As a homeowner looking to replace or upgrade your existing floors, there are many different factors you must consider. You must take heed of what will best fit with your existing furniture and home décor.
The most basic choice you’ll have to make is between solid wood and engineered wood. Depending on the construction of your subfloor, your home might be better suited for thick, solid planks of wood or an engineered veneer layer that sits on top of a core of plywood.
However, before you can make this decision with confidence, you need to do your own due diligence. Here are a few questions you should ask to truly understand what choice in new hardwood floors will be best for your home:
Where Is The Wood Going?
As you might expect, hardwood floor installation in a second story bedroom will be much different than installing floors in a basement. A basement installation would commonly be referred to as a “below grade” installation, because the area in question is below ground level.
“On grade” refers to a floor that’s even with ground level, while anything above that is known as “above grade.” The level at which you’re looking to install new floors will certainly dictate your flooring options. For example, most companies will not recommend installing solid wood below grade, as increased exposure to moisture coming up through the ground can cause complications.
What Is Your Subfloor Material?
You’ll also need to be aware of what type of subfloor your install company will be working with. Any company that fails to take this account will likely produce results that are less than satisfactory. There are three common types of subfloor: concrete slab, plywood, and particleboard.
The type of subfloor will dictate your flooring options. If you’re working with a concrete slab, you’ll most likely be limited to engineered wood. Plywood is the most common material used for subfloor and it also provides the most flexibility in choosing your hardwood floors, as it’s compatible with both solid and engineered wood.
Particleboard is most often found in carpeted home built sometime in the 1970s. If you’ve got particleboard in your home you’ll need to replace it with plywood before installing either solid or engineered hardwood floors.
What Are Your Living Habits?
In choosing a type of hardwood you’ll need to consider the “wear and tear” factor. If you’ve got two kids and a dog and enjoy hosting large parties often, your floors will certainly see more abuse than the floors in the home of someone who lives alone and travels often.
Take the time to become familiar with the durability of different wood species in order to make the choice that’s right for your home. A harsher, high-traffic environment will call for harder wood, while a less traveled home might be fine with something a bit softer. You can also explore options in grain patterns, stains, and finishes that will be more suited to hiding dents and scratches.
While these are just a few of the many questions you should ask before settling on the material for your new hardwood floors, these questions provide a baseline for you to get your home flooring renovation project started.
If you need advice or help learning about different types of woods, the professional team at Smith Brothers Floors is waiting to help you. Please visit us online or give us a call today at 1-403-255-7791!