Hardwood Flooring Installation
We realize hardwood flooring is an investment. At Atlanta Hardwood Flooring & Cabinetry our goal is to educate you so that you can make the best decisions when purchasing hardwood flooring.
We know making the shift from carpet or other faux flooring options is exciting, but it is also daunting. We want to make the process easy for you by understanding what your goals and dreams are for your home and then guiding you to the best direction.
Solid Wood VS Engineered Wood
When looking at hardwood flooring there are 2 options: Solid Wood & Engineered Wood. Both are made from real wood, but have different attributes.
Sold wood is wood made from one piece of lumber that is usually ¾ in thick. It can be sanded and refinished multiple times.
Engineered wood is composed of several layers of wood that are compressed and glued under intense pressure. The benefit of engineered wood is that the layers of wood are layered perpendicular, allowing them to handle increased pressure, moisture and heat. Engineered wood does not expand and contract as much in humidity as solid wood does, but the number of times it can be sanded and refinished is limited.
When deciding whether to use solid wood or engineered wood there are several things you need to take into consideration:
Where will the flooring be installed?
Humidity will majorly affect the wood. The more humid it is the more the wood will expand and contract. This will happen for both solid wood and engineered wood; however, engineered wood can handle the humidity more than solid wood and will not contract and expand as much. It is never a good idea to install solid wood below ground since the moisture will cause damage as the wood expands and contracts.
What will it be installed on top of?
Solid wood needs to be attached to wooden subfloor. Because of the tendency of solid wood to expand and contract based on moisture content it needs to be nailed and/or glued to the ground, requiring a wood base. If your subfloor does not currently have a wood base then a plywood base would need to be added during the installation, potentially increasing the costs of the installation. In addition, it will raise the floor level higher so consider the doors to the room to make sure that it will still open with a higher floor level.
Engineered wood can be installed on most surfaces and installed in a variety of ways. It can be glued, nailed, stapled or installed as a floating floor.
Are you planning on refinishing the floors in the future?
If you are planning on living in the house for years to come you might want to think about whether or not you’ll want to refinish your floors in the future. Solid wood floors are thick and can be sanded and refinished many times. Depending on what type of engineered wood you get will determine if it can be refinished in the future. Higher quality engineered wood will have a thicker top layer allowing for refinishing to happen in the future. Cheaper engineered wood may not have a thick enough top layer to be sanded and refinished.
Other Important Questions
Once you select whether you want solid wood or engineered wood then you get to select what type of wood you want. There are several things to take in to consideration when you are selecting the type of wood you want:
How much traffic goes through the place where the wood will be installed?
If you are a new family with young children who will grow up in the house then you will want to think about how strong the wood is. Wood is pretty durable, but after years of heavy traffic and kids running through the house will take its toll. If the wood is for the kitchen that has heavy traffic you might want to consider wood with a high janka hardness rating.
Janka hardness rating scale: Measures the durability of a type of wood to wear and denting.
What is the look you want in the room?
There are 3 types of cuts you can get in the wood: Plain Sawn, Quarter Sawn & Rift Sawn. Plain sawn, also known as flat sawn, is the most common type of wood cutting. It is the least expensive and easiest way to cut wood. Quarter sawn is typically cut at a 60-90 degree angle and rift sawn is typically cut at a 40-60 degree angle. Below you can see the effects of these types of cuts in the wood.
How much customization would you like?
One of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want prefinished floors or site finished floors. Prefinished floors allow you to select exactly what the wood will look like prior to installation. It takes less installation time, is typically cheaper and keeps your house from the saw dust that comes up when the floor is sanded and finished on site. Site finished floors allow for more customization. Once installed the wood is then sanded and finished to match with the look and feel of your room.
There are many things to be taken into consideration when selecting hardwood floors for you house. We like to make sure our customers are well educated on their purchases prior to making the decision. If you would like us to come out and provide a free consultation, then please feel free to give us a call!
List of Hardwood Flooring Manufactures We Trust & Use
Somerset Hardwood Flooring
Oak Crest Lumber
Hassel & Hughes
List of Floor Finishes We Trust & Use
List of Adhesives We Trust & Use