Frequently Asked Questions
Are hardwood floors more expensive?
Per square foot, wood floors are higher priced than other hard-surface floors initially. However, wood flooring is an excellent choice over the long term. It is one of those investments that you will be glad you made. Homes with wood floors hold their value better, sell faster, and sell for a higher prices. Real estate agents have said that on a 3-1 margin, a house with hardwood floors would sell faster than a carpeted house.
What looks best?
A variety of woods and finishes are available to compliment the style and decor of any home. Wood goes with everything. Oak and Maple are still the most popular woods but some homeowners will venture out to more exotic woods.
Darker colors work well with formal or traditional interiors and make rooms look smaller and inviting. Try Brazilian Cherry or Black Walnut. Satin finish looks nice on darker colors.
Lighter colors like Oak and Maple fit with the country, casual, and contemporary rooms and will make rooms look larger giving an open and airy feeling.
What is the difference between solid wood flooring and engineered flooring?
Solid flooring is …well …solid wood. The top layer is the “show wood”. The way it is cut from the log is simple. It is cut into planks with a saw. Solid wood expands by absorbing moisture and contracts when the moisture evaporates. Because of this, solid wood cannot be installed below grade. We do not recommend wood floors in any full bath because of the water risk involved. However, powder rooms are fine. Engineered flooring is warp and expansion resistant because of the way it is manufactured. The top layer of wood is not sawed off the log… it is peeled. Think of the wood rolling off just as toilet tissue unrolls. A lathe turns against a sharp blade and the wood layer veneer is created. The top layer of wood goes on top of a core layer of wood turned at a 90 degree angle. The glue that binds them is stronger than the wood itself. The bottom layer is also turned at another right angle. These three layers of wood comprise the engineered floor.
Will engineered flooring last as long as solid plank? Usually not, but is may last up to 60 years with care. Look for a deep enough top layer for at least three sandings.
If a floor needs only to be screened, (lightly sanded) you’ll get more out of the floor.
What about laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring features a wood appearance combined with engineering design that eliminates many of real wood’s disadvantages. Laminate flooring is very uniform in color and appearance. It is high density and the protective finish resists fading and wear and is easy to clean. It looks good and is very affordable so this market has grown incredibly fast.
Typically, the laminate has a photo imprint of a natural grain to imitate the wood grain. The close-to-nature appearance and durability creates a combination that is very hard to beat. Laminate is 30% more abrasion resistant than wood, it will take 2-3 times more force to scratch it, it has greater impact resistance, and is scuff resistant.It will also even out minor irregularities in your sub-floor because it floats on a cushion. Laminate is usually installed over cork or foam to cushion the floor. Laminate floors work great for town homes and condos that have a concrete sub-floor.
The downfalls are: It has a hollow sound when walked on, it looks harder than real wood floors, its very difficult to repair, and some products can only be sanded once.