4 Important Choices You Have To Make When Installing Hardwood Floors

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If you are thinking about installing hardwood floors in your home, you have a wide variety of different choices you need to make concerning the type of wood you want to be installed in your home. There is a lot of variety in the way that hardwood floors are created.

Choice #1: Engineered or Solid Flooring

The first thing you need to decide is if you want solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood floors. Back in the day, most hardwood floors were solid hardwood, which is essentially just a thick board made from one type of solid timber. Solid wood flooring is also generally installed on top of a couple of layers of plywood. With solid flooring, you can sand and refinish the flooring over time.

However, nowadays, engineered wood has become more popular. With engineered wood, the top layer is made of hardwood, and the other layers of the floor contain material that is designed to allow the floor to safely expand and contract.

This creates a strong and thin board that doesn't require an underlay of cardboard. An engineered wood floor can be placed directly over concrete, soundproof mats, or over a radiant heat set-up. The downside to engineered wood is you can't sand and refinish it later, you will just have to replace the flooring.

Choice #2: Site-Finished or Prefinished

Second, you need to decide if you want hardwood that is installed raw. With raw hardwood, you are going to have to apply the stain to the hardwood, as well as the topcoat, after the hardwood is installed. This allows for a customized look, but also means that the installation and airing out process will take longer.

With prefinished wood, the wood has already been stained and finished. That means that the appearance of the wood that you see is what you will get as the final project. With prefinished wood, once the floor is laid down, you are good to go, and nothing else needs to take place.

Choice #3: Wood Types

Third, you need to consider what type of wood you want to put down. Oak is a popular choice for wood floors because it is durable, has a nice grain pattern, and is usually reasonably priced.

Walnut is another popular choice due to the deep natural tones of the wood. Bamboo flooring has become more popular in recent years due to the eco-friendly nature behind the production of the wood.

Choice #4: Grain Pattern

Finally, you need to consider the type of grain pattern you want for your wood. The grain pattern is determined by the way the wood is cut. The three different ways to cut wood, with a quarter-sawn, rift-sawn, or plain-sawn, produce three different types of wood grain patterns.

When it comes to choosing the material for your hardwood floors, there is a lot to consider. Knowing as much as you can about the choices you make will lead to more long term satisfaction. Talk to a wood flooring company like Alpine Wood Flooring Inc today and you'll be on your way to getting exactly what you want. 

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