How to Choose and Install Hardwood Floors

July 9, 2021 11:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Deciding on hardwood floors is almost always a wise decision. Not only are they beautiful, they’re timeless and provide a good return on your investment. When properly cared for, hardwood floors can last decades. The only problem is deciding what kind of hardwood flooring to install. Not all hardwood floors are created equal, and the color, hardness, grain pattern, type of flooring and other factors will affect how it looks in your home. Here’s a quick guide to hardwood flooring installation:

  • Solid vs. engineered hardwood: Traditionally, hardwood was manufactured in solid wood planks. Today, engineered hardwood is also available. This type of plank has a layer of hardwood glued to the top. It’s less expensive and cuts down on hardwood’s tendency to expand and contract. However, there’s one major drawback: if the hardwood layer is too thin, you won’t be able to sand the floor down and refinish it. If you opt for engineered hardwood, try to pick a variety with plenty of top layer thickness.
  • Wood type: Oak is by far the most popular hardwood flooring type. It’s durable, attractive and takes stain well. Since it’s readily available, it also tends to be less expensive than other types. If you’re interested in a darker wood flooring, choose walnut—it’s naturally darker, and your goal should be to change the flooring as little as possible.
  • Grain pattern: There are three ways in which a hardwood plank can be cut, which affects the grain pattern: plain sawn, rift sawn and quarter sawn. Plain-sawn planks produce what we think of as “wood grain,” while rift-sawn planks have a long and linear grain that looks consistent across the board. Quarter-sawn planks often have iridescent “rays” extending irregularly across the planks, which can add a very attractive effect.
  • Plank width: Traditionally, planks were manufactured in two- to three-inch widths. However, wide planks are coming into style. Many people feel that they offer a more luxurious look. Seven inches is the average wide-plank width, but keep in mind that their price tag reflects that luxurious look.
  • Finish type: There are plenty of different finishes available—two of the most popular are oil based and polyurethane based. Oil-based finishes allow the opportunity to touch up the finish as needed, while polyurethane often makes it necessary to replace entire planks or sections. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to purchase pre-finished planks or have the floor finished on-site, which allows you more control.

Installing your hardwood flooring is a long process, and it’s important that you don’t rush things. For example, you’ll need to let the wood acclimate to the climate in your home before anyone ever starts nailing down planks.

While it’s possible to install hardwood flooring yourself, most homeowners prefer to let professionals do it. Since hardwood flooring can be a significant investment, there’s less chance of accidentally damaging your new floors.

When you’re ready to purchase your own hardwood flooring for installation in your home, The Wholesale House can help. Call us or stop by to learn more about our selection.

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