Choosing the right hardwood flooring is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge about your home. Visual preferences will vary from person to person, but here are a few practical questions that will come up in the process.
What Am I Working With?
You’ll have two main choices in types of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered. The basic difference here is quite intuitive. Solid hardwood is cut from a single, natural piece of wood, while engineered types are composed of different materials as pressure-bonded layers. Which one you need will be determined first and foremost by your subfloor.
If you’ve got concrete, you’re more or less limited to engineered hardwood. Workarounds are possible but generally not recommended. You’ll often be limited to specifications that reduce both cost and time efficiency. It’s more likely that your subfloor is plywood. Luckily, this allows you to choose either of the hardwood types. If, however, your subfloor is particleboard, you’ll need to replace this with plywood to consider hardwood flooring at all!
What’s My Interior Environment Like?
How is your home heated? Your options are more open in a forced-air heating situation, but If you’ve got radiant heating, it’s recommended to go with engineered. If you’re set on solid, recommendations will vary, but it’s possible as long as you are aware of a few considerations. One of these is to stick with quarter-sawn planks. Their vertical grain allows them to expand and contract vertically rather than horizontally, making them more friendly to radiant heating.
As important as heating can be, it’s always critical to pay attention to the humidity of your indoor environment. Always follow recommendations on humidity ranges from the experts, especially when climate conditions change across seasons. They’ll know the dimensional change coefficient of your chosen wood according to environmental conditions and other variables.
What Goes on In the House?
Family activity and social functions will always have an effect on the condition of your flooring. Do you have parties often? Kids or pets? The higher the traffic, the harder the wood should be. Make this clear to your flooring company and they will provide you with recommendations. This way you can worry less about damage and focus on enjoying your new floor!
Smith Bros. has been fine-tuning an expertise in hardwood flooring over the course of generations. It would be our pleasure to bring that expertise to your home. Give us a call at (403) 255-7791 today!