This is the primary consideration when thinking about a hardwood floor installation. Children or pets can cause major flooring damage, and high-traffic areas in your home, like an often-used family room for frequent movie nights or gatherings, could wear your floors out before their time. Are you willing to accept a few dents or flooring imperfections? Hardwood floors are not for everyone but think about whether they could be right for you.
Solid Hardwood or Engineered
Solid wood is what it sounds like, solid planks of wood, usually ¾-inch in thickness, licked together and stapled down with the ability to be sanded and refinished several times. Engineered wood is a very thin layer of quality hardwood as thick as a ¼-inch secured to a plywood core. You may only be able to get a hardwood floor refinishing once or twice with an engineered floor, but it is very durable and flexible. You can also add water resistance to these floors so they can be used in damp areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
Regardless of your choice between solid or engineered hardwood flooring, the species of wood will give you the look you want. Would you rather have fine grains, a uniform texture, a rustic look full of knots, or color variations? Think about what you would like to achieve with your floors.
Hardwood flooring is great in any climate, but make sure you manage your environment accordingly. Wood tends to swell or shrink as humidity levels rise and fall. Your hardwood flooring contractors can provide information about how to maintain humidity in your home to avoid problems. If you’re accustomed to dry air, you may want to invest in a humidifier, especially over the winter months. For those hot and muggy summer days, an air conditioner can keep the excess moisture out. Engineered hardwood flooring can withstand wider humidity swings than solid wood, so it’s more adaptable.
An engineered hardwood installation is usually a little more affordable than solid planks. By comparison, a 3-inch-wide red oak solid plank costs roughly 20 percent more than the engineered option, but the installation costs will be the same.