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CHOOSING THE RIGHT FLOOR FOR YOU

For most people purchasing a new wood floor is something they may do only once. In knowing this, we believe that we must help you make a well educated purchase. You must decide what type of product best suits your lifestyle and your budget.  Taking all of this into consideration, we will go over your flooring choices in order to help inform you the best way we can.  AND  REMEMBER OUR FLOORING PROFESSIONALS ARE WILLING TO HELP YOU WITH ANY AND ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS, WHETHER MENTIONED HERE OR NOT. WE ARE JUST AN EMAIL OR PHONE CALL AWAY.

 Hard Wood Flooring

 Hardwood flooring is a beautiful as well as rugged flooring choice for most consumers.  The huge selection of different wood species and color choices allows  you to match your new wood floor to any home style choice.  Hardwood flooring can be selected to accentuate any lifestyle, from country to contemporary.  From rustic to modern urban living, we have wood choices to match  the style of your home.

 Unlike other flooring choices such as carpeting, hardwood  flooring  is a much cleaner, healthier flooring choice. Hardwood flooring is also hypoallergenic and easy to maintain.

 The purchase of a hardwood floor is something that should last a lifetime. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished if your shine eventually fades.  Hardwood flooring may cost more than other flooring such as carpet, but it will surely outlast these other floors.  Your new hardwood floor will easily pay for itself. Adding a hardwood floor to your home will increase the value of your home. Homebuyers are always looking for hardwood floors in the homes they are looking to purchase.

 Most of our hardwood lines may be installed by homeowners. If you have the patience, skill and tools, you may achieve a quality installation. If this is not an option to you, upon purchasing your new floor from Quality Floors Direct, we can put you in touch with a quality installer from our installer network in your area. Just click our installation link or call customer service after your purchase.
 

 Pre-Finished Flooring

 Pre-finished flooring is flooring that is made from the same unfinished wood  planks or strips that the traditional unfinished floors are made from.  The difference here is that they are factory finished by the manufacturer.  Pre-finished floors are made with higher specifications than unfinished floors are as these planks will be the finished product, so more times than not the individual strips are straighter, squarer and cleaner than unfinished flooring.  After milling to these higher specifications,  the flooring is then sealed or stained with a color and then finished with polyurethane. In this finishing process, the factory is able layer and bake many coats on top of each other. Many manufacturers use between 7-12 coats of poly. This is 3-4 times as many coats than a traditional sand and finish wood floor may have. Included in these  coats may also be additives such as Aluminum Oxide or other finish strengtheners that will help prolong the life of your floor. These finishes may also include additives to stop or reduce color fading or floor yellowing. 

 One benefit of using a pre-finished flooring product is the ease of living during installation. Unlike a traditional unfinished or sand and finish floor, you can walk on your pre-finished floor right away. Your new floor is already finished, the minute you are done installing it, move your furniture in and start enjoying it that day.

 After many years of use if your refinished floor loses its shine you can have it refinished just like a sand and finish floor.  If you were to damage your pre-finished floor,  individual boards may be replaced rather than refinishing your entire floor.

 Traditional Sand and Finish (unfinished) Flooring

 Traditional unfinished hardwood flooring comes in many species and sizes just as pre-finished flooring does.  It is milled and made by manufacturers to be installed on at or above grade levels. Meaning first floor or above. Not below grade or ground.  Unfinished flooring must be installed and finished on site. Unfinished flooring is usually categorized by species then grade. FOR EXAMPLE  Red Oak  /select and Better 2 ¼.  Meaning this wood is manufactured in 2 ¼ inch strips that are near the top of the selection chart regarding clarity in the graining of the wood. This wood has less variation than a number 1 or 2 common. A number 1 common would have more variation in shading and graining where as a number 2 would be categorized as rustic or tavern grade. 

 Unfinished wood flooring comes in an array of widths just like pre-finished flooring.  The great selection of species and the ability to stain these floors during finishing also allowing a great range of styles and choices.

 Unfinished flooring should be sanded and finished by a flooring professional.  It takes great experience and skill to properly sand a hardwood floor. You may try to do it yourself by renting equipment, but in order to have a professional finish, you should hire a professional. A sand and finish floor usually can only have 3-4 coats of polyurethane  finish applied in a 30 day period.  When having your floors sanded and finished, you must try to keep the area "sterile”. Meaning free from people , pets,  any unnecessary air flow that may allow sand or dust to settle on your floor. The finish and drying time should take any where from 3-5 days depending on size and humidity levels in your home. You may also choose to have your floor refinished using a water based product. This will reduce the drying time needed, but you may also have to add more coats in order to achieve the strength of a polyurethane finish.

As with all hardwood flooring, your floor will retain moisture.  Upon delivery of your floor, it must acclimate to the humidity level of your home. Your flooring must sit in the area you are going to install it in for a period of time before installation.  Some manufacturers differ but most recommend  72 hrs before installation.

Engineered Wood  Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is very similar to refinished flooring. This flooring is made to look the same as traditional strip or plank flooring.  It usually looks the same, but is constructed very differently. Engineered flooring is comprised of a top wear layer that is made of the real wood floor. Usually 1/8 inch thick or so of actual real wood.  This wood is finished much the same as a normal pre-finished floor. The difference is in the "guts”.  The inner core of the engineered floor is made up of layers of plywood. Depending on manufacturer anywhere from 3-7 different layers. In doing this, the flooring  is less susceptible to swelling or shrinking like a solid wood floor.

 These products may in many cases be installed below grade level.  Their installations vary as well. Some can be glued, stapled, nailed or even floated. Engineered flooring products are used  in many applications including commercially and over concrete.  These products allow  you the consumer to have wood flooring where years ago was not possible. Although these products may fall into a DIY category, engineered flooring is a little more tricky to work with than normal solid flooring. There are many different installations methods as stated above, and it is best to consult one  of our flooring professionals before attempting to install an engineered floor yourself.

 Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has become very popular  over the last 10 or so years.  The manufacturers have greatly increased the quality of construction  and ease of installation in recent years though.  A laminate floor consists of a photo of the real product (usually wood , stone or tile) layered and or sealed in a transparent plastic like membrane (usually referred to as melamine) and has a core made of MDF.  This is mainly sawdust mixed with glue and compressed together to give a very dense core. Most laminated again have a plastic like base which helps sandwich the MDF core.

Laminate floors may be installed in many areas that a solid or engineered floor may not.  In most cases laminate flooring is suitable for on, above and below grade installations. This floor must be installed over a their manufacturer’s recommended underlayment. This usually consists of a thin foam pad that is compressed between 2 layers of plastic. This plastic usually has a sticky or taped edge that allows for sealing to act as a moisture barrier for your floor. Some manufacturers offer lines that include the pad built into the back of the flooring plank.  Laminate flooring may be installed over many sub floors thus reducing the amount of floor prep needed.  Meaning because this is a floating floor, there is more forgiveness than in a glue or nail down floor.  Most laminate floors today are click installs meaning that there is no glue needed. The planks simply click together and are self squaring. Again before installing this any of these products you may consult with one of our flooring professionals.  This is a floor that most homeowners may be able to install.