If you’re going to put down the money, and it can get quite pricey, to install a hardwood floor, understanding what your options are before you call the contractor can help you understand the different options available to you. These are the key factors to consider.
“Hardwood flooring is among the most expensive home area floors on the market today,” says one installer of area floors Campbell. “But those who love it won’t settle for anything else.” The market is now becoming saturated with cheaper, but less desirable options like laminate flooring and more recently, bamboo, which is just as hard as most hardwood, but significantly cheaper since it grows much faster than lumber.
“Pricing tends to depend on a number of key options. Engineered is generally cheaper than solid, and domestic is generally cheaper than exotic, but all hardwood flooring options are going to be more expensive than laminate, bamboo, or carpeting, so that’s something to bear in mind when you make the choice.”
#2. Solid vs. Engineered
“The main advantage of solid hardwood is that it feels better beneath your feet,” says an expert installer of area floors San Jose. “Or at least those who pay the extra money for solid claim. The fact is engineered hardwood is more versatile, and in most cases just as durable. It can be installed in a wider variety of locations because it’s more resistant to temperature fluctuations.”
Engineered hardwood is designed to combat one of the key drawbacks of wood in general: that is prone to expansion and contraction depending on temperature fluctuations. This can cause the wood to warp and bend, especially when it’s also exposed to moisture at the same time. Engineered hardwood is designed to withstand that much better than solid hardwood, which allows it to be installed in places where moisture and temperature fluctuations are more of an issue.
#3. Unfinished vs. Prefinished
In most cases, prefinished wood is going to be the better option. Prefinished wood is coated with UV resistant polyurethane before it makes its way into your home. Unfinished wood does not, but even still, unfinished wood tends to be more expensive, since there is more labor involved in the process of installation. The only major reason that folks opt for unfinished is because they’re trying to match the planks to an already existing floor, so staining it on the spot is the better option.
In terms of hardness, there is what is called the Janka scale. The Janka scale was developed to rate how well a hardwood would hold up to wear and tear. The rule of thumb is, the higher you go up the scale, the more durable the wood. For those with children or pets, the may be a key consideration. You might not want to install a lower rated wood in a high traffic area.