While styles vary, hardwood flooring has long been a favorite in homes. If you are considering new flooring, chances are hardwood has crossed your mind. There are some things to be aware of when weighing hardwood against other flooring and when choosing the particular hardwood flooring for your space and style.
Hardwood creates a classic, long-lasting look in the home and provides excellent value for resale, as it is appreciated by many home-owners and buyers. Hardwood is more expensive than many other flooring options – given the investment it is best to choose hardwood floors with long term in mind. Maintaining the appearance of hardwood requires more conscientious protection and care compared to the maintenance of other flooring types. As it is sensitive to moisture and humidity, some spaces (bathrooms, laundry rooms) are not suitable for hardwood and other spaces (basements) require a particular type of hardwood. Hardwood should be swept regularly and dust mopped, but water mopping and steam cleaning should be avoided. A wood cleaner should be used for mopping. Because hardwood is vulnerable to denting, scratching, fading, and moisture, care should be taken to protect it. It is a good idea to use breathable area rugs and rug pads in high traffic areas and to place felt pads on the feet of any furniture. You may want to consider rotating rugs and furniture pieces in sunny rooms to avoid uneven color due to fading in exposed spaces.
If you’ve decided that the classic look of hardwood is worth the cost and care, then there are some particulars that will help you narrow down the options. To begin with you should determine what type of hardwood floors are best for your space.
Solid hardwood planks are milled from a single piece of wood that is typically ¾” thick. They are particularly reactive to humidity and should never be installed in a space that is below ground level. Installing solid hardwood requires nailing, stapling, and/or glueing it down to the subfloor. Solid hardwood flooring can be sanded and refinished – furthering its longevity in the home.
Engineered hardwood is created by layering thinner sheets of real wood together with adhesive. It is more structurally stable and can therefore be installed in basement spaces. Floating installation (no nailing or glueing down) is also an option with engineered hardwood. Some engineered hardwoods can be sanded and refinished depending on the thickness of the top layer. If this is important to you you will want to consult with a professional to ensure you choose the right wood.
Both solid and engineered hardwoods are sold unfinished or prefinished. The choice here impacts the look of the hardwood flooring and the installation process.
Prefinished hardwood is sanded, stained and sealed in the factory before making its way to your home. The planks have a consistent appearance in color and each edge is bevelled. Prefinished hardwood is installation-ready, and once installed the work is done and your flooring is ready to use. Though the cost of prefinished planks is higher than unfinished, it is the more affordable option overall as installation is a simpler process. Prefinished planks are also more durable due to the controlled conditions in the factory finishing process.
Unfinished Hardwood is installed in your home before being sanded, stained, and finished. This is a much lengthier and messier installation process, and you will need to plan to be out of your home for multiple days. The resulting floor is completely smooth as the planks are all sanded together. Unfinished planks are an especially good option if you are hoping to match new hardwood to existing hardwood floors in your home, or if you are wanting to create a custom look.
There is a great deal of variety in hardwood flooring based on the species of wood and its grain, the stain color and finish, the plank length and width, and the edging of the planks. The professionals at Floor Zone can show you a wide variety of options and help you accomplish just the look you want for your space – elegant, rustic, dark, light, matte, glossy, wide or narrow plank, distressed, scraped…the options can be overwhelming, but our professionals will help you hone in on your style. Our expert installation will ensure that the look you love will last for years.