You can’t wait to see your new hardwood floor turn your living room into a majestic-looking space. You can’t wait for that hardwood smell to permeate the room once it’s installed. And you can’t wait to hear the sound of shoes walking across it.
Simply put, getting hardwood floors installed is a dream come true for you. And you’re not alone in this feeling.
Research shows that the manufacturing of wood flooring has grown by nearly 8% over the past five years, reaching $3 billion in revenue in 2017.
However, even though wood flooring is a beautiful option for your home, many customers don’t know what they’re looking for when buying hardwood floor products.
Here are 10 frequently asked questions related to buying hardwood flooring.
Let’s get started!
1. Buying Hardwood Floor Products: Engineered or Solid Wood?
The answer to this question depends on exactly where you’d like to install your flooring.
For instance, solid wood is great for any room in your home that is above ground. Meanwhile, engineered wood is excellent for any basement or slab installation. It can also be used over radiant heat or in humid climates.
The benefit of solid wood is that you can sand and refinish it several times. Engineered wood can also be sanded and refinished but not as often as solid wood can.
2. Finished on Site or at the Factory?
With site-finished flooring, you have many possibilities when it comes to customizing your floor’s final appearance. For instance, you can choose the kind of finish, stain, and sheen to apply to your final product.
However, since the floor sanding and finishing will be done at your home, you can expect some disruption, including dust and noise.
With factory-finished flooring, you don’t have the same customization possibilities you do with site-finished flooring. However, the benefit of these floors is that the installation process involves minimal noise and dust.
In addition, you can walk on the flooring immediately following its installation.
3. Should You Choose a Shiny Finish Sheen or a Non-Shiny One?
This ultimately depends on your personal preference.
A gloss finish offers the greatest amount of shine and reflects the greatest amount of light. Meanwhile, a semi-gloss finish offers a little shine and reflects some light.
A matte or satin finish offers the lowest level of shine and reflects the least amount of light.
The benefit of having less sheen is that you’ll be less likely to notice wear, like small scratches. However, all sheens offer a similar level of floor protection.
4. How Do You Keep Hardwood Flooring Looking New?
To keep your floors looking fresh, be sure to clean them regularly. You can do this by simply sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming the floors.
Don’t use steam mops or wet mops on your wood floors because steam and water can make the finish dull or damage the floor long term.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to place a throw rug at each entrance. But avoid rugs that have rubber backs, as they can discolor your floors.
5. How Can You Prevent Wood Floors from Fading Over Time?
Wood flooring is a lot like fine wine-it becomes better with age.
Of course, like any natural thing that experiences changes over time, your flooring can also experience minor color changes due to factors such as sun exposure.
To keep your floors from fading, try to periodically move furniture and rugs to limit their exposure to sunshine.
6. Which Wood Species Is the Best Option?
People’s styles ultimately dictate what wood flooring species they choose. However, various types of wood can be used to achieve certain effects.
For example, a light wood, like maple or ash, can make your room look more airy and open. Meanwhile, a medium wood, like oak or hickory, can make your space look cozier and warmer.
Finally, a dark wood, like mahogany or walnut, can make your room look more refined and stately.
7. Do You Need to Order More Flooring Than the Total Size of Your Space?
Yes. Generally, you should order about 10% more wood flooring than you need for your installation.
This is a wise move because your flooring will need to be trimmed to fit your space, and after it has been cut, you likely won’t be able to use it elsewhere.
You might actually want to order even more than 10% extra flooring if your flooring will have to go around stairs, a closet, a bay window or a fireplace as well.
The company from which you order your flooring can give you an estimate of how much material you’ll need to finish your particular job.
8. What About Pets-Could They Scratch Wood Flooring, and How Can You Prevent This?
You can take a couple of steps to keep your pets from scratching your wooden flooring.
For example, you can trim your furry friends’ nails regularly. You can also put rugs on the floors to reduce the number of scratches that end up in the flooring’s finish.
9. How Long Will It Take for Ordered Flooring to Be Installed?
The benefit of factory-finished flooring is that it won’t take as long as site-finished flooring to install. After all, with the latter, the finish is applied and then dried on site.
Still, with factory-finished flooring, after it has been delivered to your home, the flooring will need time to acclimate prior to being installed. This could take multiple days depending on what type of material you have ordered.
This is an extremely important step in the installation because wood has to reach what’s called the equilibrium moisture content of your home’s conditions. Otherwise, your installation may not last long.
10. Can You Handle the Installation Yourself?
Installing wood flooring is much more complex than simply painting your home’s walls. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to install it for you.
If you try to install your flooring on your own, you run the risk of damaging it if you don’t know how to do it properly. Also, you need special tools to get the job done-tools that you might not have much experience using and that you’ll have to rent.
In the end, you’ll save yourself both money and time by utilizing a professional.
How We Can Help
We offer top-of-the-line wood flooring products for homeowners as well as builders and architects.
Contact us to find out more about buying hardwood floor products and how these products can quickly add value to your space for years to come.