Buying Tips for Hardwood Flooring
Factory Finish vs. Custom Sand & Finish on Site
You should feel comfortable with either choice. However, factory finishing offers many nice advantages. Factory finished flooring is inspected for defects at the mill so you receive first choice every time. On-site finishing depends on the quality of the workmanship that day.
If the color of finish you select is readily available from a manufacturer, you may want to choose factory finished flooring, as it is generally less messy and installs faster than on-site finishing. If you are looking for a unique finish, or to color match existing woodwork or cabinetry, you may want to choose on-site finishing so that you can get the customization you need.
Both types of finishing are available in gloss or matte, and have some of the most advanced science built right in. These floors are not like your grandma’s old wood floors – they are stunning with absolutely no waxing!
Engineered products install where no solid hardwood dares to go
Prior to the development of engineered hardwood flooring, hardwood products could not be installed on slab or in your basement without a special subfloor system. Now you can enjoy real hardwood flooring in those areas without all that fuss and expense. A special cross-ply construction eliminates the problem of expansion and contraction usually associated with solid hardwood.
Don’t become overly concerned with thinner or thicker top wood layers associated with engineered products because it’s the finish you are walking on. Generally speaking you won’t need to re-sand and finish these products; just re-coat them unless you need to change the color.
Special considerations when selecting hardwood flooring
Direct sunlight can affect the color of hardwood stains, therefore closing curtains or shades during peak periods will reduce damage. Area rugs left in place for extended periods of time may expose a shading difference once they are removed from the remainder of the floor.
Large pets with sharp toenails can also damage even the best finishes.