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Dents and Bugs. Article was selected from the NWFA monthly magazine.
Acceptable dents in my wood floor
The truth is that all wood floors get dents and all finishes get scratches. So now the real issue is: How deep of a dent are you willing to tolerate? Sometimes I think people forget that wood floors also serve a very utilitarian function; they get walked on and used probably more than any other product in the house, and this will result in scratches and dents.
A lot of this can be avoided by consulting with the customer about the preventive measures they should take to minimize these occurrences: proper placement of mats, being aware of the types of shoes that come into your home, having a walk-off mat outside and inside each doorway, and putting floor protectors on every single leg of every table and chair.
Most of the complaints I have seen that involve dents and scratches seem to have the same initial description: "My floor scratches too easily." How can you possibly qualify that? The floor is only going to scratch when something abrasive is ground against it, and it is only going to dent when something heavy (and this is relative also) is dropped on it. Or it will take only one friend wearing high heels with worn pads exposing the nail in the heel; I don't know any wood floor that would hold up to that. Buying a wood floor that has a higher impact resistance (Janka) number is not going to prevent dents entirely, and there is not one finish out there (that I know of) that will not scratch. The real answer is preventative education of the customer so that they can take the proper precautions to protect their floors.
Active powderpost beetle infestations happen but are uncommon. An active infestation will have holes from about 1/32 to 1/16 inch in diameter, and the interior sides of the holes will be a bright raw wood color, as opposed to having stain or finish in them. The adult exit holes will also be nearly vertical to the face of the flooring. The most important sign of an active infestation is a small ring of powder called frass, which is the wood the beetle chewed up, around the hole. This frass will be very fine, like the consistency of talcum powder. You might also see one of the actual bugs, which are usually from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long.
Beetle larvae only eat sapwood and hatch from eggs laid in the open pores of unfinished wood. Proper kiln drying will kill all stages of the insect, including the larvae, pupae, egg, and adult, so infestations typically happen at some point when the wood flooring was stored before installation. New infestations can occur in a home if the unfinished flooring is exposed for a long time or a resident beetle finds a gap between boards or at an end joint, such as by the baseboard. Infestations can occur from other infested materials in the house, like a wicker basket.
Most commonly, when people think they have powderpost beetles, what they are seeing are actually pinworm holes. Pinworm holes are allowed in all grades of unfinished flooring. Sometimes these holes are revealed over time as the finish wears or breaks over the holes, causing the appearance of new holes in the floor.