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Hardwood floors are probably the oldest building material. Beautiful historic homes often reflect this, as do the best new homes built today. It’s no surprise that installing hardwood floors is a popular home improvement project that adds warmth, beauty and value to any home. In fact, remodeling has one of the highest returns on investment (106% to be exact), according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Remodeling Impact Report.
Which Hardwood Flooring Is The Most Durable
But with more than 50 items to choose from, how do you know where to start? At the Good Housekeeping Institute, through decades of testing and evaluation, our experts have a firm grasp on the best hardwood floors available today. After you’ve sorted out the types, read on for expert advice on other factors that affect the look and performance of a hardwood floor, including construction methods, finishes and maintenance requirements.
Hardwood Flooring Ideas With Pros And Cons
This is one of the most popular hardwood floors. “At least 70 percent of the floors we install are oak,” says Maria Ramos, senior estimator at All Borough Floors, a New York City-based company that specializes in installing and refinishing hardwood floor replacement. Whether it’s red or white oak, this item is durable, reasonably priced, and its light color means it can be painted any color. “Oak has a natural, durable grain that hides floor irregularities such as scratches, dents, holes and other floor damage,” says Agnieszka Wilk, CEO of Decorilla Online Interior Design, whose clients are often busy homes with children and pets that can be damaged by soft wood.
Like oak, maple is widely available and as a result is a great choice for a budget upgrade. It doesn’t look cheap or low quality. If you choose a sugar maple tree, named especially because it produces sap, the result is a solid floor that is very dense, strong and thin, but with an attractive grain reserve. The color of maple varies from creamy white to reddish brown, so in most cases you can paint it any color.
If you’re looking for something more than oak or maple, but you don’t want to go all the way to an exotic forest from another continent, consider indoor ash. It is harder than oak, so it is good for high traffic areas. “It’s made with baseball bats and ax handles, so you know it’s versatile,” says Walter Lurie, an expert on durable, natural wood flooring. Unfortunately, many ash trees are destroyed by the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle native to Asia, making the species increasingly difficult and expensive. Ash has a strong grain and a light gray color, similar to oak.
Indoor black walnut is a popular choice for those looking for a medium hardwood floor that makes a room feel warm and cozy. The grain pattern of walnut is usually straight and open, but there may be some movement depending on the cut. “It’s a good species, but because the supply is dwindling, it’s more expensive than oak and ash,” Lurie said.
Types Of Scratch Resistant Flooring For Pets & Kids
Although not as popular as it was at the turn of the century, cherry is making a comeback with homeowners who want the classic look of a dark floor. Manufacturers say that this item has begun to breathe new life into the retro and nostalgic look of the floor. Another advantage of cherries: domestic species are similar to many exotic tropical woods that are difficult to obtain today due to global supply chain issues.
Hardwood floors are mostly sold at home centers, specialty retailers, and local mills. If you are working with a contractor or installer, it may be a good idea to purchase your flooring through them as professional flooring is available at a lower cost. Make sure you leave enough time. “Like many things today, the hardwood industry faces some challenges in the supply chain,” said Brett Miller of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). “The turnaround time for hardwood floors is 20 weeks before -completed now, compared to the 8-10 weeks it used to take,” says Maria Ramos from All Boro Floors. Here are five vendors to consider:
✔️ Home Depot: With nearly 2,300 locations nationwide, Home Depot is the largest provider of a wide variety of flooring products at competitive prices. Whether you need hardware or engineering, you can find it at Home Depot with a variety of financing options and installation services.
✔️ Lowe’s: The nation’s second largest home center is another safe bet for all types of hardwood floors. Service offers such as home floor measurements, design advice, professional installation and free delivery of floor samples are even more compelling.
Engineered Wood Vs. Solid Wood Flooring Comparison Guide
✔️ LL Flooring: Formerly known as Lumber Liquidators, LL Flooring has over 400 locations in 47 states, as well as a great website that makes it easy to find the right flooring and provides four free samples. In 2015, the company announced it would stop selling phthalate-free flooring; Today, its retailers must meet GREENGUARD Gold certification standards for indoor air quality.
✔️ Flooring & Decor: While LL Flooring has many locations, Floor & Décor primarily sells flooring, so you have a wide selection of hardwood floors at all price points. This site has an extensive virtual hospital library for those looking to save money by installing flooring.
✔️ Local mills: Buying directly from local lumber mills cuts out the middlemen and likely inflates prices. Most mills allow you to inspect the manufacturing process so you know exactly what you are getting and where the wood is sourced.
Durability is a characteristic of hardness and is measured by a system known as the Janka scale. Brazil walnut has a high Junka score of 3,680, the popular white oak has an average hardness of 1,360, and southern yellow pine has a moderate Junka score of 870. If you are looking for the most durable wood floor. , since factory applications are tight and durable and often involve multiple layers, pre-finishing is the way to go. Keep in mind that other factors such as how the wood is cut and how the finish is applied affect durability.
Hardwood Flooring: Types, Costs, And Finishing Options
The main reason for choosing an unfinished floor that can be painted is that it gives you complete control over the color. It may be worth it if you are matching hardwood floors to your home’s existing floors. Pre-treated wood is more durable, and you don’t have to worry about fumes or off-gassing from the finish.
Whichever way you go, your choice will shine through in the end. The less light, the less wear. Matte and satin finishes provide minimal shine. The semi-gloss finish adds some shine and reflects light. A glossy finish reflects the brightest light and therefore shows streaks, so it is not suitable for high traffic areas.
The same type of wood can vary greatly depending on the manufacturing process, including grade and cut. Here’s what you need to know.
Having written thousands of product reviews on everything from home maintenance to major repairs, Dan(e) brings over 20 years of experience to his role as Home Maintenance Director. Institute of Good Outdoor Housing Laboratory. A one-time roofer and serial repairman, Dan can often be found tending to the renovated brownstone in Brooklyn where he lives with his wife and children.
Hard Floor Buying Guide
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What type of wood flooring should you get? Should you get hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate that looks like hardwood? When it comes down to it, most people want to know which hardwood floors are the most durable.
Types Of Flooring Materials To Consider For Your Home
When most people think of hardwood floors, they think of hardwood floors. There are many types of this type of floor
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