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Hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home or work space, and enhance any colors or décor that you may choose. You'll find that the use of wood in any space can transform an otherwise drab four walls into a memorable showplace. It's an excellent backdrop for lifestyles, from formal to beachfront casual.
This guide contains information that you'll use from start to finish in the wood floor buying process. What you'll learn about brands, colors and hardwood floor installation methods will boost your confidence and help you avoid mistakes when making the final purchase.
Know What You're Getting for the Money
There are many excellent brands available that will perform to the highest standard. You can be assured that today's top hardwood manufacturers "think green" and only buy from reputable wood mills that practice environmental responsibility.
The following are just some of the flooring brands that have built up a solid reputation for providing quality flooring products to the global marketplace and are therefore worthy of your further consideration.
Choosing a Type and Color of Wood for Your Flooring Needs
Location isn't as much a consideration in choosing flooring now as it was years ago because of the new and improved wood coatings now being used. Your new flooring will perform well anywhere in your home or other space, whether heavily traveled or not.
Less expensive types of hardwood flooring are layered, the top layer being finished wood and the sub layers, composites. This factory-produced wood is generally not as thick and solid as plank wood and can show wear over time.
Solid, wide plank flooring is solid wood throughout, with no composites. This type of flooring will last a lifetime, but costs considerably more than layered woods.
When choosing a wood color, you'll find that there is an amazing array from which to make your selection. Light or natural woods look great when surrounded by an environment such as beaches or forests. Darker woods such as mahogany are well suited for more formal areas.
Installing a Hardwood Floor - It's An Essential Pre-Purchase Consideration
After choosing the type and color of flooring, you'll need to consider the method by which it will be installed, wood finishes used, and what will go under the wood. Here are several types of hardwood floor installations to reflect on:
- Floated - This method requires layers of wood to be laid beneath the main wood strips. This type of hardwood installation can be installed over most flat surfaces and is resistant to moisture. Typically a floating floor will incorporate snap-lock tongue and groove joints that simply click into place and vastly speed up the installation process and is the type most often favored by Do-It-Yourselfers.
- Glued - Adhesives are used to secure the wood to a concrete base. If you choose this method, be sure and contract with a reputable installer who uses non-toxic adhesives.
- Nailed or stapled - Wood flooring can be nailed or stapled over a sub-flooring strip. This method has the added advantage of not requiring extra cure time for the chosen finish.
Your new hardwood flooring will be coated with one of two types of finishes to protect its color and durability. One is a surface finish such as oil-based urethane (the most popular) and the other is penetrating sealant.
Surface finishes are tough, resist moisture and are easy to maintain. Penetrating sealers and finishes actually penetrate the wood to form a protective shield. They require special care such as using cleaning products made especially for wax-finished wood floors.
We strongly recommend that you use a certified wood flooring contractor to install your wood floors. Hardwood flooring is a sizable investment and trusting it only to a professional will ensure that the proper tools and correct installation methods have been used.
When properly finished and installed, your floor will bestow upon you years of beauty and wear and you'll congratulate yourself for choosing hardwood, by far one the most natural and rewarding of choices you could ever make!