What to know before shopping for hardwood flooring

What to know when your ready to purchase a hardwood floor by 1woodfloors.com.

Are you in the market for flooring? Hardwood flooring is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Your installation company is the most important thing next to finding a good product. Hardwood flooring is one of the most technically detailed products for installers in the flooring industry. We are going to cover a wide range of details in order to put information out there that will help the average person understand some important factors regarding hardwood flooring.

No better place to begin than Hardwood flooring product selection.

1. Selecting a well known brand is important and so is knowing where to shop.

While there are over a thousand different types of hardwood flooring to choose from you will usually always get what you pay for. Big brand names make different product lines with the same name and color for box stores. Different people want different price points and this is to help them market product for a large portion of their business. (Price shoppers).

Specialty retail locations carry a different product line than the box stores.

There is nothing wrong with selecting something that fits your budget from a box store. I just want you to know that there is a big difference in quality, we spend hours talking about this topic and trying to educate our customers on a daily basis.

2. Quality of hardwood flooring and the differences.

Where was your wood flooring made? Where was it harvested from? Did you know China is the largest importer of lumber to the United States? Some liquidator or wholesale outfits have almost all of their material coming from over there. Did you also know that China as a country has eliminated entire species of trees we will never see again and continue to harvest materials from undisclosed sources. Here are some things to look for.

FCS certified Product. https://us.fsc.org/en-us .

Canada harvests some off the best lumber along with America’s Northern Appalachian Region. Nothing wrong with getting quality hardwood floors that are harvested correctly and manufactured in our own country or by our neighbors.

The advantages of getting wood flooring from the United States and Canada is that the product is stronger with a higher average board length and you are getting a product that is properly harvested.

Most exotic species are imported so just look for a FSC certification and always double check with the FSC because some companies are known just to print that they are compliant. Also it helps when selecting Bamboo flooring, solid flooring pre finished, engineered flooring, and laminate flooring to check for carb2 compliant.


3. Hardwood product selection and stairs
*Selecting an unfinished hardwood floor over a pre-finished floor

Pre-finished wood can give you features and benefits a site finished floor cannot in many cases.

Attached to this article are four photos – two before photos and two finished project photos. Lets start by saying I like both of course, the photos attached are a 4 inch Northern select grade Oak floor site finished with Bona Hd finish.


(NOTE): A proper floor covering company will differ with their installation of the stairs. Have you ever heard the expression jack of all trades master of none? Well I have seen it to many times first hand .

Most customers say “And I would like you to put the wood on stairs too” I always pause and the bad images start flashing across my memory bank from all the botched jobs I have seen of installers thinking they are stair case builders.

I always put our customers in touch with our staircase contacts and our painters, we all work together to achieve this level of outcome. In this case the customer choose a filigree S scroll wrought iron spindle. So I offered the option to take it one step further and replicate the pattern into a laser cut inlay and install it in the two rooms adjacent to the staircase. Now this is where the math comes into play sizing the inlay to fit perfectly into each room so the border is the same distance from the walls and when the inlay hits the four corners of the room the outcome is correct. (If you mess this up it can be a big error). Then 1woodfloors.com installed opposing diagonal pattern in each room changing directions like open wings in each different room. This is our passion and what drives us is giving people creativity and making their home better than they could imagine at a fair price.

So you see you can have a lot of things done and a great look using the right company along with selected product. Good ideas are very important and a professional may be able to help.

4. Pre finished hardwood flooring

Pre-finished flooring that comes from the correct source and is milled correctly can give you amazing results and features. Like a 50 year finish warranty and a clean and fast installation.

*Briefly explaining wide plank floor

Selecting wide plank flooring is a popular choice and may be the right fit for you. But when you live in area that has rapid humidity changes you need to explore further. You may want a solid plus engineered floor.

Yes thats correct! (I have to say this). Do not shrug and say “we do not want engineered flooring”. I am writing this to help you understand quality. What if I told you I could install a engineered floor and it would be able to be sanded and be more stable than a solid floor? Well if you’re still here take a look at the link. We can make you any pre-finished floor as wide as you like adding any color you like, and then adding smoked features or amish scrape features, herringbone patterns. Whatever you can think of can be done with engineered or pre-finished wide plank flooring. You only need to know where to find the correct type and they do not sell this everywhere. Heres a example off a product we sell a lot of.

http://www.homerwood.com/about-out-floors/construction/ look at the engineered specs on the thickness of the top layer and select any style floor you like and we can make it that way.

5. Selecting a hardwood flooring company

Well first of all select us and you will be FLOORED!!! Just read our Google reviews of all of our happy clients!

1. The first question should be who is installing my floor! Is he licensed and insured?

2. Does he carry Workers Compensation so if his helper gets hurt he cannot sue you?

Sometimes companies will not enforce their subcontractor to carry insurance/workman’s compensation because it’s very costly. What can and has happened to unknowing homeowners is they now are liable for any injury to a contractor working on their project.

3. Always look for a licensed company. For Michigan here is the link

Link to check http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/sr_corp.asp.

4. Are they certified NWFA and what is NWFA?

Link http://woodfloors.org/certified-professional-search.aspx

Most companies say “ah.. whatever I don’t need any certification I have been doing this 1million years”! People in our industry who choose not to continue education and learn how to work with future advances and product correctly usually will expose their customers and themselves to older tech. We always look to offer the best available and make sure we are always learning and of course why not support your industry as well.

Watch out for rookie installers and high pressure sales.

Lets say I sold you a job and beat everyones price and you’re happy. Maybe everything goes great and you love your floor. (Ideal)

(Avoid low quality product at high mark up).

The price may be less but there is usually good reasoning to that.

1. Did the company acclimate your product?

Learn about acclimation here along with the proper type of meters


2. Do they have the correct meters to adjust to the species of wood or do they just carry a cheap moisture meter with no specific gravity adjustment?

3. Did your salesman sell you the best floor for your area and how do you know?(Go with a specialist when possible)!

4. Are all the trim molding details covered to the best they can. I have seen so many companies sell floors and leave the old trim along the walls and trap it into the floor then put quarter round up. Did they offer you flush mounted vents or other fine details, things like that. (Come on people remove the base and raise it up when needed please).

Always ask about preparation, one of the most overlooked issues in sales because it CLOUDS the process, but missing prep can lead to big increases in cost and time. Always talk about this so you have a understanding how this works.

Look at your contract its there in small print.
(If caught by surprise this can be stressful come installation day).


Here comes the additional fees. Installers are there ready to go and notice your subfloor is not ready for install due to unforeseen terms. Now you may need you to sign a field order and cut them another check to allow the work to continue, and thats if they can fix it. Because if not here goes some more time unplanned. Mostly you will pay them and continue on. But now the deal you thought you had is a little less a deal than you expected and the project is going to take some more time.

NEVER overlook preparation for an install, every floor needs it to some degree.

Thank you for your time and I hope you find this helpful.


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Why are my hardwood floors separating?

Michigan Hardwood Flooring expands and contracts.

Hardwood flooring expands and contracts, this happens in Michigan more often than not. With all the new wide plank hardwood flooring being sold and installed this should be of high topic in Michigan as we enter the winter months. At 1woodfloors.com our company educates our customers prior to purchasing a hardwood floor. In some situations a certain type of hardwood flooring may be better than others. Even though we all know a big part of our decision is based off of cost, we try to avoid giving you a floor just based from this because if that floor fails you may spend more trying to fix a problem that could have been prevented. All hardwood floors should be acclimated prior to installation. Why should hardwood flooring be acclimated we will cover on another post later. In the winter months we all turn up the heat in one way or another in Michigan. It is our job to make sure we keep the air in our homes with the correct level of humidity if we would like to protect our hardwood floors from severe gapping or separating. Here are some quick tips.  Remember if your floor is separating it usually takes just as long to try to close up as it took to separate.


  • Get a humidifier on your furnace and make sure it is working.
  • Purchase a hygrometer and place in the area your flooring is.
  • Notice the setting on your humidifier may not tell you the true RH% this is why a hygrometer is required.
  • Keep your levels around 45-50% if possible
  • Avoid shocking your floor or house, meaning if its to dry slowly adjust your humidity rather than spike the levels up or down.
  • Summer requires the same type of attention to humidity levels.
  • As summer comes you usually will need no help from your humidifier and this will most likely be turned off all together.
  • This is when people forget to either turn on or off is when the seasons change
  • The wider the board the more it will move
  • Do your best,  its all you can do. You cannot control this perfectly.
  • Always talk to a pro when choosing flooring some work better than others in certain situations
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How to Choose Exotic Wood Flooring for Your Space

Today, the world is a much smaller place. As a homeowner, this means that the markets for woods that were once unheard of or too hard to attain are now more easily accessible. You’re no longer limited to only the type of woods that are indigenous to the area where you live. Woods like Brazilian Cherry or Australian Cypress are as within your reach today as any that grows in your area.

If you’re interested in installing exotic wood, the challenge for you is finding a reputable company that can handle the material. At 1woodfloors.com, we are experts at installation of all types of flooring in every environment. When working with a client to choose an exotic floor, we take care to go over all of the considerations inherent with these types of wood.

Variables in Picking Exotic Hardwood Floors


Choosing an exotic hardwood floor requires more consideration than for some of the materials that are regularly used. We’ve done the homework for you, so you can be sure that your choice will not only look unique and beautiful, but will be the best choice in the long run for your climate and home.

Some of the things you have to be aware of in your material:

  • Moisture – Many exotic woods are more reactive to moisture than other types of wood, so care needs to be taken that the type of wood you’ve chosen will do well in your environment.
  • Underestimating Hardness – We will never work with a material we don’t understand ahead of time. Hardness of the species means adjustments to the way the floor is installed and sanded, which we’re fully prepared to accommodate.
  • Dust Management – Dust management is important in every installation, but with exotics it’s crucial because some species can permanently stain other surfaces.
  • Staining Exotics – Many exotics don’t take stain well, so it’s important to be very knowledgeable in the material before you begin the job.

When you choose us for your exotic floor installation, you can rest assured that your home will never be a test project for us. We’re well-versed in all of the materials we work with and can help you choose the best fit for your needs.

We also take the time to go over your choices with you, explain how the material will look and react over time to the area and home type, and discuss all of the specifics of maintaining your floor for the duration. An exotic floor can be an exciting choice, and one that’s totally unique to you and your home.

For Your Exotic Hardwood Flooring, Contact 1woodfloors.com

We’re excited to help you transform your home into the showplace of your dreams.

Contact us today to discuss your exotic hardwood flooring needs.

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Wide Plank Flooring Gives You Timeless Elegance

If you’ve been looking into having new hardwood floors installed, you’ve probably seen some mention of wide plank flooring. It’s very popular right now aesthetically, but it’s also a beautiful hardwood floor choice that will, with proper maintenance, last the life of your home.


What does the term “wide plank” mean? It’s exactly what it sounds like—the boards are wider than most of today’s models, reminiscent of the way traditional wood floors looked years ago.


What Do You Need to Know about Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring?


This style is very popular right now because it’s both beautiful and versatile. It’s a fantastic look for someone who is designing a space with an “old time” feel. It also works very well with the new designs in decorating and architecture.


Wider boards, however, are more prone to movement. What this means is that wider boards have more expansion and contraction with differing temperatures and humidity. If you’ve decided this is the type of look and flooring you want, you should make sure that your installer discusses the type of wood and what you can expect as far as humidity levels and what kind of care your floor will need in your home. Also, different types of wood are more or less prone to movement. If you live in a humid area, you can choose a wood type that’s less susceptible and still take advantage of this great style.


Wide Plank Wood Flooring Checklist


What are some of the things you need to consider before choosing the exact type of wood and materials?


  • Your subfloor – At 1woodfloors.com, we’re very conscious of the right way to install your flooring and the best type of flooring to choose for the construction underneath. When you’ve chosen any type of wood floor, make sure your installer can explain the process with you and detail what type of installation they’ll be doing and why it’s better for the longevity of your floor.
  • Your environment – As we discussed earlier, wide plank flooring has a tendency to contract and expand more than the average hardwood. You want to make sure that you’re in a lower humidity climate or take precautions to ensure your floor will have a long and beautiful life.
  • Type of wood – The type of wood you choose should be as much about the way that it functions with your lifestyle as it is about how it looks.
  • Your design – Let’s not forget the design of your home and the look you will be thrilled to live with. After all, for the most part you’re renovating to make your home more beautiful for you!


Interested in learning more about the types of wide plank wood flooring we can install in your home? Contact us today!

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Hardwood Floor Installation – What’s Right For Your Home?

Many homeowners want to install hardwood floors in their home but don’t know what kind of floor they should choose. While more choices are always considered a great thing, the problem is often that people find it confusing to have so many options.


At 1woodfloors.com, we can help you choose the right floor for your home and lifestyle. Here are the primary things to consider when choosing the type of hardwood floor you’d like to have installed:


  • Subfloor – Different types of construction call for different types of flooring. For example, if you have a concrete subfloor, engineered hardwood flooring is a fantastic option.
  • Lifestyle – Which type of wood fits your lifestyle best? What do you find aesthetically pleasing and how much maintenance will it take?
  • Environment – Some environmental factors, such as severe heat and humidity, can have an impact on your natural wood floor, so you want to take care to choose the best type of material for your area.
  • Budget – Of course, cost is an important consideration.


Types of Hardwood Floors

You Can Choose From


The first thought you’re likely to have when choosing your flooring will be how it looks. Of course, you want the right look for your taste and you want something to last for the life of your home with minimal maintenance.


The basic types of flooring are:


  • Solid hardwood flooring – Real wood. This is the traditional flooring option and can last a long time if you treat it right.
  • Engineered flooring – Meant for concrete sub floors, engineered floors are pressure glued to the subfloor and ply layers are set in the opposite direction for maximum stability.
  • Laminate flooring – Durable, low maintenance, and budget friendly, laminate floors are made of synthetic materials to look like the real deal.


Hardwood floors come in an array of species and sizes, and are available in more than 50 different species. Whether you want a rustic look or a finely polished floor, there’s a material to fit your needs.


Hardwood Flooring

To Suit Your Style


Once you’ve got the type of flooring you want nailed down (no pun intended) you’ll want to choose either a prefinished or finished floor. A prefinished floor basically means that all of the finish work is done before the floor is installed. Conversely, an unfinished floor means professionals sand and stain after installations. Learn more about the pluses and minuses of pre-finished vs. unfinished hardwood floors.


In terms of the style of floor you want, you can choose from quite a few options to get just the right look:



We know that making the choice between the many different types of materials and styles can seem daunting, and we’re here to help you through the journey.


Contact us today for your free quote and more information about selecting the best type of flooring for your home!

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Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring – A Look to Love

Do you enjoy the look of old-fashioned flooring? Maybe you want something that looks aged? Hand scraped hardwood floors are increasingly popular and come in many types of wood and styles.


Whether you’re interested in a distressed floor for one room, or an entire motif to match cabinetry throughout the entire house, there are a lot of options available with the right professional doing to the work. You can have the boards wider to match the old-fashioned floors of yesteryear, apply antique nails or pegs to enhance the look, and the finish can be as rough or smooth as you would like it to look.


Back to Basics with Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring


Hand scraped and distressed treatments have become increasingly popular in the last few years. They’re also a great match in finishing style to the wide plank hardwood flooring that’s all the rage right now.


Another fantastic option with this type of flooring is going green. It’s entirely possible to recycle older, used wood to complete your entire project. Not only would you be getting the floor you’ll love for years to come, but you’ll be doing your part not to deplete the environment. Used wood works very well with this type of treatment because it already lends itself to the aged look, and the distressing treatment can level out any flaws in the wood and make it appear perfectly worn. Another plus to using wood planking rehabbed from older buildings is the quality. Older hardwoods are very high quality and many are not being forested at all now, so they’re not available in the current market.


What Types of Treatments Are the Most Popular?


Distressed floors are a bit of an art form. We’ll discuss common techniques and styles below. Your installer can be very creative in this process to achieve the exact look you’re going for in your home.


  • Wire Brushed – Wire brushed wood is rougher in appearance and feel. The brushing process also brings out the grain in the wood.
  • Antique – Antique generally means that the wood is lower grade and a darker stain is applied to highlight the grain. (Low grade does not mean poor quality; it’s a type of wood that works well to highlight the color differences in the staining).
  • Hand Sculpted – This has a smoother finish and the planks look more uniform than other types of hand scraped floors.
  • Pegged – Wooden pegs are applied to the flooring to look like the floors of years gone by. These pegs are not actually fastening the new floor down; they’re applied only for visual appeal.
  • French Bleed – This is a staining process that works nicely on high quality wood. The edges of the planks are darkest, giving more depth to the look of the floor.
  • Hand hewn – This type of finish looks extremely rough and rustic. In some cases you can see saw marks in the finish.
  • Custom Unfinished – This is the way to go if you want to design the look of your floor or match it to another item, such as furniture or cabinetry. The wood can be distressed and finished to your specifications.


How to Care for Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring


Maintenance on hand scraped hardwood floors is very similar to the maintenance on any other type of hardwood. You need to be aware that the rougher the finish, the more space there is for dirt to get trapped between the grooves. You’ll want to actively clean rougher finished floors on a more regular basis. Another thing to consider is whether you’ll be doing any other remodeling during the flooring process. Rougher finishes will not only attract dust and dirt, but are a magnet for drywall dust, which is very difficult to remove. We advise that any hardwood floors be completely covered during construction processes.


Are you interested in custom hand scraped hardwood flooring in your home? Contact us for a quote today!

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Hardwood flooring installation methods

When you are looking for hardwood flooring in Michigan it is important for your wood flooring installation company to understand the construction of your home. Homes built at different times and in different areas all have different materials used as base flooring. There are many things to consider when it comes to selecting the installation method to be used when installing your floor if you expect it to last a lifetime. You may receive information from many sources regarding installation method and it is always wise to refer to your manufacture for instructions. However I will talk about 1woodfloors.com preferred methods of installation. It is important that subfloor type is considered before choosing your hardwood floor. For instance CDX plywood does not provide the same hold as some OSB types of subfloor. Refer to our subfloor types page for more insight.  Now this does not mean a whole lot until you consider you may want a wide plank hardwood floor. If you have a subfloor that does not hold a fastener as well as the other then install a floor that uses less fasteners then this could have a effect on the way your floor hold together. Installing hardwood flooring in a state like Michigan can present many challenges because of changes in the climate. Unfortunately most of the issues result after the installation of your Michigan hardwood flooring project is completed and the first seasonal change has taken place. Now if you have a 4 inch wide plank floor installed over OSB using nail down method with cleats would the floor hold together under climate changes as good as a old 2 1/4 oak hardwood floor nailed over cross plank into the floor joist with spiral nails? Have you seen a house from the 1950′s or earlier with a floor that stays together better than that floor in your new home? Have you ever heard from your parents saying “I never had that problem with my floor”? The short answer is most people we know have not had wide plank hickory flooring installed in a new home and that less has been done to see the test of time. Did you know that selecting Hickory is also selecting a product that is more prone to movement than Oak hardwood flooring. You can see very easily that the type of floor you select, installation method you choose, area your home is in and your subfloor type can play a big part in how long your floor withstands the test of time. I hope this information is helpful for those who would like the floor to withstand the test of time.

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