How Much Do You Really Know About Your Hardwood Flooring?
Every year, thousands of homeowners look down at their hardwood flooring and think that it may be time to have them refinished. Then they try to figure out whether they should go with a Sandless, or a Dustless refinishing job before they ever find out what type of flooring they actually have, or what is best for it.
Of all the types of flooring options available for your home, hardwood floors are the hands-down winners and can be the most beautiful, lasting, and easy to maintain choice you can make for your family and home.
But there is a lot more to know about wood than the average consumer might imagine. To make the right choice for your home it is important to understand your options and your woods.
What Type of Hardwood Should You Choose For Your Home?
Whether you are looking for a traditional, modern, or an old world charm, there is a wood to satisfy your needs. Although there are some considerations for kitchens and basement areas, wood can be successfully used in any room of your home, while adding a touch of durable elegance to its design.
Stained or Unstained?
For the DIY designers out there who want to take a pro-active role in the look of their hardwood flooring, choosing an unstained wood allows you to have more flexibility in how your floor will look when it is done. Maybe you have a certain décor that requires a certain finish not available in already stained wood options.
Matching your flooring to painted walls, or an adjoining carpet is important. Unstained flooring will be your best option to make sure that your theme remains consistent.
For the less artistic, utilitarian homeowner, there is a huge inventory of pre-stained Harwood floors available to choose from. Some people just want a nice looking floor without going through all of the hassles of picking out stains. Staining also adds cost and time factors to reach the completed project, not to mention the mess and smell.
For a quick and easy install, you may decide to choose a stained hardwood that meets your needs and avoid all the extra steps of selecting a stain.
Natural or Man-Made Harwood Material?
A natural hardwood, also know as “solid” hardwood, is wood flooring just as Mother Nature intended. Aside from normal pressure treating and chemical protection for durability, natural hardwood is cut to industry-specific standards and can be sanded and refinished many times over the course of its lifetime.
It can also be stained any color you desire, but remember, each time that you refinish a natural floor; you are removing a layer of your actual floor. Although it can be done many times over decades of use, eventually there will come a time where someone will have to replace the entire floor and start over again.
Engineered hardwood floors, on the other hand, are a durable, long-lasting alternative created using different types of veneer which are then glued together much like plywood.
Engineered hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for areas of your home found below grade, such as your basement, due to its ability to withstand moisture variances, unlike many natural hardwoods.
Man-made hardwoods can also be sanded and refinished as long as you have chosen and installed a veneer with the proper thickness to withstand the process. Normally, however, this can only be done to non-natural flooring once, or twice, at most.
Remember: Making the right hardwood flooring choice happens before you install the floor.