Which type of wood floor is right for me? Solid or engineered?
Well where do you want to install it? While there are some differences, both solid and engineered hardwood are eco-friendly and made with real wood.
SOLID WOOD FLOORING
- Are solid pieces of wood with thickness ranging from 3/4" to 5/16" and must be used above ground
- Solid flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times
- Other options are strips of hardwood you can use which measure between 1-1/2 and 3 inches wide & planks range from about 3 to 7 inches wide
- Solid wood is ideal in family, living, dining and bedrooms as well as kitchens and bathrooms
ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING
- real wood that is manufactured with layers of wood veneers made with different species
- grains run perpendicular, resulting in stability meaning that it will expand and contract less under atmosphere changes
- can be nailed, stapled or glued down depending on subfloor above or below ground
That depends on where you want to install it. Both solid and engineered wood floors are made using real wood, so both are environmentally friendly.
Which wood species is right for me?
That depends on your style, budget and personal preference. With more than 50 domestic and imported species, we are certain that we have a style for you.
- For an open and airy feel, use woods like ash or maple
- For a warm and cozy feel, use woods like hickory or oak
- For a stately and refined feel, use woods like walnut or mahogany
- For an exotic feel, use woods like bubinga (Africa), Australian cypress, Santos mahogany (South America), purpleheart (Mexico), or Burmese teak (Asia)
Another thing to consider is how your floors will be used. Depending on how much traffic you think your floors will see, you'll want to make sure you select the right type of wood that will work with your lifestyle. Don't worry... we can help you out with that one.
Is a factory-finished floor or a site-finished floor better for me?
Both methods have their advantages, but the level of customization you're looking for as well as personal preference will be the deciding factor.
- applied on the job site and customize endlessly
- you choose the finish you want applied with maintenance, stain and sheen in mind
- expect noise, dust and disruption to your home as the finishing will be occurring in your home (dust containment systems available upon request)
- applied in the factory with less customization options
- minimal noise, dust and disruption to your home
- floors immediately ready to be walked on and used after they are installed
My room is 400 square feet, but we're being told to order 450 square feet of flooring. Is this really necessary?
A general rule of thumb is to plan to order 10% more than what is needed for installation. Because rooms are not always square, many of the pieces will need to be cut to size, which means that a lot of it will not be usable after it's been cut to a specific size.
Sometimes, it will be recommended to order less or more than 10% depending on your space. Let us know exactly what you're thinking and we'll be able to help you order the right amount of flooring.
I've seen different finish sheens on wood floors; some are shiny and some are not. How do I choose the one that's right for me?
This is strictly a matter of personal preference. As mentioned above in site-finished floors, you'll be able to choose any sheen you like. For shiny and light, we recommend satin gloss finishes. For something slightly less shiny and light, a semi-gloss finish will do just fine. For the opposite, a satin or matte finish will be the least shiny and the least light.
It's widely accepted that the less sheen you have on your flooring, the less small scratches and other wear will show. Factory-finished floors will have less options for sheen due to availability and time.
I'm concerned about pets scratching my floors. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
Of course! Although none of these things guarantee that pets will not scratch the floors, they are good precautionary steps you can take:
- place a scatter rug at every door
- trim your pet's nails regularly
- use other types of rugs to protect other areas
If you find that scratches are showing up everywhere, consider that it is very likely only the surface of the floor has been scratched. You can consult with a contractor who can give you specifically tailored recommendations.
How do I keep my floors looking new?
Clean, clean, clean! Like any other surface, your hardwood floors should be cleaned on a regular basis. You can sweep, vacuum or dust mop to remove any unwanted dirt, grime or grit. We recommend not using a wet mop—this can lead to a dull finish and even damage the floors over time. Scatter rugs with rubber backs are not recommended as protection because it can discolor wood floors.
There are retailers that produce rug mats specifically designed to protect floors from discoloration. These scatter rugs will help prevent dirt and grime from coming into the home and scratching the floors. You can also use floor protector pads underneath legs of furniture that sit directly on the floors. Clean up any spills immediately after they occur with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Leaving a spill on hardwood floors can damage the finish. Avoid wearing cleats or high heel shoes on the hardwood floors. These will lead to scratches on the finish and can even dent the floor.
You can also use a wood flooring cleaner (as recommended by your installer) that can bring a dull floor back to life. Make sure you use the product as instructed and only use products compatible with your specific wood floor. If you use the wrong type, you could damage your floors.