The maintenance process of a cherry wood floor isn't that different from other types of wood floors. The first caveat is always in relation to controlling the humidity of the room. Wood fibre can release and reabsorb a lot of moisture during its lifetime.
A room with too much or too little humidity will cause the wood to react accordingly. Too much humidity and your floor risks tightening: not enough humidity and the gaps between the floor slats will widen enough to become visible and may cause problems in the long term.
You may want to consider installing a hygrometer, which is a device that calculates the ambient humidity of a room. Choose an electronic hygrometer over a mercury-powered hygrometer, which can give less accurate results.
To get the most accurate measurement, place it on a wall in the center of your home. The relative humidity of a room for the maintenance of a hardwood floor should be between 37 and 45% all year round.
If you must sand a birch hardwood floor, do so gradually using 50, 80 and 100 grit sandpaper. Do not use a coarser grit than necessary for the job to avoid damaging the floor.
To clean a birch hardwood floor, you must choose products intended for this purpose, because they do not contain any products that can damage the floor and have a neutral pH.
For the reasons mentioned above, washing your hardwood floor with too much water is a very bad idea! The risk of exposing the floor to excessive variations in humidity will cause it to warp.
A clarification that we do not necessarily think about is to try as much as possible not to use products with aerosol waxes to clean the furniture in the room.
These products can seep into worn surfaces and wood crevices and cause chemical reactions when sanding a hardwood floor, which can also damage it!
Stiletto heels concentrate a very large part of the weight on the heel, which represents a small surface. This very high concentration of pressure can wear down the wood over time and this type of shoe should be avoided for a hardwood floor that will last for years.
Our floor renovation guide covers all the aspects to remember about a project of this size and includes our articles on this subject!
Cherrywood, although defined as a hardwood species, is found to be softer than other wood species such as oak or maple. Therefore, additional precautions will have to be taken when nailing down as well as maintaining the floor.
Cherry wood is usually available in lighter tones, but can also come in darker hues.
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Last modified 2023-11-07
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