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Is It Hardwood?

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Made of solid wood planks, hardwood floors are often synonymous with traditional luxury. Look for natural variances in color and texture or, if you have an older home, exposed nail heads. Only a side cut of the floor, however, will reveal true hardwood. So pull up a floor vent or peel back a baseboard. If the plank is one solid piece, it’s hardwood. Also check your finish by applying a small dab of acetone to an inconspicuous area. If it beads, it’s a polyurethane finish; if it becomes tacky, it’s shellac or varnish; and if it dissolves completely, it’s lacquer. Oil finishes, though rarer, look more matte.

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