Wood Flooring and Your Home

We always wanted wood flooring in our home, so when we built our new home it was a given that we would install them in the house. The first question that we asked ourselves was where?
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Where to install Wood Floors?

Picking a suitable location is very important. Coatings have become very tough using new factory installation methods, making location not as critical as it was in the past(more on this later). But, it is still a consideration.

We knew when we built our home that we wanted ceramic tile, and wood flooring on the bottom floor. Solid surface flooring is much easier to clean, and is more durable in my opinion.

With durability in mind we wanted our main entryways to have ceramic tile, and our interior to have flooring in wood. We find the Wood to have a much warmer feel, and it offers a rich tone contrast to the rooms.

As durable as the new wood flooring products are, they are still wood under the coatings, and will be damaged when heavy traffic is present over long durations of time. I would not recommend installing wood in main entryways, or very high traffic areas or any area that is subject to high moisture or spills, like your kitchen.

What Type of Flooring to Install?

The variety of flooring products made of wood or simulated wood, are staggering when you look at all the products that are available on the market today. With this said you have a couple of considerations that will narrow the field down rapidly.

The first consideration is cost. The more exotic the wood and the larger the plank size, the more it is going to cost. I really love the way mahogany floors look but found out really quick that it was not budget friendly.

Another consideration is if you are going to buy factory prepared and finished wood floors or solid plank wood flooring that is installed and finished on site. Let’s look at these for a minute.

Factory Prepared Wood Flooring

Most of your factory prepared and finished products are similar to plywood. They are built in layers, with the top layer being the finished wood that has a factory coating on it. The advantage of these types of products is they are easily installed and the coatings due to strict factory protocols are very durable and will wear for many years. Finish warranties vary from 5 to 25 years and up.

The disadvantage to pre-manufactured flooring products is the wood finish is not thru and thru. Although it can be refinished several times, if necessary, it is not as thick as a solid plank of wood and will eventually, if refinished enough, wear thru.

Solid Plank Wood Flooring

Solid Plank Flooring is real wood thru and thru, no glues, no lamination. This at first blush is a major advantage, but it has it’s drawbacks.

The first and most obvious is cost. Plank wood flooring is more expensive because it takes more labor to install and finish. It is not exactly uniform in size and requires more craftsmanship and skill to install. It also must be thoroughly sanded and finished properly to acquire the lustrous finish that we all want in a wood floor.

The big advantage in my opinion is it will last virtually forever. It will have to be refinished periodically which will require sanding and coating. It does not come with a factory finish and must be finished onsite after installation. This in itself tends to make the finish less durable.

Installers of flooring made of plank wood usually offer a very limited finish warranty if they offer one at all.

My Conclusions

Ok, you have heard some of the logic about what type of floor to buy. Now let me share what we bought, and why.

We decided to install Factory Prepared wood flooring for a couple of reasons that I have covered above.

We wanted a durable factory guaranteed finish that we did not have to worry about. We also did not want to come up with the extra cash to put in plank flooring.

Another reason we selected factory prepared flooring was we could get replacement planks if we needed them in the future.

We choose Bruce Flooring because of durability, availability, warranty and access to guaranteed installation.

If you need more information about qualified flooring contractors go to the Building Contractor Page.

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