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Things to consider when shopping for hardwood flooring

Many are surprised to find out how many decisions one has to make when choosing hardwood flooring. After all, wood flooring is always beautiful with a charm and richness like no other, so you walk into the hardwood store and choose a color, right? Wrong! These are some of the other things you should think about when buying wood floors.

Know the difference between solid and engineered hardwood floors

The two versions look alike, but the construction is different. While solid is one thickness throughout, engineered is layered, resulting in a floor that appeals to those who want beauty and has a practical bent; it's stable and handles moisture better. Engineered top layer is oak, maple, hickory, walnut, or whatever your favored species-of-choice is. Underneath are three or more layers of genuine wood combined with a bit of resin and then placed in a crosswise position, resulting in a floor that doesn't shrink or contract and can be installed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas.

Engineered floors can be refinished up to four times, depending on the thickness you choose; it also adds value to a property and lasts upwards of 40 years. The floating floor is an additional installation technique possible with engineering. While solid is always the traditional tongue and groove, engineered pieces can click together, mat, and hover over the clean, dry and level subfloor without nails or glue.

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Your finishing: Do you want it in the factory or on-site?

This is always a big issue. Many like factory or pre-finished because they know right away what they are getting and can even start coordinating before the floors arrive. There is also no mess or odor with which to deal. On-site offers a greater variety of stains and sheens and, since the floor is sanded between coats, it is smoother. Also, think of if you want water or oil-based or a polyurethane finish.

Do you want domestic or exotic wood species?

The two look very different, and the choice will ultimately come down to your style. Domestics, harvested in North America, are warmer and more traditional, with the most popular woods being oak, maple, hickory, walnut, cherry, and ash. Exotics are harvested in Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia and are dark, dramatic, and, some say, more contemporary. They are always very hard, with oak and hickory being the hardest domestics.

At Floor & Interiors By Design, we think your flooring should reflect your style, and it should be just as unique as you. Visit our showroom in Charlotte, NC, especially if you live in or near our service areas in and around Charlotte, NC, Huntersville, NC, Matthews, NC, Concord, NC, Kannapolis, NC and Cornelius, NC. You'll be glad you came in and will receive both a free consultation and a free hardwood flooring quote.