Denver Floor Guy How To Choose A Hardwood Floor

Denver Floor Guy How To Choose A Hardwood Floor


How To Choose A Hardwood Floor

Nano technology finishes. Engineered or Solid? LEEDS points. Stain techniques. Stability vs. light sensitivity. Yikes! Choosing a hardwood flooring solution is hard!

Rest easy friends. To help with the confusion, I present our revised «How to Select & Enjoy Hardwood Floors.»

I could expand upon any of these 10 items in glorious detail. So, take this as your preliminary guide and know that there’s more to each one of these steps. However, if you take these steps in order and ask lots of questions, we’re sure you’ll end up making a well-informed selection that you’ll enjoy for years!

Step 1: How Green Do You Want To Be?

Consider cork, blue-stained pin bark beetle kill pine, reclaimed hardwoods, LEED points, bamboo (though we could debate this), renewable resources, and finish volatile organic compounds (VOCs). You’re already going green buy buying hardwood floors. Generally speaking, carpet isn’t very green and tile isn’t renewable. If you want to go REALLY green in hardwood, it’ll influence all of your choices in the steps below.

Step 2: Choose a Species

Consider hardness, stability, & grain. Color comes later. Exotic or domestic? Get a species to match your lifestyle. Go really hard (e.g. mesquite or Brazilian cherry) if you have kids, big dogs, and clumsy adults. Go really stable (e.g. mesquite or Australian cypress) if you don’t like the cracks that occur between boards in Winter. Avoid exotics and cherry species if you don’t want your wood to darken over time and avoid walnut if you don’t want your wood to lighten over time.

Step 3: Engineered or Solid Hardwood?

What’s the installation environment? Think grade, moisture, & subfloor. Beware the wear layer — the layer that goes from the top of the board to the tongue. Get a good (5/32″ or better) wear layer. Engineered products are great if you want very stable products (= less movement) but the key is the «inner» wood layer. Is it seven layers of marine-quality plywood or is it a cheap fiber board?

Step 4: Surface! Surface!

So many choices! Distressed, etched, V-grooved, hand-scraped, machine-scraped, nail heads, flat and more! We have plenty of examples in our showroom. More distressing hides scratches and nicks but doesn’t fit well in contemporary designs.

Step 5: Consider the Source

Choose from leading manufacturers and mills to get consistent products, ample supply, and reliable warranties. Cheap products won’t last. Some manufacturers and mills are committed to quality. Some aren’t. Do your research (or talk to us!). Poorly milled products won’t lay well and you’ll see gaps that have nothing to do with seasonality.

Step 6: Express Yourself!

Choose your design! Consider color, inlays, borders, herringbones, parquets, diagonals, transitions, trim, stairs & more! This is pure design, folks. A little accent goes a long way to creating a gorgeous AND unique floor. Even something as common as 2 1/4″ red oak strip can be dazzling if you add the right accent.

Denver Floor Guy How To Choose A Hardwood Floor

Step 7: What Finish?

Choose from urethanes (water or oil) or Natural Oil. Consider wear, maintainability, the environment & looks! Big dogs? Choose a tough finish. Want to maintain it yourself? Consider natural oil finishes.

Step 8: Installation Matters

Floating floor? Sleepers? Radiant heat? Concrete? Nail down, glue down or both? OK, this is a shameless plug — but you need experience in selecting your installation method.

Step 9: Apply with Artisan Skill

Acclimate the wood. Tongue and groove EVERY joint. Use the BEST adhesives. Buff the stain. Don’t rush beauty! This is not a project to hurry though. Do it right. It’s the largest piece of furniture in your home.

Step 10: Preserve the Beauty!

Use the right cleaner, maintain the finish & ENJOY! Clean the floor with an industry-approved floor cleaner. Never use oil-soaps or vinegar and water. These items will damage your floor finish. A damaged finish can’t properly protect your floor! And maintain the finish! Every couple of years, call us to screen and coat your floor. By building up the finish and restoring finish in high-traffic areas, you preserve the wood and avoid more intrusive hardwood floor sand and finishing projects.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Simply reply to us or better yet, come see us in the showroom. We’re here to help you make well-informed choices for a beautiful floor that will last a lifetime!

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