What to choose? Prefinished hardwood floors or ones that are installed and sanded in place?
Today's prefinished hardwood floor finishes are vastly improved and are finished in controlled settings. Many offer more than six coatings whereas a normal site finished (sanded in place and finished) floor would be two or three. Prefinished warranties are exceptional but cannot be passed on from the original owner. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Nearly all solid prefinished hardwood floors are beveled to some extent. On the other hand, a site finished hardwood floor that has been installed in it's raw unfinished form, then finished will have a flawless uniform appearance upon completion. However, maintaining the appearance requires close attention to climate control during seasonal changes.
What's the difference between engineered flooring and laminate flooring?
Let's start with the original term laminate flooring. Before plastic laminate flooring became popular in the mid '90's those in the hardwood flooring business called today's engineered flooring laminate. Engineered flooring is constructed in layers similar to plywood with an actual finished hardwood veneer layer on the surface.
Today's laminate flooring is a photographed image of finished hardwood and cannot be refinished, whereas many engineered products can be refinished. How many times will depend on the thickness of the veneer, or top wear layer, and finding someone knowledgeable enough to handle the work.
Can I have a solid 3/4" hardwood glued to concrete?
You'll find some retailers will say yes. However, those that have dealt exclusively in hardwood flooring for some time will say no. In recent times some of the big box stores and adhesive manufacturers have been advocating this procedure. Only time will tell if it's a viable procedure, but it's safe to find an alternative. It is not recommended that you glue a solid hardwood onto concrete.
What kind of hardwoods can I place on concrete subfloors then?
If moisture conditions are acceptable, two of the most widely used applications would be engineered hardwood floors glued direct with the proper adhesives, and floating engineered flooring types. The latter typically glued by tongue and groove and floated over a foam cushioned underlayment. Floating floors are also available in the click together or lock and fold style that require no gluing.
More traditional 3/4" solid hardwoods on concrete can be accomplished with the addition of a plywood subfloor, used as a nailing base over the concrete. However, this raises problems with door entries and other items. Overall vertical height of the new floor will increase by 1 1/2 inches. Unfinished engineered hardwood floors eliminate vertical height issues and can be stained or finished to any desires.
I have a particle board subfloor. Can I have nail down hardwoods installed?
Many confuse particle board with OSB (Oriented Strand board). True particleboard commonly used in some manufactured homes does not have the holding power of hardwood flooring fasteners and will loosen over time. There are certain types of OSB that can be used for solid nail down hardwood floors. It is best to consult the manufacturer's warranty specs.
When should hardwood floors be installed?
If you're having a home built or making some renovations it is highly suggested to have the hardwood flooring work scheduled closer to the completion of the project or construction. Unfortunately too many times, builders rush hardwood flooring projects and don't realize the consequences until it's too late and major repairs become necessary or moisture problems caused by other work rears its ugly head.
It seems everyone is selling hardwood floors. Who knows what they're doing?
Ah, welcome to the new century. In the last five years alone we've noticed the yellow page ads explode with so-called "hardwood specialists." Our suggestion is to look far and deep for the right installer. After all, hardwood flooring doesn't come cheap and replacing gets very expensive should installation problems occur.
A few suggestions to ask installers right off the bat would be; what kind of moisture meters they use. Other useful questions would be; how long should the flooring be acclimated? Some aren't aware of the need to acclimate material. This is especially important with solid hardwoods and not as much with engineered floors.
What floor cleaning products do you offer?
We offer a wide range of the Bona Floor Cleaners in our showroom. The Bona floor cleaners are effective, easy to use, and safe on your floors as well as the environment. To learn more about what floor cleaners we offer visit Bona or, give us a call .