What Is The Best Hardwood Flooring?

If you read the prior web pages you learned about the different types of wood floors and got some ideas for how to choose a hardwood flooring style. Hopefully, you also looked at the various hardwood flooring wood species to get some ideas about which wood species you prefer. Unfortunately you are not done, there are still some other important decisions you will need to make to help narrow your selection.

Select a board width

Both solid and engineered wood flooring are available is various board widths and different type of finished edging. You will have the option of 2-1/4" strip plank look all the way up to about 12" single plank, longstrip engineered planks. The width you choose is strictly your preference but will have an affect on the visual appearance of your room. Wide planks work best in larger areas and narrow planks give you a more dimensional appearance.

Beveled Edge or Square Edges

Hardwood flooring come in both square edges and various degrees of beveled or micro-beveled edging. Square edges give you a very clean, smooth appearance. but generally more costly to manufacture and finish at the factory due to all boards have to machined to exactly the same height. Even the slightest variation in height tolerance will cause "ledging" or "over bite" when square edge planks are joined together. Beveled edge flooring is more forgiving and faster to manufacture. Today's pre-finished hardwood floors are really good about making sure the beveled edges are well finished so they are less likely to trap dirt and discolor.

Select the finish and gloss level

Most prefinished wood floors today have some type of tough, durable UV-cured polyurethane finish. They may market under some catchy marketing name, but it usually is a UV-cured uerthane that has been applied several times at the factory.

The gloss levels will vary from a low-gloss satin finish to a very high shine glossy appearance. Again, it all depends on your personal preference. Some of the real high-gloss finishes may show scratches more than the low gloss finishes will.

Know the grade level and where the floor is being installed

grade levelsNot all floors can go on all grade levels.

  • Solid wood floors are recommended for on or above grade levels and must be nailed-down over a structurally sound, wood-type sub-floor.
  • Solid wood floors are not recommend over concrete and not in high humid areas, such as basements and very humid regions
  • Most engineered wood floors can go below, on and above grade levels
  • Depending on the type of installation engineered wood floors can be installed on wood sub-floors, fully cured, dry concrete slabs and over some types of existing flooring.
  • If you really want a wood floor and moisture and humidity are a concern to be safe go with an engineered wood floor.

Job-site finish versus Factory finish

If don't mind the mess for a few days you might want to select an unfinished wood floor and have it installed, sanded and stained at the job site. This entails installing the entire wood floor first, than sanding the entire floor and then applying one or more coats of stain and finish along with more light sanding between coats. If you prefer a really custom wood floor that is very smooth and you can live with the mess for a few days than go for it.

Pre-finished wood floors come from the factory with a special UV-cured finish and are ready for installation. The floors are generally installed in one day and the mess is minimal. You can only select from the available colors and styles offered by the brands in the store. The biggest advantages are not messy and a tough, durable UV-cured userthane finish that cannot be duplicated on the job-site.

Do-it-yourself installation

If you are ambitious and want to do the installation yourself you should look at the newer hardwood floors that have a click-lock tongue and groove installation system. Although you will still need some tools to cut the wood planks to the right lengths at times you won't need to mess with renting a power nailer or a trowel and messy, wood flooring glues.

Which Hardwood Flooring Brand

Today, there are a lot of different hardwood flooring manufacturers. Some sell their wood products nationally while other wood mills are smaller and only sell their floors locally. Also, depending on the stores in your area not all hardwood flooring brands may be available that you read about on the Internet. If you find a quality, local hardwood flooring retailer they should be able help guide you to the best hardwood brand to meet your needs and give you years of pleasure and performance.