ALSTON INC. floors have been produced with great attention to ensure the best possible quality and workmanship. The longevity of any hardwood flooring products is directly related to the proper installation and the commitment to appropriate care and maintenance.
It should be realized that wood is a natural product with all its own natural variations of grains, colors and characteristics, which are perfectly normal with any wood product. Wood is also a living material, which reacts to changes of the climate and surroundings. During summer's high humidity, the wood absorbs moisture and expands. In winter, when the surrounding is heated, humidity drops, the wood releases its humidity, and shrinks and contracts. Therefore it is necessary that the humidity in the room, wherever any hardwood flooring is installed, must be maintained at the level of 30~50% by the use of a humidifier and / or dehumidifier; and the room temperature is kept between 60˚F-80˚F by heating or air-conditioning system. These conditions are good simultaneously for human health as well as for the well being of the hardwood flooring. If the humidity and temperature variation is more than the recommended settings (summer/winter) and no counter-measure is taken, it may cause problems and damages to the flooring, which are not covered by the Limited Warranty.
Regular cleaning should also be done, either by a vacuum cleaner or a smooth broom, to remove any sand or dirt to avoid abrasion and scratches.
A mop slightly dampened with an approved wood flooring cleaner to remove stain, grease, shoe-tracks etc could also clean the surface. No high-heeled shoes should be worn onto the floor. Never use products such as oil-soap, "mop and glow," traditional wax, or steel wool for cleaning.
It is highly recommended to put good floor-mats at any entrance area, and rugs around the kitchen-sink and dishwasher area to protect the surface from water or detergents.
Wipe and dry up spills immediately, never allow water to stand on the floor surfaces for any length of time.
Install rubber or felt-like pads under any furniture bases, chair-legs etc. to prevent scratches.
Trim pet's nails and also cover high-wear areas with throw rug where the pets tend to frequent.
Avoid excessive sunlight or artificial light to fall directly on the surface for an extended period of time. Over a long period, UV rays and intense light may cause color changes on the wood's surface. This is a normal and natural case with wood. After some years, a professional can redo the floor lacquering and even change the color if needed. Contact the nearest dealer for additional information.
Here are a few recommendations that will assist you in keeping your floor in its original condition
Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to prevent sand or other abrasives from accumulating and scratching the finish. Do not wet mop your wood floor or use cleaners that must be mixed with water.
To help prevent scratches or water from damaging your floor place rugs inside every outside entrance of the house, in front of the kitchen sink, kitchen work stations and the dishwasher.
Use protective pads under all furniture and chair legs in order to ease their movement and prevent scratching. Certain types of casters may also result in damage to the floor. It is recommended that barrel-type cater wheels or flat wide wheels be used.
Maintain relative humidity level in your home between 30% and 50% throughout the year. Hardwood is a living material that reacts to changes in relative humidity. In areas of very low humidity, a humidifier may be required to maintain proper humidity levels. Rooms must be maintained at a temperature of 60˚F-80˚F at ALL times.
Spike or stiletto high-heel shoes, especially those in poor repair, may cause denting and related damage to hardwood floors due to the extremely high compressive force they generate. Such footwear can produce dynamic loads in excess of 1,800 pounds per square inch, even when worn by someone of slight or average build.
The claws from pets can actually scratch concrete, not mentioning wood floors. Keeping the pet's nails trimmed and filed does help protect the floor.
Protect your floor from direct sunlight or intense sources of artificial lighting. Over time, UV rays and intense light will discolor exposed surfaces. This is a natural and normal phenomenon in wood. The lighter the color of the floor the more apparent the phenomenon will be.
Never use wax, oil-based detergents or any other household cleaner. These may dull or damage the finish leaving an oily residue and making the floor more difficult to clean.