Real Wood Floors | Choosing a floor Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asks Questions

  • Choosing a floor
    Are hardwood floors cost-effective?

    Yes, hardwood floors can last for generations; real estate agents agree homes with wood floors sell faster and for higher prices.

  • Pets Choosing a floor
    As a pet owner, what should I consider when choosing a wood floor?

    Pets of all kinds can be great joy in a home, but they can be hard on wood floors. Large, heavy dogs in particular. The nails from heavy animals have the potential to cause indentations in wood flooring, possibly even scratching the finish. Of course, even well-trained pets occasionally don’t make it to the potty in time. The ammonia in pet urine can discolor floors if not cleaned up promptly. Also, if your pet’s hair contrasts with the floor color it could be more noticeable.

    If you have pets in your home, consider a floor that is wire brushed or hand scraped, and has natural color variation and character. Solid products or engineered products with thicker veneers offer more resistance to indentation than products with thinner wear layers. Avoid smooth textured and uniform consistently colored floors as they show scratches and other blemishes much more easily. This will help mitigate the inevitable effects of your cats and dogs living indoors.

  • Choosing a floor
    Can hardwood flooring improve indoor air quality?

    Yes. Unlike carpeting, bacteria, dust, dirt and allergens cannot cling to wood flooring; simply dustmop, sweep, or vacuum regularly and your wood floors stay pollutant free.

  • Choosing a floor Environment
    Does it harm the environment to harvest wood to manufacture wood flooring?

    No. Trees are a natural, renewable resource that can be continually harvested and replanted without serious environmental impact.

    Also, consider:

    Wood floors last generations making replacement a nonissue Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual harvesting Indoor air quality is better with wood floors Trees are carbon neutral and produce oxygen while storing carbon during lifecycles At the end of its extended service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled

  • Choosing a floor Design
    Does wood flooring go well with most design elements?

    Yes. Hardwood floors complement almost any décor. Interior designers agree that wood flooring blends well with most decorating styles, and rate natural materials as superior to man-made materials in beauty, prestige, style, maintenance, and durability.

  • Choosing a floor
    How do I select a flooring color & species when there are so many to choose from?

    Compare your furnishings and wall paint colors with hardwoods’ natural colors and stains, distinctive grain patterns and visual effects such as knots and mineral streaks. Also consider texture, grain pattern, and various widths.

  • Choosing a floor Prefinished Installation
    Is hardwood flooring suitable for a kitchen, bathroom or workspace?

    Yes. Wood flooring can handle heavy traffic and the occasional spill while retaining its luster and beauty. Our finishes are designed to more than hold their own against heavy residential and commercial foot traffic. We do suggest using mats in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room, and walk-off mats at all home entrances to protect against spills and tracking in dirt or other objects that could scratch the floor. If spills do occur, do not let them remain on your floor—just wipe up with a clean cloth or drymop.

  • Choosing a floor
    What is meant by "below grade", "on grade", or "above grade"?

    Grading refers to where the soil, or ground, meets your house. Basements, even walkout basements, are always considered below grade since at least one wall is below ground level. Your home’s first floor sits at ground level (except for a walk-out basement) and is considered “on grade.” Any floors above ground level are “above grade.” It is very important you know the grade level of the floor(s) you want to install. Engineered flooring is designed to work at any grade level, and traditional ¾” solid flooring is only for “on grade” or “above grade.”

  • Choosing a floor Prefinished Unfinished
    What's the difference between prefinished and unfinished flooring?

    Prefinished: advantages are faster and easier installation, minimal disruption to your home, fast cleanup time and usually less expensive labor costs because sanding, staining, and coating are performed in the factory. Also, you usually get an extended warranty with prefinished flooring and finish that is very scratch resistant.

    Unfinished: Advantages are the availability of more wood species, widths, and cuts that can be matched to existing wood floors. Also, unfinished flooring allows for custom onsite sanding, staining, and coating with a protective sealant after installation to achieve a beautiful unique floor.

  • Choosing a floor Installation
    Where can I install hardwood flooring?

    Engineered wood flooring has the advantage of of being able to be installed above grade, at grade and even below grade (in a basement) or just over a concrete slab. However, traditional ¾” thick solid wood floor should only be installed at or above grade. Solid wood flooring should not be installed over radiant heat systems, but our engineered floors are compatible with radiant heat if you follow our guidlines on installation and allowable widths and species.

  • Choosing a floor Installation
    Which installation method should I use?

    There are three main ways to install wood flooring: glue down, nail down and floating. The method you choose should depend on where the floor is being installed, and over what type of subfloor. Glue down application is ideal for concrete subfloors and nail down is best fit on conventional wood subfloors. Floating installation, where only the tongue & grooves are glued together and nothing is attached to the subfloor, can be used on any subfloor if the conditions are adequate. Refer to our Installation Guidelines for further details or contact us for more help.

  • Choosing a floor Prefinished Installation
    Why doesn't my floor look the same as the sample in the showroom?

    Although it should look similar, each hardwood tree differs from others and even wood from the same tree can show variance. Wood is a 100% organic material shaped by nature. No trees or boards are alike, and variation should be expected and appreciated as nature’s unique signature.