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What kind of hardwood floors in Florida?

what kind of hardwood floors in floridaAlthough hardwood floors are a beautiful and valuable addition to any home or property, depending on where you live, some kinds are better a fit than others. Due to the heat, humidity, and beaches for which Florida is famous, it’s important to consider several factors when you shop for hardwood flooring.

Looking for great and affordable hardwood floors to add to your Florida home? Then you’ve come to the right place, HERE!

Hardwood floors continue to be a popular flooring option, due to their classic appearance, durability, and convenience. Although there are cheaper types of flooring, hardwood floors are a fantastic way to raise the value of your home because of the tremendous benefits they bring. While this also holds true in “The Sunshine State,” it’s important to consider Florida’s unique climate to make the most of your investment.

Choosing Your Hardwood Floors

Not only do you want to find hardwood flooring that fits your budget and looks amazing in your home, but of course you want to keep your floors as beautiful looking as possible! Just like any other addition to a property, it’s important to consider what the climate and elements in Florida could do to your floors.

While you may not have any plans to sell your home, the less damage your floors take, the less time and money you’ll have to spend repairing them.

what kind of hardwood floors are in floridaEven worse, if you choose hardwood flooring that’s not ideal for your Florida residence, you may end up having to replace them altogether. Thankfully, if you take a little time to research your options and protect your hardwood floors once you’ve installed them, you should be able to enjoy this classic feature for decades.

Conditions in Florida

Of course, Florida is a popular destination for tourists and retirees due to its hot summers and abundant coastlines. The west coast of Florida borders on the Gulf of Mexico while the east coast meets the Atlantic Ocean: As a result of its unique shape, not even the interior regions of the state are very far from the ocean.

Its proximity to water and the Equator means that a good portion of Florida is considered to be subtropical, while its southern regions have tropical climates. Even Florida’s interior regions have plenty of lakes and ponds, so there is more than enough water to go with the state’s sunshine. In other words, Florida residents get plenty of hot and humid weather.

One of the drawbacks of Florida’s location, however, is that it’s prone to extreme weather. Not only does Florida endure plenty of thunderstorms annually, but hurricanes and tornadoes are also a threat. In fact, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Florida’s southern Peninsula and Colorado’s southeast plains receive the most thunderstorms in the U.S. In addition, Climate Central reports that Tampa and Miami–both in Florida–are two of the most vulnerable cities in America to a hurricane.

what kind of hardwood flooring is in floridaSo, while Floridians for the most part enjoy plenty of sunshine and heat, the region receives its fair share of climate-related challenges that could affect your floors. You can learn more about Florida’s weather and environment from organizations like the Florida Climate Center.

Solid Wood Floors

Solid wood floors are comprised of boards that are cut from one species of tree. The thickness of the boards can vary, but according to the National Wood Flooring Association, they typically range from 3/4” to 5/16”. One of the big advantages with solid wood floors is that, due to their thickness, they can be sanded and refinished multiple times.

If you suspect your floors will receive a lot of wear and tear, keep that in mind.

Like any hardwood floor, solid wood flooring is highly regarded for its ability to resist dents and gouges, particularly if you buy a harder species like Brazilian Walnut or Brazilian Teak. The harder the boards are, the less likely they will receive serious damage from traffic or objects falling on them. The Wood Database provides information about each type of wood and which kinds are harder and more durable.

what kind of hardwood flooring in floridaWhile solid wood floors are very durable and can be refinished multiple times, they’re also more susceptible to damage from moisture and extreme temperature changes. When solid wood floors encounter a lot of moisture, whether through humidity in the air or wetness from the ground, the boards may expand. Due to the fact that hardwood floors are comprised of tightly fitted boards, as the wood expands and pushes against each other the floor could warp or split. If the floors encounter enough moisture, the boards could even rot.

Due to the fact that Florida has a very humid climate, and can incur large amounts of rainfall, solid wood floors may not be ideal for certain properties. In particular, because of the amount of moisture that can rise up from the soil, installing solid wood flooring on the ground level could be risky. Distancing the floors from this moisture by installing them on the second level is a safer bet.

If your heart is set on certain type of solid wood flooring, then there are some things you can do to help protect them from Florida’s humid climate. Make sure to buy finished boards, or coat them yourself, which will help keep moisture out. Buying narrower and thinner boards will also reduce the chances of warping.

If your home doesn’t have a good heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system, you may want to consider investing in one.

An effective HVAC system will help remove humidity from the air as well as keep the temperature from getting too hot. Not only will you be more comfortable during the summer months, but your solid wood floors will last much longer.

Trees of Florida Used for Hardwood Flooring

Generally speaking, the type of tree that is used for solid wood flooring is either exotic or domestic. Exotic woods use species of trees that either come from another country, like Brazilian Cherry for example, or a rare type of tree. Due to the shipping costs of many exotic woods, and their impressive quality, they are typically more expensive than domestic woods.

what type of hardwood floors in floridaThat being said, Florida is home to many types of trees, both domestic and exotic, which are often used for hardwood flooring. By choosing a type that is indigenous to the state, you may be able to cut down on your shipping costs and support the local economy. According to the University of Florida Forest Stewardship program, some of the species that grow in the state include Black Cherry, Black Walnut, Red Maple, and White Oak.

You can also find out more about which hardwood flooring manufacturers are using trees that are being sustainably harvested by referring to organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council.

Engineered Wood Floors

The other kind of hardwood flooring is engineered, which use manufactured boards that are made up of several different layers of wood. Typically, each board has between five and seven layers, which are tightly packed together. A harder and more durable type of wood is used for the top layer. Despite the differences in their make-up, engineered wood floors look extremely similar to solid wood floors.

What makes engineered woods a good choice for Florida residences is that they’re specifically designed to resist moisture and extreme temperatures.

So, unless your home has an excellent HVAC system or you live in one of Florida’s driest regions, engineered wood floors are probably a better way to go. Keep in mind, however, that engineered wood floors have a thin top layer, so they can’t be sanded and refinished as often as solid wood boards.

what type of hardwood floors are in floridaGenerally speaking, engineered and solid wood floors have similar price ranges; however, certain exotic woods can be more expensive. In other word, buying solid wood boards is not necessarily a cheaper option if money’s tight.

Beachfront Properties

If you’re buying hardwood floors for a beachfront property, you should consider taking extra precautions to protect your floors. Aside from trying to keep them as dry as possible, putting down floor mats and area rugs, particularly at doorways, is a good way to prevent your floors from being damaged. Sand and dirt that gets dragged in from the beach could badly scratch your floors, even though engineered and solid wood floors are very durable and can last for decades.

Other Considerations

While you’re shopping for hardwood floors, make sure to check with the manufacturer to see if an underlayment is required. In fact, some warranties require an underlayment in order to be valid. An underlayment is installed under the hardwood floors to help protect them from moisture or a rough subfloor underneath. Installing one may be particularly helpful if you’re thinking about putting down hardwood floors on the ground level of your Florida property.

what type of hardwood flooring in floridaDue to the conditions in Florida, make sure you review what kind of warranty the hardwood floors you’re considering have–the longer and more extensive the warranty, the better. Also, it’s always a good idea to check the condition of your boards when they arrive. If your flooring has been damaged during shipping, you want to find out as soon as possible and get them replaced.

In terms of installation, unless you have plenty of home renovation experience, having your hardwood floors installed professionally is the right decision to make. Installing hardwood floors can be tricky and, due to their value, you want to make sure it’s done the right way.

Finally, make sure you shop around for your hardwood floors before you buy anything! A great way to do this is to use hardwood flooring comparison websites. Not only can you shop from a wide selection of hardwood flooring from your home or office, but you can find fantastic deals from all over the country.

If you’re shopping for great deals on beautiful hardwood floors NOW, then you’ve come to the right place!

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