Friday, February 13, 2015

Things to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

You've decided that you're either tired of your old floors or it's time to replace them due to wear and tear. You know that hardwood flooring has been all the rage for the past few years, but what you might not know is that there are tons of choices out there. Where do you start? Here are some tips to help you out so the task doesn't seem overwhelming.

There are some really simple choices for starters. There's natural, solid, or engineered wood. Natural wood is what has been traditionally thought of as hardwood flooring. It is made out of solid, thick planks of actual wood. Engineered is the latest technology in flooring. It is made of a top layer of veneer over a thicker piece of plywood. Engineered typically handles moisture better than natural wood and is best if you have a concrete slab subfloor. This is usually the first thing you need to determine. What is your subfloor made of? This will tell you the type of material that is best to use.

For other important considerations when picking out your hardwood flooring, here are some things you should think about before shopping around.


Putting hardwood flooring on the first or second story of your home is a different process than putting it on a basement floor. The basement is considered below grade in builder language. The story of your home that's even with ground level is called on grade, and anything above this is called above grade. You have limited options depending on the grade where you plan to install the floor. Also, because of noise, you need to consider whether it's worth putting wood on the second story or the story above you. An extra pad will be needed beneath the floor to cut down on any added noise.


There are usually three types of subfloors in a home, including concrete, plywood, and particleboard. Finding out what kind of subfloor you have is essential before you get to work. Once you know this, you can decide on engineered or solid hardwood flooring. Concrete flooring limits you to engineered and the other surfaces typically do well with solids. If for some reason you prefer solid wood to a concrete subfloor, you can install plywood over the concrete.

Wear and Tear

What do things like traffic flow look like in your house? If there are kids and pets running in and out or lots of parties going on, then durability is a huge deciding factor. The harder the material, the more durable it is. A material like red oak would be good for your family since it's durable and not as pricey. You also want to consider a stain if you're going with real wood since it will hide scratches and stains better.

Personal Style

When picking out what you want, decide on something that matches your decor. This will save you money in the long run because you won't have to redecorate. Consider the finishes on your furniture and existing cabinetry and decide what would go well on your floor coverings.

What is the overall deciding factor? If you're cost-conscious, engineered flooring is best. If you want durability and don't mind paying more, then natural hardwood flooring is the way to go.

To learn more about their options for hardwood flooring, Mercer County, NJ residents should visit
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