Hardwood Floors: Understanding Your Options

Guide To Buying Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular types of floors, increasing the resale value of homes and beautifying them during the process. But there are many considerations to take into account when choosing and installing hardwood floors, such as type, species, size, cost and brand. This guide covers everything you need to know about hardwood floors so that you can make the best choice for your home.

What is a Hardwood Floor?

Hardwood floors can be made from a variety of wood species, such as bamboo, oak or teak. Whatever the species, all hardwood floors are stained to bring out their rich color and grain, as well as sealed to prevent nicks, dents and other damage. Hardwood floors are classified from soft to hard, but the softest hardwood is still quite strong. Over time, however, even the hardest species begin to show wear. Instead of having to replace it, as you would with carpet, you can refurbish a hardwood floor and restore it to its original appearance. The cost of refurbishing a hardwood floor is much lower than buying and installing a new one.

How To Buy The Best Hardwood Floor

To find the right hardwood floor for your needs, you need to weigh factors like cost, foot traffic and type. For example, the harder the wood, the less likely it is to be damaged, but the harder woods are also more difficult to work during installation, which can result in higher installation costs. Another factor to consider is the location of the flooring and the type of traffic you expect in this area. A high traffic area is best served by a very hard wood species, for example. The following sections describe the main considerations to take into account when choosing a hardwood floor.

Types of Hardwood Floors

You can choose between two types of hardwood floors: solid and laminated. Solid flooring covers a single species, while engineered flooring is constructed from layers of wood, usually at right angles. Consider the following factors when choosing between solid flooring and technical flooring.

Solid flooring can be rehabilitated multiple times, while engineered flooring, depending on the thickness of the hardwood layer, can only support two or three coatings. Therefore, a solid floor covering can last several decades longer than a technical floor covering.
Engineered floors can be installed in more environments than solid floors. While engineered floors can be floated on many surfaces, glued to concrete, or nailed to a sub-floor, solid floors must be nailed or stapled to a sub-floor and must not be installed below ground level. , as in basements, due to fluctuations in humidity.
Solid flooring is slightly more expensive than engineered flooring, but the price difference is small in most cases.

Choose the Right Size

Another important consideration is the size of the boards. Narrow planks are cheaper, but many people prefer the aesthetics of wider planks, which reduces the number of seams in the floor. The same idea applies to shorter and longer residents. The larger and longer the board, the more expensive it is per square foot and the higher the percentage of additional flooring you need to fit your room. A standard measure is to buy 10% more square feet than what you need, but this can increase depending on the shape of the room.

Compare the Costs of Hardwood Floors

Costs can range from $ 1.75 per square foot to $ 9 or more, depending on factors such as species, width and type. While engineered hardwood floors are generally less expensive, the cost compared to solid floors of the same species is generally around $ 1 less per square foot. In addition, pre-finished wood can add $ 1 more per square foot compared to unfinished wood, but it also means that you will not need to finish it after installation.

One of the most popular species, red oak, costs around $ 4 per unfinished square foot and $ 5 prefinished, with additional costs for larger planks. More exotic woods or those that are harder and thicker


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