6 Questions to Ask when Buying Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is a huge investment and it's important to do your research and ask questions before taking the plunge. We've included the top 6 questions you should ask when choosing a wood floor and hopefully we can provide you with some information to answer those questions.

1. Should I choose engineered or solid wood flooring?

Depending on where you want to install your new floor, you might be better off choosing an engineered floor or a solid floor. Both options are real wood options, the only difference is the construction of the base. Engineered floors can be installed directly onto the slab while solid floors need to have a subfloor. For a full comparison of the two types of wood flooring find our guide here. If you need help deciding which option will work better for your space, try our interactive quiz or contact one of our wood experts today!

2. Will the wood species I choose hold up to traffic in my space?

Choosing the right species really comes down to your style preference and your budget. Are you wanting a light wood or perhaps a dark wood? After you decide on the color and style you like, you should think about the space the wood is going to be installed in. Is this going to be a high traffic area like a main hallway or living area? Or maybe a bedroom? For a good indication of how a wood species will hold up and compare to other species, try looking at the wood’s Janka rating. This rating is based off the Janka scale which is a tool to indicate how likely a wood is to dent or scratch. For example, hickory has a janka rating of 1820 while walnut has a rating of 1010. While both of these choices are pretty durable, you can see that in contrast to walnut, hickory will hold up a little bit more in high traffic areas prone to wear.

3. I have pets, should I reconsider getting a wood floor?

If you share your home with a furry friend or two, not to worry! You can still maintain a beautiful wood floor in your home. However, to minimize scratching to your floors, you may have to take a few extra precautions. You can place a few rugs around high traffic areas to minimize the amount of dirt and grit brought in from outside, and if you’re able to, you can trim or file your pets’ nails down. You’ll find that most surface scratches are actually scratches in the finish and not in the wood, so if you do find a few scratches, don’t worry too much! You’ll likely be able to sand and refinish the floor a few times before you must replace the floor. Additionally, If your floor is oil finished, you are able to buff more oil directly onto minor scratches without having to resand the floor.

4. Is prefinished or unfinished the right choice for me?

This, again, comes down to preference. You can choose from one of our prefinished flooring options or you can select something unfinished and create something entirely customizable. With a prefinished floor, you can expect that what you see is what you will get with the look and color and you won’t have to worry about the extra step of finishing your floors after the installation. If your floors are prefinished you have the ability to be able to walk on your new floors almost immediately after they’re installed. With an unfinished floor you are able to select the type of finish you want which could be important to you if you want a specific look or stain on the floor. With this option you are also in control of the amount of shine on the finished floor and are able to achieve a completely customized floor.

5. What is the purpose of ordering more materials than necessary for the job?

As a general rule, you should plan to order 10% more material than is needed to complete the installation. The material will be cut to your exact space so you may find that you require more material than originally thought. If you have a space with stairs or a fireplace to work around you may have to order a little more than 10% extra material – and the same can be said for custom patterned floors like herringbone or chevron. If you are unsure of how much extra materials you will need for your space feel free to ask one of our wood experts and we would be happy to help you figure that out!

6. How do I clean my new floors?

Maintaining your new wood floor is a breeze. To keep your floor looking good as new you should sweep regularly and dust mop or vacuum the floor when necessary. Always avoid using a wet mop or any type of steam or harsh chemicals as this can damage the finish, stain, and possibly even the wood of your floors. If your floor begins to dull, use a floor cleaning that is compatible with your wood floor finish. You can also use rugs at door entries and high traffic areas to minimize dirt and other debris from getting on your floors. For a complete maintenance guide, click here.

We hope you've enjoyed reading and learning with us! As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to us by emailing info@woodco.com or calling (210) 298-9663.

Wood Species Commonly Used for Flooring.