Wood Flooring Basics

There are many benefits to wood floors. They create a warm look to your home and provide a healthier environment for allergy sufferers. You simply sweep, vacuum, or dust mop dirt and pet hair away. Wood floors will also help increase the value and selling appeal of your home.

Wood floors can be installed anywhere in your home however, the wood you choose will depend on location and budget.

Location Categories

  • Grade - ground level
  • Above Grade - second level or higher
  • Below Grade - floors that lie below ground level (basement)

Typically solid wood is not recommended for high moisture areas such as bathrooms, basements, and installation over concrete. The construction of engineered wood gives additional structural stability and moisture resistance, which permits it to be installed in higher moister areas.

When choosing wood floors for your home you'll need to consider appearance, durability and cost.

Solid Wood Flooring

Because hardwood is ¾" thick it can be sanded and refinished several times. Your solid wood floor will expand and contract as your home's humidity level increases and decreases through out the year. An expansion gap between the floor and wall is left to make up for this movement. Your base molding will typically hide this extra space.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood is less likely to be affected by fluctuation of humidity. It is manufactured with three to five layers of hardwood that is stacked in a cross grain pattern. It's bonded together by heat and pressure. This process allows this flooring to be installed in all areas of your home.

Unfinished Wood Flooring

The staining and polyurethane process of unfinished floors is done in your home after installation. This will allow you to modify your stain choices however, unfinished floors entail more time and labor.

Pre-finished Wood Flooring

Prefinished floors are sanded, stained and finished at the factory before they are installed in your home. This enables you to enjoy your new floors right away, no curing time is needed.