Hardwood flooring buyer's guide

Nothing adds so much visual interest to homes as wood floors, but there's more to selecting a hardwood floor than just choosing a color. For instance, one major decision will be whether you want the floor's factory or site finished. Many prefer factory finishes because they know at the beginning what the floors will look like. Others prefer site finish since there are more options and they have better control over sheen.

Solid vs. engineered wood flooring

We're all familiar with solid wood floors, but there's another type of hardwood called engineered wood flooring. It's taking a significant share of the wood flooring industry because it appeals to those who want both beauty and practicality. While solid is one thickness throughout, engineered is layered with a slice of oak, hickory, maple, walnut, etc., at the top. This gives it those attractive characteristics we've all come to expect.

Underneath, however, are at least three (but preferably more) layers of genuine wood combined with a bit of resin and placed in a crosswise position. As a result, the floor is stable and has a better ability to handle water. Like solid, it adds the same value to a home and can be sanded and refinished but, unlike solid, it can be installed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas.

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Considering hardwood species

Domestic species harvested within North America are warmer. Exotics are harvested from locales like Brazil, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and Africa and are dark, dramatic, and very hard, although some domestics, like hickory, are also very strong. Another question is about knots, swirls, and growth rings you prefer. Do you prefer a wood like oak, which has an abundance of them, or something more subtle such as cherry?

Think about thickness

Whether you have solid or engineered wood floors, thickness will determine the number of times the floor can be sanded and refinished. Ideal for solid is ¾-inch, and these floors can be sanded six times. Engineered has a range from ⅜-inch to ½-inch. Thicker is better, and, depending on that number, they can be sanded up to five times.
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We're here for all your hardwood flooring questions

The solid hardwood flooring installation technique is always a traditional tongue and groove, while engineered offers an additional option of the uncomplicated and fast floating floor. Visit the Unique Flooring showroom in Ridgeland, MS, especially if you live or work in and around Ridgeland, MS, Madison, MS, Jackson, MS, Flowood, MS, Clinton, MS, Gluckstadt, MS, Brandon, MS, Florence, MS or Canton, MS. We would be happy to give you a free hardwood flooring quote.