Hardwood floors add aesthetic appeal to your home and increase its value. They go well with just about any décor and lend themselves to a warm, relaxed feel. Considering the extensive array of flooring options on the market today, deciding to buy hardwood floor can feel overwhelming.
This hardwood floor buying guide will walk you through the process of how to buy hardwood flooring. Factors determining your hardwood floor buying decision should include budget, color preferences, the subfloor type, and the room you’re installing the floor, among others. You also want to research the type of wood thoroughly before making the final decision.
10 Tips for Buying Hardwood Flooring
Buying hardwood floors comes with several special considerations:
- Understand your subfloor before you start: Your type of subfloor (plywood or concrete) will significantly impact the hardwood construction you choose, installation method, and budget, among other critical factors.
- Determine your general budget: Establish how much you can or are willing to spend on the project beforehand.
- Do some research on local flooring stores/contractors: Ask for references, search online for local flooring stores, and focus on reviews.
- Style Considerations: Choose according to your style and taste preferences.
- Family Usage: Consider how you’ll use the floor, whether it has heavy traffic, moisture, young kids/pets, etc.
- Pre-finished vs. site finished: You can stain pre-finished hardwood flooring on site, while finished floors come sanded and sealed.
- Special Considerations: Consider sound transmission and the cost of removing older flooring, as well as researching radiant heating and hardwood floors.
- Plan on your timing: Plan ahead and seek input from the installation contractors to get a clear picture of the time frame.
- Length, width, and thickness: Hardwood floors come in various lengths, widths, and thicknesses with their respective pros and cons.
- Natural vs. stained colors: Different trees have varying natural shades (dark, moderate, or light) while staining wood allows for more flexibility.
Best Compositions of Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood floors come in the following compositions:
- 3/4 inch solid: This is a solid piece of hardwood floor that you can only install over a plywood subfloor at or above ground level.
- 5/16 inch solid: As a thinner version of the 3/4 inch solid, you can’t install this on the concrete below ground level or in the basement. However, you can install it over plywood at or above ground level or glue it down to concrete at ground level.
- Engineered: Engineered hardwood expands less than solid hardwood when exposed to moisture. Plus, you can install engineered hardwood anywhere in the home, including the basement.
- Locking: Also known as a floating floor, a locking floor has the added advantage of a locking system that makes DIY installation simple.
Types of Flooring for Buying Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring comes in many styles and types to fit varying needs and budgets, including:
- Solid wood flooring: Solid hardwood flooring consists of solid pieces of wood.
- Laminate flooring: Laminate flooring uses layers of natural wood in addition to acrylic lamination.
- Engineered flooring: Engineered hardwood is constructed from several layers of wood pressed together and then covered at the top and bottom with actual hardwood.
- Vinyl flooring: Vinyl flooring is made of PVC and designed to mimic hardwood floors.
- Linoleum flooring: Linoleum is a natural, resilient material made of linseed oil and wood products.
- Porcelain flooring: Porcelain flooring is produced in such a large variety that you get wood-look colors in a more durable material.
How to Buy Hardwood Flooring
Before you settle on buying hardwood floor, consider the following:
- Pros and cons of hardwood: Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of hardwood to determine if it’s right for you.
- Project Costs: The cost of hardwood floors vary depending on the type of wood you choose and labor costs.
- Picking the perfect wood: Think about the species and cut pattern of the wood.
- Getting the best deal: Weigh your options to get what will work for your needs and budget.
- Installation day checklist: Prepare an installation day checklist so that everything goes smoothly.
- Aftercare: With a little TLC, your home’s hardwood floors will serve you well for years.
Once you’ve read over this guide on how to buy hardwood floors and decided that the pros of installing hardwood floors outweigh the cons, we can help you find the proper hardwood floor for your property.
For over three decades, Carpet To Go has been committed to providing superior flooring solutions at competitive prices. You can reach us online or dial (425) 453-7607 for all your flooring needs.