Just about every homeowner loves the look of a hardwood floor, no matter their preference on color, finish, or style. Hardwood flooring is a versatile option that is well suited to accompanying any kind of décor. But how do you know if what you are buying is a good hardwood floor? Reviews are one way to judge the value and quality of a hardwood floor type or brand.
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There are numerous options for locating reviews for hardwood floors. Find as many reviews as possible, and go with the recommended flooring that you feel will be right for your home. As the homeowner, you are the one who will be living with your hardwood floor day in and day out!
Topics to Review
First off, you need to know what factors matter in reviews pertaining to hardwood floors. You don’t really want to waste your time reading about the superiority of one style or color over another; such issues are about taste. These type of reviews are based on opinions, and the only opinion that matters is yours. Truth be told, every style, color, and finish has its own merits and detriments.
You need to use reviews that deal in fact. Basically, you need the facts about each type of wood or manufacturer in order to judge if it is the perfect fit for your home. There are a number of factors that you should seek out in reviews about hardwood flooring.
The first bit of information you need from reviews is the hardness of the wood. The hardness of all hardwood floors indicates density. The denser a piece of wood is, the harder it is to dent, scratch, or scrape. A hardwood floor with a great hardness factor will resist the effects of everyday wear and tear better than one with a low hardness factor.
Hardness is indicated by the Janka Hardness Test, and you can find a chart of common woods for flooring at the World Floor Covering Association’s website. As a general rule, the harder and denser a type of wood is, the more resistant it is to damage. Certainly, other factors affect the longevity of hardwood floors, but the hardness test is one important factor to look at.
Another factor to find in reviews is the environmental impact of the hardwood floor. The National Wood Flooring Association contends that there are 486 million acres of commercial hardwood forests in the U.S., and they are renewed at a faster rate than they are harvested.
It is harder to judge the environmental impact of a hardwood floor when it is an exotic species coming from foreign locales.
No one would like to think that the hardwood floor underfoot was created at the expense of old growth forests or rainforests. It is recommended to look for the approval of the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure that your hardwood flooring comes from timber that is designated for commercial use and includes policies such as limited environmental impact during harvesting and replanting.
You are also going to want to look for reviews that pertain to the installation of your hardwood flooring, especially if you plan on doing the job yourself. You need to know where it is possible to install your hardwood flooring, as some hardwood flooring is easier to install than others. Furthermore, you also need information on sub-level installations, such as in a basement, as these kinds of installations can void the manufacturer’s warranty for some hardwood flooring.
Another big factor that you should search for in your reviews is cost. The costs for hardwood flooring can vary a great deal, and you need to understand whether the reasons behind a higher cost stem from a superior product or not.
There are many factors that drive the cost of hardwood flooring, and there are many factors that affect the total installation price.
One of the biggest issues that you should ascertain about your hardwood floor while looking at reviews is the durability of the wood or the brand. Durability can be affected by the type of wood from which the flooring is made, the cut of the wood, curing processes, and finishes; just to name a few. Obviously, you want the longest-lasting hardwood flooring for your money, so this is an important point to search out.
Lastly, you need to understand everything that goes into the maintenance of your hardwood floor. Generally, hardwood floors require a fair amount of maintenance and care; the general maintenance routines can be more intensive than other flooring options, but careful attention can really expand the life and beauty of a hardwood floor.
If you are looking for an easy-maintenance type of hardwood flooring, then you need to find a hardwood flooring option that suits your lifestyle before you buy; this information can be ascertained through reviews.
Family, Friends, and Neighbors
The first place you should go to for reviews about hardwood flooring is to your family, friends, and neighbors who have hardwood flooring. Start first with those who have hardwood flooring that you admire. Ask them about as many of the above factors that you feel comfortable inquiring about.
If you establish that you are basically doing research, and not trying to assess the buying power of the Jones’s, most people will open up about maintenance, cost, and any other question they can answer about their flooring.
You will also want to ask about flooring from those family, friends, and neighbors who have hardwood floors that seem to not be holding up quite as well. As tactfully as possible, try to ascertain whether the poor appearance stems from the family’s lifestyle or from a poor-quality wood flooring.
If it is apparent that the flooring you’re looking at is of poor quality, see if you can determine the manufacturer so you know which one to avoid.
Another source for reviews on hardwood flooring is home experts. Any contractor, builder, or installer will have an opinion concerning which hardwood flooring option is the best or worst. If your contractor is coming over to remodel your bathroom or to re-hang a door, pick their brains about hardwood flooring options.
You will probably encounter a wide range of opinions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t based on fact. Some may be of the solid hardwood all-the-way opinion, while others appreciate the easy installation and flexibility of engineered hardwood. Both solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring have their benefits and their drawbacks, so both opinions have merit.
A contractor or builder who has extensive experience with installing hardwood flooring can probably be one of your most valuable sources for reviews, as they know and understand all of the factors that go into such a flooring option. Truly, they are unbiased sources as they have nothing to gain from recommending one product over another.
There are numerous websites dedicated to hardwood flooring, and many of them offer reviews about species of hardwood in general and manufacturers and brands in particular. Read as many reviews as you can, as you want to weed out the sites that are only singing the praises of every species, manufacturer, or brand–these sites are generally just trying to sell you something!
Look for hardwood flooring websites that offer valuable content and reviews.
Find a website that mentions both the positives and the negatives about any hardwood flooring. Those who are passionate about hardwood flooring want you to have the most accurate information possible.
One such example is the Flooring Professor. The site offers numerous tips and bits of information, as well as reviews of types of hardwood, finish, and even brands that are available. You can find background information, maintenance information, and how-to articles.
Customer Reviews Online
You can also find customer reviews on websites that sell hardwood flooring. Most have a section that allows customers to rate the flooring products that they have bought for similar factors as those listed above; many also include a section for customers to write a review so you can understand why their ratings were low or high.
Make sure that all of the reviews that you look at are reviewing the quality of the hardwood, not some other part of the buying process. If the review includes a poor rating and includes complaints about delivery time or the difficulty with returns, then that is a reflection of the seller and not the product itself.
Again, make sure that the reviews are concerned with facts, not opinions. For instance, what might be perceived as an expensive hardwood flooring option to one family might not be outside the budget for a different family. The expensive nature of hardwood flooring is an opinion that varies from person to person.
However, if they quote how much they paid per square foot, then that is a fact. Make sure that you are reading reviews of fact about hardwood flooring as much as possible.
It is important to use all of those reviews to get an overall picture of the quality of any hardwood floor; don’t judge a brand or type on one or two reviews that you read. The more reviews that you find, the better your chances of getting the true measure of a hardwood floor brand’s quality before buying.
You also need to use your own good judgment when evaluating reviews. If your trusted contractor tells you that a type of hardwood flooring is not worth your time or money, then you should probably value such advice over any positive reviews found online.
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