Step-by-step guide to planning your purchase
Best for: Creating a low-shine finish that highlights the grain of the wood. Before you select it for its resilience, know that acid-cured finishes release very high levels of VOCs and have a very strong odor. In the event that you apply it, you, your family, and your pets will need to stay elsewhere for several days while the floors cure.
It also requires excellent ventilation during application, along with a full-face respirator. Best for: High-traffic areas or anywhere you want supreme protection from wear and tear Pros: The hardest, most long-lasting type of finish; low maintenance; available in several levels of glossiness Cons: Difficult to touch up or refinish; only available on prefinished wood planks.
Aluminum oxide is a naturally occurring mineral that provides an extremely long-lasting protective coating on hardwood floors. Solid-wood flooring is commonly available in narrow strips, wide planks, and parquet squares.
Planks range from about 3 to 7 inches wide and are often installed in larger rooms and wide-open spaces. Parquet flooring comes in preassembled tiles or it's custom-made from individual wood strips. Parquet is ideal for creating eye-catching geometric shapes, weaves, and herringbone patterns. Many homeowners choose traditional, unfinished hardwood-strip flooring in either red oak or maple because it's affordable, attractive, and they can choose the stain color or leave it natural. However, unfinished wood requires sanding, staining if desired , and a clear topcoat finish.
Prefinished wood flooring costs more than unfinished flooring, but doesn't require sanding or finishing. As soon as you install the last plank, you can nail up the baseboard trim and carry in the furniture.
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Prefinished flooring also comes in thinner planks than unfinished flooring, which creates less trouble when transitioning from one room to the next. Remember that while wood is a renewable resource, some species take so long to grow and are being harvested so quickly that they're no longer considered sustainable. To ensure that you are buying responsibly harvested wood, confirm that it's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or similar environmental agency.
Engineered-wood flooring was introduced to North America in the mids and quickly became the most popular type of do-it-yourself wood floor. It's composed of three or more wood layers glued together into long planks, with a top layer composed of a thin solid-wood veneer. Exotic woods, which are very warm in color and extremely solid, are also available. There are three main types of gloss on the market: high-gloss, semi-gloss, matte and ultramatte. A very bright finish tends to highlight marks, while a matte or satin finish makes them less noticeable and delivers long-lasting beauty.
Grading is a means of rating boards according to variations in the wood's natural color.
Plan and choose
Your choice will depend on the effect you want to create. Thinner boards make a room look longer, while wider boards make it appear shorter. Remember, however, that a tight grained wood like maple expands with humidity, which may make thinner boards preferable for some uses. Boards are generally available in random lengths from 10'' to 76''. Some board lengths can even go up to 82'' in Engineered floor types! Long board lengths make any room in the house look bigger, and because fewer boards are needed to cover a given area, fewer joints are visible, yielding a spectacular, even look.
Your wood flooring should ideally be installed at a right angle to your subfloor joists. But you should also consider the shape and size of the room. For example, installing the boards lengthwise may make a long room look even longer, and it may be more flattering to lay the boards diagonally. If you like an original look, choose a floor with patterns. Installing a hardwood floor usually requires much more than just prefinished hardwood boards. You'll surely need edgings, stairway nosings, vent flashings, and moldings to join with the walls. Make sure you can get these basic accessories in the same stain and gloss as your flooring.
Given the importance of your investment in your hardwood floor and the long-term stakes surrounding its installation, it's recommended that you seek out the services of installation specialists. They guarantee their work with no risk of invalidating the manufacturer's warranty.
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Dealers can refer you to one. Depending on your knowledge and the tools you have available, you may wish to perform the installation yourself. Before starting, ask your specialized dealer for advice and follow the instructions in our installation guides to ensure beautiful results.
Which Kind of Hardwood Flooring Should You Choose?
Only floors that meet the most demanding criteria are recognized as high quality. Before selecting the floor for your project, ask the dealer to open a box in front of you to check for these qualities:. You will be able to add to your existing Foxwood floor, or choose from the much expanded Mirage Hardwood Floors collection.
Rest assured that you will continue to have the same quality and service that the Foxwood brand was known for.
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