» Floor Buying Guide » Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide

Famous for more than a generation, hardwood flooring is a covering that can be found in almost every home. However, it should be noted that its installation is not easily accessible to DIYers. Moreover, it is not always easy to find the ideal hardwood floor because of the wide range of products on the market. To remedy this, you generally need to consider a few basic criteria before making your final choice of hardwood flooring. This is one way to always bring your project to a successful conclusion. The question remains as to how to proceed so that nothing is overlooked. In this article, we have prepared a guide to help you better choose your hardwood floor.


Choosing a Hardwood Floor for Your Home

When the time comes to change or install your floors, it is essential to consider your type of home. If it is a single-family home, you need to look at the sub-floor to determine the ideal type of flooring. In particular, you have the choice between solid hardwood, floating flooring or engineered hardwood.


However, if you live in a condominium, you will have to consult the declaration of co-ownership. The objective is to see if the type of flooring you want complies with all soundproofing standards. Once this is done, you will have to decide on the colours of the floorboards, the type of wood, the gloss, the width and the correct orientation of the floorboards. These details must be taken into account before you can take action and change your floors.


Plan a budget for the purchase of your hardwood flooring

The most important step in choosing the right hardwood floor for your home is undoubtedly the most important one. Depending on your means, think about putting a sum of money aside before you start buying your flooring. Once the available budget is defined, you will know whether you should install a prefinished floor or a rough floor. Also, you will be able to determine if you can afford to hire a professional or other services. Of course, you will need to plan a certain amount of extra money for the latter option.

Choosing a hardwood floor: what materials to choose?

Selecting the type of hardwood flooring generally involves making a selection between three options: solid hardwood, engineered hardwood without glue or nails or floating flooring.


Solid hardwood

If you decide to opt for raw solid hardwood, the sanding of the floor will be done once the installation is completed. The same goes for staining and varnishing. The fact is that the varnish that is applied on site will tend to last less time than the varnish that is applied in the factory. The only reason for this is that it is more difficult to control environmental conditions at home than in the factory. The choice of solid wood also means that the varnish must be applied at home. It is preferable to use the new water-based varnishes that do not represent a health risk, so you will not have to leave your home at the time of application for the duration of the drying process.


However, prefinished solid hardwood is an alternative to this type of wood. It is a material that has been sanded, stained and varnished at the factory beforehand. This means that you no longer have to think about the various details, just install it and it’s done. Note that solid hardwood floors are less recommended for basements, since their resistance to humidity is not very high.


Engineered hardwood without glue or nails

This is another interesting and quite simple choice. Also known as floating flooring, engineered hardwood without glue or nails is a floor that is very easy to install. All you have to do is to interlock the strips of wood and that’s it. If you’re looking for ease, this option is the best for you.


Adopting engineered hardwood without glue or nails, also known as CLIC engineering, is also a more environmentally friendly choice because it is not permanently attached to the floor. This does not mean that the wood planks will move easily. It also means that you can reuse the boards in another room if the desire to undertake other work comes to mind.


Engineered hardwood

For this type of material, a thin layer of hardwood is attached to layers of plywood or fibreboard that are compressed. Engineered hardwood is the ideal alternative for basements or rooms with higher humidity levels. Glued to the floor or stapled to a sub-floor, engineered hardwood flooring boards have much greater stability than other types of hardwood flooring.


Engineered hardwood flooring is also ideal for condominium-style homes. Some floor coverings can be sanded and varnished to improve their durability.

What is the area to be covered?

This is an equally important question to help you choose the hardwood flooring that is right for you. To do this, make sure to sketch out the rooms you want to cover with hardwood flooring and note their surface area. Don’t forget to mark the presence of stairs, closets and any obstacles that would require wood cuts (usually a loss of 5% to 10% more than the area to be covered). Especially since you will have to take into account both the type of subfloor and the direction of the joists. It is also brought to your attention that in the case of a room installed in the basement, engineered wood is the most appropriate.


Hiring a professional to install hardwood flooring

Given the importance of purchasing a hardwood floor, it is advisable to seek the services of true specialists in the field. This is one way to ensure that you get great results for many years to come. Yes, just like buying or building a house, installing hardwood flooring is a long-term investment. By entrusting the work to a professional, the work will be guaranteed and will not risk invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty. Especially since it will reflect all the beauty associated with hardwood floors.


It should be noted, however, that even the most skillful among you will be able to install a hardwood floor. Depending on your knowledge and the tools you have at your disposal, you can actually proceed with the installation yourself. To do so, be sure to ask your retailer for advice. Or you can simply consult and follow the instructions in the installation guides, always with a view to guaranteeing a flawless result.


Learning to Recognize Quality Hardwood Flooring

The last step is to check the quality of the hardwood floor. Before selecting the ideal hardwood floor for your project, be sure to open the box to check certain characteristics. Start by making sure that the grade chosen using the sample is the same grade you will have in the box. Also check that the boards are straight and of equal thickness. The best way to do this is to lay some boards on the floor and assemble them. Note that they should fit together perfectly and that you should not feel any variation in thickness.


Also make sure that the assembled boards form small, uniform V’s that are not too deep. So that neither dirt nor dust can get in and make maintenance more complicated.

Before choosing a hardwood floor, consider inspecting the finish down to the joints. Remember that the durability of a floor’s finish is defined by the quality of the polyurethane and its application process. The joint cavities must also be perfectly coated with varnish to prevent dirt or water from quickly turning them black. This means that the varnish must be applied in a layer that is neither too thin nor too thick.


To guarantee your choice, it is also important to pay attention to the consistency of colour from one hardwood plank to the next. From one box to another. Not to mention the fact that it is important that the chosen finish include UV protection to reduce the risk of light wood yellowing from the sun’s rays.

To conclude, it must be noted that wood is a material that is extremely appreciated by consumers who use it in the main rooms of their homes. Hardwood being mainly installed in houses is as aesthetic, practical as durable. Provided, of course, to take these few determining criteria into account when choosing the model made for you.