Things to Know and Consider When Choosing a Hardwood Floor

Things to Know and Consider When Choosing a Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are an investment that will last a lifetime and add value to your home. It is important to work with an experienced flooring company with qualified installers like Paramount Rug Company in Massachusetts. There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing the appropriate hardwood floor such as: climate, proximity to water, room type, lifestyle, budget, unfinished verses finished, wood species, solid verses engineered, board width and length, installation method and of course color.

When it comes to durability and maintenance solid wood is better than engineered wood because it can be refinished three times more than engineered hardwood. The surface hardwood layer of an engineered wood is usually exhausted after being refinished once. Solid wood floors can maintain their aesthetic for 30 to 100 years. Prefinished solid and engineered hardwood floors are the most durable, since they have a factory applied aluminum oxide top layer. Regardless of the wood floor type all of them can benefit from reapplying the varnish.

Solid and engineered wood for a project is typically delivered one week prior to installation. This allows the wood to acclimate in the environment it is being installed in. During this acclimation period base boards are removed and three-quarter inch plywood is put down if necessary. Solid hardwood flooring uses a tongue-and-groove locking system, in which the tongue of each plank is blind nailed into the subfloor. If the wood is over 4”in width, we nail and glue the wood to prevent cupping. Wood cupping is common in New England because of the fluctuation in humidity. Engineered hardwood is installed the same way but some types come with a “click-lock” tongue-and groove system that allows the floor to float or be glued to a concrete subfloor. If you like to take on projects yourself but do not have a lot of experience, we advise that you purchase an engineered hardwood floor.

When it comes to cost, prefinished and unfinished solid hardwood averages $8 to $12 per square foot and engineered hard wood is slightly less at $4 to $7 per square foot. The cost between the two types of wood floors is not that great. The bigger price gap can be in the installation and finishing costs. The important thing to remember is that solid wood wins in longevity and real estate agents place a premium on solid hardwood floors.

If you are looking for long planks, interlocking construction, wood species (oak, maple, cherry and hickory) with great Janka hardness ratings, and the option to refinish multiple times then solid wood is the way to go. Engineered wood has similar aesthetics but is only a thin layer of hardwood bonded to layers of plywood. The extra plywood provides good stability and better and select engineered would will last about 25 to 30 years. Both are great options but it truly comes down to budget.

Please keep in mind that Covid-19 has impacted the hardwood supply chain. Most mills were closed for three months and were overwhelmed with demand when they reopened. Many mills still are not operating at full capacity. As a result, many products are on back order with lead times ranging from two to three months. Our team is ready to help you navigate purchasing and installing a hardwood floor from start to finish.