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Top 10 Questions To Ask about Hardwood Flooring

Being an informed consumer can be one of the most beneficial things for you, especially when it comes to making large purchases. Researching and asking questions will provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right flooring choice for you and your lifestyle. When it comes to floors there are so many options out there: colours, finishes, materials, width, source, stains, etc. It can be overwhelming with the amount of choice out there and you may not even know where to start if you have not been able to ask the right questions to help narrow down your options.

With that in mind, here are 10 questions you need to be asking about flooring before you make a major purchase.

#1 Which type of flooring is right for me?

Why you should ask this question: the kind of environment you plan to install these floors in will dictate the kind of flooring you purchase. Rooms prone to dampness or humidity should not have solid hardwood floors installed, and should have engineered or another wood alternative purchased.

#2 Which wood species should I choose?

Why you should ask this question: the species you select will determine how your floor, and home, looks when all is said and done. Do you want the space to feel open and fresh, or cozy and traditional? Determining the end look and feel you want and then working backwards will help you to select the right species of flooring.

#3 Should I get factory finished, or site finished?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#4 My room is 10’ x 10’, how much material do I really need?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#5 What kind of finish is right for me?

Why you should ask this question: this question is purely based on preference and lifestyle. If you decide to go with site finished floors, you can actually have any finish that you want, but if you go with factory finished you are limited to what is already made. As a general rule, the more matte you finish is the less it will show scratches, nicks and dirt.

#6 How do I prevent pets from scratching my floors?

If you have pets but are concerned they might ruin your new floors, then you can place rugs at entrance ways so that any dirt and debris is caught in the rug before your pet is walking on your floors. The best way, though, is to make sure you regularly trim your pet’s nails as they are the most likely thing to cause scratches and surface damage to your floors.

#7 How can I keep my floors looking like the day I installed them?

Sweeping and dusting regularly can go a long way in keeping your floors looking brand new. Along with that make sure you are using cleaning products recommended for your floors, and if you are not sure which ones to use, you can contact the manufacturer of your floors to get the name of recommended products. Further by purchasing area rugs for high traffic areas, you can prevent every day wear and keep them looking brand new.

#8 How long will it take from the time I order my floors until installation?

Why you should ask this question: each company, or manufacturer, is different and there is not a standard wait time for flooring. If you have a preference for a timeline because you are completing other home renovations, it is important to talk about that when you make your purchase. Most companies will do their best to accommodate, but you will still want to ask to make sure their timeline fits with yours.

#9 How can I prevent my floors from fading over time?

Due to the fact that wood is a natural substance it will change over time. This means that as your floor ages you may notice subtle changes in colour or markings of the floor. This will happen because of two things: exposure to sunlight and the finish of your floor. To minimize or even make sure your floor has even sunlight exposure, you can rearrange your furniture every so often making sure previously covered areas are no longer covered. If you select a water-based finish, as opposed to oil-based, it will stay clear and long term colour changes will be minimal.

#10 Installation is so expensive, so why can’t I just install the floors myself?

Installing a wood floor is a home renovation that is a lot more complicated than just painting a wall or replacing the handles on your kitchen cupboards. This upgrade is a much bigger investment than a gallon of paint, and you will need to know how to make sure your walls are parallel, the floor is completely flat and how to center the floor in the room. You will also need to know how to account for gaps (should there be gaps?), expansion and how to cut for any room accessories such as fireplaces or other fixtures that stick out from the wall. You can save money by installing it yourself, but professionals know how to make your floor look their best – it is their job, so trust them, that it is worth the money.

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