Hardwood flooring adds long lasting beauty and warmth to your home, ranking as the most desired floor covering that increases value. Hardwood flooring can be a large investment, and there are so many hardwoods to choose from. So, here are some basic things to consider when selecting which hardwood flooring is right for you.
Solid or Engineered Hardwood – Solid hardwood is made out of a single piece of wood. It can be sanded and refinished several times over its lifespan (a hardwood floor can last generations). A below grade location (think basement), or one where drastic changes in temperature or humidity occur, are not suitable places for solid hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring is constructed with layers of tightly packed wood, forming a mesh-like pattern. The surface layer is pre-finished, solid hardwood. This design allows engineered hardwood to resist buckling and warping, and so it’s great for below grade installations!
Hardness – The Janka Scale rates each hardwood species’ density. The higher the rating, the more durable the wood. Families with children and/or pets should consider wood with a higher Janka rating, as it provides additional protection to your new investment.
Price – Costs you should consider include the abundance of discount hardwood flooring available, freight and installation. The quality and price difference between all hardwood flooring can be considerable, depending on the type and grade of hardwood flooring and the manufacturer.
Color – Hardwood comes in a wide range of colors, from the lightest of pines to the darkest of walnuts. The species and stain colors you select will create the specific décor with which you end up with.
Domestic or Exotic Hardwood – Domestic hardwood species are grown in North America, while Exotic hardwoods are grown outside of North America. These are unique in appearance, coming in a range of spectacular colors and grains, but they may be pricier than domestic hardwoods due to the freight time and distance they must travel.
Hardwood Grades – There are several hardwood grades, each having their own price point. All grades of hardwood flooring are made from high-quality lumber and are installable, but appearance determines their grade. Cabin Grade hardwood may have a few more knots, mineral streaks, and shorter length boards than First Quality.
Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood – Prefinished hardwood flooring has a polyurethane coating on the surface layer, which reduces dents and scratches in heavy traffic areas. It’s available for most all-wood species and stain colors. Unfinished hardwood is not sanded or stained until installed. It’s easier to match the stain of unfinished flooring to your room decor, but installers may only apply three coats where prefinished floors usually have around 9 coats.
Warranty – Make sure to check the details of your manufacturer’s warranty. You will be covered for anything listed in its guidelines. Manufacturer warranties almost never cover damage to flooring caused by certain environmental issues, such as high or low moisture conditions, improper installation, scratching, or denting. A first quality hardwood floor will carry a warranty for a specific number of years up to lifetime, while cabin grade is usually sold as is.
When researching your purchase of hardwood flooring, keep these basic factors in mind and you should be able to find the best floor for your needs and your aesthetic goals!
Floors To Your Home has sold discount flooring since 1921, and online since 2004. They are dedicated to give customers the best value in flooring by selling products at 50-75% off their original retail selling prices.