The Home Improvement Neophyte’s 5 Minute Guide To Hardwood Flooring

Submitted by: Frank Lucer

Few home improvement projects deliver as much value and satisfaction as installing hardwood floors. They can increase the appraised value of your home while simultaneously giving it a much-needed facelift. They’re tasteful and can appeal to nearly every sense of style. Moreover, because wood is recyclable, they’re safe for the environment. Hardwood flooring has a timeless quality that keeps your house looking warm and inviting to you, your family, and your visitors.

This article will give you a quick overview of wood flooring, so you’ll know what is involved when you decide to upgrade. We’ll take a look at whether you should do the job yourself versus hiring a professional installation team. We’ll also describe the types of floors and finishes available.

Are You Up For The Job?

Many homeowners love the idea of handling an entire remodeling project on their own. They gain a sense of satisfaction from going through the planning and installation stages with little to no outside help. Other homeowners feel the opposite. For them, the less involved they are in producing the final product, the better.

There are advantages and drawbacks to both routes. If you do the project yourself, you’ll save money and enjoy the sense of pride that comes with personal accomplishment. Hiring an installation team is expensive. If you’re willing to prepare and install the flooring on your own, you can dramatically lower your project’s cost.


On the other hand, hiring others to install your hardwood floors offers its own benefits. Not only will you avoid getting your hands dirty with the labor, but you’ll know the job will be performed with a high level of craftsmanship. Plus, professional installers are likely to complete the job in less time.

Types Of Hardwood Floors

After you’ve decided whether to handle the installation on your own or hire others to do it for you, you’ll need to select the type of hardwood flooring you want. There are three types from which you can choose: solid, engineered, and acrylic-impregnated wood.

Solid wood floors are (as you would expect) solid; no other materials are used in their construction. You can purchase them unfinished or prefinished. The former is less expensive, but you’ll need to sand, stain, seal it, and let it dry for a couple of days. Prefinished hardwood floors are ready to walk on immediately following installation.

Engineered wood flooring combines plywood with solid wood. Each plank or strip includes up to 90% plywood. When you install it, the portion you walk on is solid wood; the plywood is underneath.

Acrylic-impregnated wood floors are saturated with a sealing agent, which helps it withstand moisture and minor damage. This type of flooring is usually reserved for commercial use.

Surface And Penetrating Finishes

When you invest in hardwood flooring, you’ll have the option to choose between a surface finish or a penetrating finish. Most homeowners choose the former because it’s easier to maintain. Once the planks or strips have been stained for color, they’re treated with a single coat of polyurethane that protects them.

A penetrating finish requires more upkeep. This type of finish is absorbed deeply into the wood fibers to give the planks and strips an attractive matte appearance. The problem is, they need to be periodically treated with special cleaning agents and wax. For that reason, homeowners usually prefer a surface finish on their hardwood floors. It’s less maintenance.

Getting Started

Installing hardwood floors in your home or office requires choosing the type of wood and finish you prefer, and deciding whether to do the job yourself. Moreover, you’ll also need to choose the variety of wood you want. For example, a Northern White Ash carries a lighter appearance while an Appalachian White Oak is darker. Birch, pine, cherry, and other wood varieties expand your options further.

Hardwood floors can infuse any home with style and ambiance. The key is knowing your options, planning ahead, and deciding whether you should find your tools.

About the Author: This information was provided by Footprints Floors, a company focused on ethical business and hard work, provides

Denver hardwood flooring

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