For generations, hardwood floors have been a popular choice for homeowners and renters, due to their natural beauty, lifespan, and convenience. So, if you’re thinking about adding this classic feature to your home, here are three things to look out for when choosing pre-cut hardwood flooring: price, appearance, and durability.
Find beautiful hardwood flooring that fits your budget by shopping here NOW!
While finding the right kind of hardwood flooring may seem like a daunting task, taking a little time to do so will be well worth your while. Because it is such an important investment to make, you want to make sure you choose hardwood flooring that will suit your home and budget perfectly.
The Value of Hardwood Flooring
Although hardwood floors may not be the cheapest way to provide a floor for your home, due to their durability and timeless appeal they can add substantial value to a property. Homes that have hardwood flooring are typically more popular than those that don’t, and therefore sell for much more money.
In addition, many people choose to live in properties with hardwood flooring due to their health benefits. Unlike carpeting, hardwood floors do not have any fibers that trap dust and dirt, which can give people with allergies some difficulties.
For example, both the American Lung Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommend that people with allergies should live in homes with hardwood floors rather than wall-to-wall carpeting.
Hardwood floors are also a better option for the environment than carpeting, which often isn’t recyclable, has to be replaced more often, and can contain harmful chemicals. Organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council provide information on what wood can be sustainably used for flooring.
One of the things to look for when you’re shopping for pre-cut hardwood flooring is the appearance of the wood, which may vary depending on the color, cut, grain, and finish. As a result, one type of pre-cut hardwood flooring may be better suited for your property than another.
Hardwood flooring comes in various shades of colors like brown, red, or yellow. For example, red oak flooring is reddish in nature as the name states, while white oak is lighter and brown in color. Other species of wood, like Black Walnut or Wenge, are much darker in color.
It’s important to consider how each wood’s color will look in your home before you purchase it.
Another factor that determines the appearance of hardwood flooring is the grade of the wood. Flooring with a clear wood grade or a select grade has a minimal amount of lines and marks running through the wood. As a result, wood with this type of grade has a more uniform appearance.
Flooring with a common grade or second wood grade, on the other hand, has more knots and marks in the wood and therefore is much more varied in appearance and color. Hardwood flooring with a third wood grading is typically considered to be the most rustic in appearance. The kind of grade your hardwood flooring has will have a big impact on how your floor and property look.
The way your hardwood flooring is cut and sized can also have a dramatic impact on the floor’s appearance. Most hardwood floors are comprised of wood strips, which are long narrow boards that typically are one-and-a-half to three inches wide. Plank flooring, however, uses wood pieces that are three to seven inches wide. It, therefore, creates a more uniform look due to the width of the boards.
Parquet flooring is another style that is made up of wood boards cut into various types of patterns and shapes. As a result, parquet floors can be complex or simple looking depending on the design. More complex designs of parquet flooring are more difficult to install.
Be sure to measure your floor carefully so that you know how much pre-cut wood you will need to finish the job. You don’t want to run out of the wood you’ve carefully chosen on the day of installation–particularly if it’s a rare style of flooring and hard to find!
The kind of finish you choose for your pre-cut hardwood flooring can also affect the appearance of your floors. While a finish is a top coat that helps protect your floors from moisture and damage, depending on the kind you use, it can also enhance the wood’s color and luster.
How long each finish takes to dry when it’s painted on varies.
Surface finishes are the most widely used and involve staining the wood before adding a layer of varnish or urethane. There are several kinds of surface finishes that provide different looks; however, oil-based-urethane finishes are the most commonly used. They are available in gloss, semi-gloss, or satin sheen.
The other category is penetrating or wax finishes, which involves soaking the floor boards with a finish and then waxing them afterwards to complete the job. Often this type of finish produces a lower-luster or amber look on the wood.
You can learn more about the various types of colors, grains, and finishes of hardwood flooring at the National Wood Flooring Association’s website.
Of course, another major thing to look out for when shopping for pre-cut hardwood flooring is the durability of the boards. Some woods are harder to damage than others, so, if you want to avoid replacing your floors or hate doing repairs then there are several things to consider.
Hardwood floors can be constructed with either solid wood or engineered wood boards. Solid wood is cut from a certain species of a tree and is made of just that type of wood. Engineered woods, however, are comprised of several different layers of wood veneers and typically have a layer of high quality wood on top.
Due to its design, engineered wood flooring is usually more stable than solid wood flooring and is more resistant to humidity and extreme temperature changes. Because the top layer on engineered wood is somewhat thin, it cannot be sanded and refinished as many times as solid wood flooring.
So, if you live in a region that undergoes dramatic seasonal changes or is more humid, than you may want to buy engineered wood for your floors. If you think your floors are going to endure a lot of wear-and-tear and moisture isn’t going to be factor, then you may want to go with solid wood flooring.
The durability of solid wood flooring varies depending on the hardness of the tree that is used. The harder a wood is, the less likely it will be damaged by heavy traffic or falling objects.
The Janka Rating System is a measurement method that manufacturers and hardwood floor distributors use to tell how hard a species of wood is. The system measures the force in pounds that is required to embed a small steel ball into the wood itself.
According to the Janka ratings, more exotic woods like Brazilian Teak, Brazilian Walnut, and Tiete Rosewood are among the world’s hardest woods. Domestic woods like Yellow Birch, Yellow Pine, and Maple are softer, and therefore easier to damage. To learn more about the Janka Rating System and the hardness of each wood, you can refer to information on the World Floor Covering Association’s website.
Regardless of the pre-cut hardwood you choose, similar to other carpetless flooring like fiberfloor vinyl, it will be extremely easy to clean and can last for decades.
Another thing to look out for when you’re choosing pre-cut hardwood flooring is price. Although hardwood flooring adds considerable value to a home, if you’re on a tight budget, then you may want to go with a more affordable kind of flooring. However, just as with other things in life, the more money you spend on your flooring, the higher quality your floors will be.
Generally speaking, there is not a significant difference in price between solid wood and engineered flooring; however, prices vary depending on the type of species that is used. For example, pre-cut, exotic solid woods like Brazilian Walnut or Brazilian Cherry are more expensive than domestic woods like White Oak flooring due to their quality and shipping costs.
If you choose to buy pre-finished wood then the cost per square foot of the flooring will be more expensive than it would be for unfinished boards. That said, you should also factor in the time and money you might spend to finish the wood yourself.
The price of the wood itself is not the only thing you should consider when it comes to the cost of your hardwood floors. For example, hardwood flooring must be installed on top of an underlayment, which helps protect it from moisture and the subfloor underneath.
Typically, hardwood floor manufacturers recommend that a certain type of underlayment be used with the boards, and those underlayments will also vary in price.
The subfloor or underlayment that was in place previously may need to be removed or repaired before your hardwood floors can be installed. Depending on your property, you may need to remove and store furniture temporarily while your floors are being laid down.
If you’re an experienced contractor or have done a lot of home renovations, then you may want to install your hardwood floors yourself. If you don’t have a lot of experience, or finding spare time is a challenge, then you should strongly consider hiring someone to install the floors.
Installing hardwood floors can be a challenge for most people, and when you consider the value that they possess, making sure they’re installed correctly could be well worth the expense.
Find gorgeous, durable and affordable hardwood flooring right NOW with the help of our website!