Hardwood Buying Guide
Hardwood floors are beautiful and can increase the value of your home. There are a wide variety of species, styles and finishes, as well as trim and moldings to fit your needs. Hardwood floors can be installed almost anywhere including basements, but you must take moisture and subfloor material into consideration when selecting the style of floor to be used.
Basic Subfloor Types
- Cement below ground level (basement)
- Cement at ground level
- Plywood at or above ground level
Four Basic Types of Hardwood Flooring
- 3/4″ Solid: Standard solid hardwood flooring comes in a variety of species and finishes. It can only be installed over plywood subfloor at or above ground level. It can typically be sanded and refinished (check warranty).
- 5/16″ Solid: Thinner solid hardwood flooring comes in a variety of species and finishes, can be installed on concrete or plywood subfloors at or above ground level. Can typically be sanded and refinished (check warranty).
- Engineered: Engineered hardwood floors use a true hardwood veneer (not a printed pattern like laminate) and come in a variety of species and finishes. This flooring was engineered to handle moisture better than traditional hardwood flooring. It can be installed over a concrete subfloor in the basement or any other level in the home. Engineered hardwood is a more environmentally friendly option because it requires far less material to produce the veneer than solid hardwood planks. Some engineered floors can be sanded and refinished (check warranty).
- Locking Hardwood: Locking hardwood floors are engineered floors as above but they have the added benefit of a locking tongue and groove installation system. No fasteners or glue are required during installation making this the easiest hardwood flooring system to install. The moisture barrier must be installed first, then the planks are locked into place.
What Can I Install Where?
- Install any type of hardwood floor over a plywood subfloor
- Install any type of hardwood floor on ground level concrete except 3/4″ solid
- Only install locking and engineered hardwood floor in basements
There are a wide variety of species, finishes and styles of hardwood flooring. Make sure to choose the right hardness and finish for your application. There are many colors from stained finishes to natural and exotic hardwoods with clear protective coatings. Hardwood floors now come in traditional widths and wider widths which show off the grain of the wood. Also, many textures are available from standard smooth to a variety of distressed options.
Please come into our showroom and see the many examples we have on display. Our experts will help you determine the right hardwood floor for your needs.
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