4 Important Things to Know Before You Buy Hardwood Flooring


Hardwood floors have a classic style that looks beautiful in just about any home. They’re more durable than carpet, and they’re easier to clean and maintain, too. However, before you pick a stain and order your hardwood flooring, there are a few things you should know first.

What Kind of Subfloor Do You Have?
First, you need to know what kind of subfloor you’re dealing with. If you have a concrete subfloor, you might have to go with engineered hardwood flooring instead of solid hardwood. If you have a plywood subfloor, you’ll basically be able to choose from whatever type of flooring you want. If you have a particleboard subfloor, you should probably replace it with plywood before you go any farther.

Should You Go with Pre-Finished or Site-Finished Flooring?
When you go with pre-finished flooring, your floorboards will be finished before they arrive at your home. Site-finished flooring is installed at your home and then finished there. Site-finished flooring gives you more options for what kind of stain and finish you can choose for your flooring, but it comes with some drawbacks, too.

While you may have slightly fewer options for stain and finish when you go with pre-finished flooring, you will likely get a better finish. Basically, no matter how professional your installers are, there is no way to create a dust-free environment in your home. So, as a result, you can expect to have at least a small amount of dust in the finish of your new floors. This may or may not be noticeable, but you should know about it before you go for this option.

How Much Flooring Material Should You Order?
When you order hardwood flooring, you need to remember that your floorboards will have to be cut to fit the dimension of the room (or rooms) where you’re having your new floors installed. If you order exactly the amount of flooring for the dimensions of the room, you could end up short. So, take measurements and then add about 10% of those measurements to your order. In other words, if you’re installing floors in a 500-square-foot room, you should order 550 square feet of flooring.

Should I Go with a High Gloss or Low Gloss Finish?
When you paint a room where you expect the walls to take a lot of abuse, you usually want to go with higher gloss paint, as it’s easier to clean. That’s actually not the case with hardwood floors, though. Higher gloss finishes on floors are gorgeous, but they show scratches and scuffs much more easily than lower gloss finishes. So, if you’re installing a new floor in a room with a lot of traffic or where your pets and kids run free, you might want to choose a slightly lower gloss. If you’re putting in flooring in a more formal room, go with the high gloss if it fits your style!

Want more information on choosing hardwood floors? Need some help with your installation? Have other questions? Call us today at Ottawa Hardwood!