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Hardwood Floors - 7 Tips For Selecting Perfect Flooring
By S.A. Smith
With thousands of colors and styles to select from today it can seem like
a daunting task to make the right flooring choice. To narrow the field down
it is recommended that you select a flooring style that complements your
overall interior design style. Nothing will look worse that a glaring clash
of styles, so make sure your new flooring complements your existing (of planned)
Almost every install will have physical or functional requirements that will
further narrow down the scope and selection of an appropriate hardwood or
laminate flooring system. Here is a brief summary of factors to consider:
FLOOR TRAFFIC EXPECTATIONS
The quantity and type of traffic you expect on your floors will impact the
flooring material you can choose. Laminates offer high durability, as well
as wood species that have high "hardness rankings" on the Janka scale. Softer
woods are generally not a good selection for high traffic areas.
The quality of any new hardwood flooring installation can only be as good
as the subfloor underneath. For the best outcomes, the subfloor should be
dry, stable, and level. Concrete subfloors generally are only acceptable
for laminate installations, but you should be mindful of installing a quality
underlayment the provides an appropriate moisture barrier as well as good
sound installation. Poor laminate installations will sound very hollow when
walking on it.
HUMIDITY AND TEMPERATURE
To prevent warping and cupping of floors make sure there is adequate ventilation
and regulated temperatures thought the year. Laminates work best in areas
that experience higher humidity levels.
The time and cost of installation is an often overlooked factor in floor
selection decisions. Glueless click-style floating laminate floor systems
can be a weekend project for experienced do-it-yourselfers, and can save
a lot of installation labor. Other flooring installation methods are generally
more complex and will require professional installation in most cases.
Making a successful claim under a flooring warranty often requires that you
can demonstrate the product was installed exactly as per the manufactures
recommendations and that the damage is not a product of wear and tear or
poor workmanship. Hiring a professional installer and dealing with a large
brand name product that has an established track record is your best protection.
If you need more help you can read our full article series on
hardwood floors to create the perfect hardwood flooring solution to match
your interior space.
S.A. Smith is a freelance writer, contributor, and editor of the
Zone resource site which offers helpful article, tips, and resources
on wood flooring solutions.