SAND & FINISH

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.

http://www.hpva.org/formaldehyde-standards

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.

https://bona.com/en-US/United-States1/BonaSystem/Coatings/Finishes/Bona-Traffic-HD—New/.

(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

required.http://www.wagnermeters.com/flooring/wood-flooring/acclimation/

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).

(Senario)

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.

1woodfloors.com
248-325-8853

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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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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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