Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Flooring in Hawaii

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Eucalyptus floors in a Holualoa home.

A beautiful, hardwood floor provides enduring beauty for Hawaii home. In addition to the aesthetic attributes, a wood floor is easier on the knees than tile or cement. What’s more, in Hawaii’s humid climate, a wood floor is definitely a better choice than carpet when it comes to preventing mold and mildew.

Local tropical woods popular in Hawaii include ohia, mango, eucalyptus and monkeypod. The installation of Koa wood floors is becoming rarer due sustainability considerations and affordability. An alternative, Koala wood from Australia resembles koa and is half the price.

cork flooring in dining room hawaii home real estate

  Cushiony and stylish, Cork flooring offers a sustainable alternative to wood floors. Photo by Karen Anderson

Cushiony and stylish, Cork flooring offers a sustainable alternative to wood floors. A great choice for the kitchen is cork, a renewable material that provides a cushiony surface underfoot. Bamboo is another renewable resource that lends itself to the tropics, both aesthetically and practically. A soft, oily wood, teak adds an aura of distinction to the tropical home, but can sometimes be resistant to finishes.

The hardness of the wood determines its durability. Brazilian ebony and Brazilian cherry are the two hardest woods on the market. If your home will be sustaining a lot of foot traffic, these two woods are good choices.

bamboo floors in hawaii home real estate

Bamboo floors bring a tropical look to the Hawaii home. Photo by Karen Anderson

Some woods, like bamboo, can really fade fast when exposed to direct sunlight entering the home. Protecting your floor in Hawaii starts with filtering against harmful UV rays. Tinted window or UV-filter window films can make a world of difference when it comes to shielding your floor from harsh sunlight. Shades, sunscreens or drapes are also helpful.

When cleaning your hardwood floor, make sure you do your research before using just any product. A good rule of thumb, don’t use water to clean your hardwood floors! Wet mopping can cause wood to expand or splinter. Additionally, do not use oils or wood polish on your floors; these types of products can cause permanent damage. Recommended by industry experts, Bona Swedish Formula Hardwood Floor Cleaner is non-toxic and won’t leave a residue. Place protective glides on the legs of your furniture to help prevent scratching your floor.

Before installing a new hardwood floor, make sure the wood has been sufficiently acclimated to the climate/elevation of your property. If you don’t allow the wood enough to expand and settle, it could start to warp or buckle once installed. Kit floors from retailers should also be climatized. It takes some patience, but if you allow your flooring to it sit in your garage or carport for at least five months before you install it, your floor will be happier in the long run.