Are wood floors expensive?

Along with being competitively priced, hardwood floors are represent an excellent value when compared to other flooring options. Hardwood floors never have to be replaced and will enhance or even increase the value of your home should you decide to sell. Compared to other flooring products, hardwood floors provide long-lasting value, as real wood floors are “beauty that lasts a lifetime.”

Is it cost-effective to select wood flooring over less costly materials?

Yes! In a nationwide survey commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), real estate agents said that homes with wood floors hold their value better, sell faster, and command higher prices. By a three-to-one margin, agents said that a house with wood floors would sell faster than a carpeted house. Some 58% said a house with wood floors would bring a higher price.

In which rooms of my home can I install a wood floor?

Any room except a full bath. With the variety of products available and the choice of installation options, hardwood flooring can now be installed in any room of the home. The only consideration is whether the floor will be installed on, above or below grade. For example, because of potential moisture, solid hardwood is not recommended for installations below grade, such as in a basement. Engineered products, which are inherently dimensionally stable, are better choices for this type of area. All types of wood can be installed on or above grade.

Does wood flooring go well with most design styles?

Yes. In a recent survey commissioned by the NWFA, more than three-quarters of interior designers find that wood flooring works well with many decorating styles. “It’s the most versatile floor covering there is,” said one designer. “Wood goes with contemporary and traditional and everything in between.” Designers rated natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability. A variety of woods and finishes are available to complement the decor and style of any room. Oak and maple are the most popular woods, but some homeowners are investing in exotics such as Brazilian cherry and purple heart.

What about installing wood in high traffic areas like kitchens?

The urethane finishes on most new wood floors stand up to water and traffic, bringing wood flooring into bathrooms, kitchens, and other higher-stress areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing and no waxing. High traffic areas include exterior doorways, hallways, mud rooms, and the areas in front of the sink, stove and refrigerator. To protect the floor just inside exterior doorways, use walk-off mats or small rugs to catch tracked-in dirt and grime. Place small rugs or mats at other high traffic locations. Watch for grit or pebbles that might be brought in on waffle soles of athletic shoes, and collect these with a hand-held cordless vacuum. This should be done a regular basis.

What type of wood and color should I choose?

There are several species of wood, colors and grain variations to consider. Other than walls, the floor represents the largest expanse of color or pattern in a room. Your floor should complement the fabrics, furnishings and accessories already present in the space, as well as enhancing the unique personality of the room as a whole. The most popular color is red oak natural, with maple natural running second-but with today’s eclectic decoration styles, truly anything goes. Darker colors go well with formal or traditional interiors. Lighter colors enhance country, casual and contemporary settings.

What’s the difference between engineered and solid wood?

Engineered products, available in planks and strips, are manufactured of hardwood using a cross-directional laminated construction (3 to 5 layers), with a top layer of premium hardwood. This construction counteracts the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, making engineered products inherently dimensionally stable. Solid products, available in planks, strips or parquet, are manufactured from a solid piece of wood.

What is the advantage of engineered products over solid products?

Engineered products can be installed in any room in the home, whether on grade, below grade or above grade. Engineered products can be nailed, glued or stapled down, depending upon the situation. They can even be “floated” over most subfloors without the use of nails or adhesives, making them ideal for remodeling. Solid products are not recommended for below grade installation and must be nailed down or glued down.

Which is better: Prefinished or Unfinished?

Most hardwood flooring sold today is prefinished, i.e., factory finished with several coats of UV-cured polyurethane or aluminum oxide. These factory finishes are tough and durable. Installing a prefinished floor eliminates the time, dust and odor associated with the on-site sanding and finishing of an unfinished product. A prefinished floor can be installed in a day. An unfinished flooring installation may require twice as much time for the same area.

Is there a difference between square-edge and eased-edge designs?

Yes. With a square edge, the sides of each plank or strip are square. An eased edge, more commonly known as a beveled or micro-beveled edge, features a slight angle on the top edge of the plank or strip. An eased edge can help mask slight subfloor imperfections, and can be felt if walking on the floor in bare feet.

Which types of wood floors are best for in-floor radiant heating systems, and are some wood species better for radiant systems than others?

Engineered hardwood floors in planks or strips are the best floors to use with radiant heating systems. These floors are manufactured of hardwood using a three-ply or five-ply laminated construction, making them inherently dimensionally stable. This means they are less susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Of the engineered flooring options, floating installation is the best choice because it can be “floated” over the subfloor without the use of nails or adhesives for a permanent installation. It is important to note that when installing any hardwood floor over a radiant heating system, the maximum temperature of the subfloor should never exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For the correct water temperature inside the heating pipes, refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines. Oak is an ideal species for in-floor radiant systems. We also recommend ash and merbau. We do not recommend that you use maple or pecan for an in-floor radiant heat system.

How much does sanding and refinishing cost?

Cost is calculated in general by square foot (length x width = square foot). However, it is not possible to give an exact quote without a physical inspection of the job. An estimate can be given over the phone or email based on your information.

How long will the job take?

It depends on the square footage and the finish used. If there is no staining, paint, carpet or furniture removal involved, sanding and refinishing an average job of about 1,000 square feet takes 1 – 3 days.

Why three days?

Each refinishing required the application of three coats of polyurethane oil base, and each coat takes 24 hours to dry.

What type of oil base and water base do you use?

My Hardwood Floors uses top quality oil base and water base finishes. We recommend oil base for older floors to restore their original richness and beauty, whereas water base on old floors tends to make them look dull. Other factors such as timing of the project (water base dries faster) and the style of finish (i.e., semi-gloss, high gloss, satin) should also be taken into consideration when choosing a finish.

When should I sand my wood floors?

Usually when high traffic areas are worn through and dirt and grit becomes imbedded in the wood.

When should I recoat my floors instead of sanding them?

When floors appear to be in good shape but the surface coat seems to have worn off.

How long will I have to stay off the floor once it’s refinished?

Usually 24 – 48 hours depending on the type of floor finish.

When can I put back my rugs?

We recommend 3 – 5 days to prevent interfering with the curing process.

Are wood floors hard to maintain? Can I damp-mop my floor?

Wood floors are easy to maintain. A hardwood floor finished at the factory features three to seven layers of a UV-cured polyurethane. This finish gives the floor a tough, durable and smooth no-wax surface that is both luxurious and easy-care. Avoid damp mopping. Water and wood do not mix. Therefore, we suggest that you use the maintenance products and procedures recommended by the manufacturer of your floor. Maintenance kits can be purchased from your retailer or contractor.

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