Hardwood Flooring Info Q & A | 1woodfloors.com Answers Popular Flooring Questions

We’ve compiled the best answers to our most-asked questions to give you a wide variety of hardwood flooring info. For the straight facts, read on about the products and materials available at 1woodfloors.com before you start the exciting process of searching for your new floor.

What is wide plank hardwood flooring?

Wide plank flooring refers to the wide cut of the boards, as opposed to the narrower planks of more traditional hardwood flooring. Most wide flooring is 8 to 10 inches across, but some might stretch as far as 20 inches. This style allows for an old-fashioned aesthetic that is quickly growing in popularity, complementing designs that range from rustic elegance to updated chic. 1woodfloors.com offers wide plank flooring in classic, solid wood form, or the more swell- and heat-resistant engineered flooring version.

Is wide plank hardwood flooring right for my home?

Your lifestyle and the climate in which you live determine whether wide plank flooring is right for your home. While the wide-cut boards allow for easy cleaning, wide plank flooring is also prone to expanding and contracting in humidity. Specifically, wide plank flooring is ideally suited for a 28 to 48 percent humidity window, but different wood types give you greater flexibility. You’ll also want to consider foot traffic, including the pitter patter of pet claws, as wide plank flooring does require sanding to remove blemishes before refinishing.

What are the advantages of wide plank hardwood flooring?

Similar to benefits of traditional hardwood flooring, you’ll only need to refinish occasionally to extend the life of your floor, and the beautiful, bold planks will flatter any variety of modern design style or architecture. Also, the wider cut planks are easy to clean and will last for decades when properly maintained. Unlike other floors that need frequent replacements, wide plank hardwood flooring will look good with minimal maintenance.

Which hardwood flooring colors or stains should I choose?

Choosing wide plank hardwood flooring colors is where the fun begins! First, you start with a wood species that suits your style or existing design scheme. Wood types usually include birch, cherry, hickory, maple, or walnut. You can also choose a finish of your preference, including distressed or hand scraped wood to give your floor an air of timelessness. Finally, varieties of stain colors are available for a multitude of variations, ranging from beige- and white-hued wood to yellows and deep reds.

How easy is it to maintain wide plank hardwood flooring?

Preserving your wide plank hardwood flooring is fairly easy, depending on the type of wood used, and contributing environmental factors like humidity and daily traffic. By maintaining household humidity between 40 and 60 percent throughout all seasons, keeping pet nails trimmed, and using furniture coasters, you’ll keep your work to a minimum. 1woodfloors.com experts will help you decide specifically on which wood and finishes to get, depending on whether you’ll want to sand before you refinish, and how often you’ll want to spruce up the floor.

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What is traditional strip flooring?

Traditional strip flooring is also known as “narrow plank,” and measures less than three inches wide. Considered to be a classic look, strip flooring is at home in a multitude of interior design schemes, ranging from quaint lofts to sleek urban condos. Available at 1woodfloors.com in either solid wood or engineered wood versions, you can choose from a variety of wood species that will fit your style, lifestyle needs, and home environment.

Should I choose prefinished or unfinished hardwood floors?

Whether you should choose prefinished or unfinished hardwood floors largely depends on your personal preference. A prefinished floor means all the finish work has already been completed, and an unfinished floor simply means flooring experts will sand and stain post-installation. Prefinished floors reduce installation cost and mess, and offer a more durable finish. Unfinished is ideal for homeowners who want to match the new floor to existing planks for continuity. Also, some species or stains may not be available in prefinished wood, requiring a custom touch.

Will I save money if I buy hardwood flooring online?

Not all hardwood flooring is created equal, especially hardwood flooring found online. While purchasing hardwood flooring online from some suppliers may result in cheap materials that cause more headache than enjoyment, 1woodfloors.com ensures that you will save money when you purchase products and installation services online through our showroom. We take extreme care to make sure your hardwood flooring experience is exceptional, keeping costs affordable and providing quality that will last a lifetime.

Does hardwood flooring increase home value?

Installing hardwood flooring typically does increase home value, especially if the floors have been installed professionally with crucial factors like subfloor, humidity, and wood species in mind. Buyers love the look of a polished hardwood floor, making it easier to sell the home to a broader market at a faster rate. Also, if you choose to go with hardwood engineered flooring, which is more resistant to heat and swelling, the home resale value should equal that of a ¾ inch solid wood flooring installation.

What hardwood flooring colors or grains do I have to choose from?

A wide range of species, colors, grains, and finishes exist in hardwood flooring selections. Popular wood types include ash, hickory, maple, pine, and oak. Many opt for antiqued, distressed finishes, or a more glossy, traditional look. Finishes or colors range from whites and beiges to illustrious reds and sleek blacks. Whichever shade or stain you choose, you’ll find nuanced varieties that fit virtually any design scheme you could imagine.

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What is hand scraped hardwood flooring?

Just as it sounds, hand scraped hardwood flooring is wood that has been treated by hand using a variety of treatment methods. Considered an art form, the types of techniques involved include wire brushing, antique staining, hand-sculpted, pegged, or custom. The effect is a rustic, asymmetrical finish that adds character, beauty, and a sense of timelessness that runs through the grains of your floorboards. Hand scraped is a hot commodity in the flooring world, finding popularity in quaint cottages and metro lofts alike.

Is hand scraped hardwood flooring right for my home?

Hand scraped hardwood flooring is a beautiful, unique choice for many homeowners. Major benefits include showing less wear and tear over time, hiding blemishes caused by heavy family traffic and pets. If you want a distinct, lower-maintenance floor that encourages “oohs” and “ahhs” from your neighbors, hand scraped may be a perfection option for you. Hand scraped is also a great choice if you’re environmentally conscious, allowing you to purchase floors made entirely of recycled older wood.

How do you clean hand scraped hardwood floors?

Due to the rougher finish of hand scraped hardwood flooring, dirt has an easier time getting wedged between the grooves. Similar to cleaning other hardwood floors, you’ll just need to be a little more diligent about cleaning the planks using a specialty hardwood cleaning product solution. You’ll also want to follow up by vacuuming and dusting regularly. And do note that rougher finishes do collect extra dust, including drywall debris, so cover your floors before undergoing any big indoor construction projects.

Is hand scraped hardwood flooring scraped by hand or by machine?

True hand scraped hardwood flooring has always been scraped or treated by hand using any number of tools and staining methods. If the hand scraped look has been achieved by machine, it’s actually referred to as “distressed” and not hand scraped. Distressed is often mistaken for hand scraped, but the telltale difference is that distressed often appears patterned, whereas hand scraped is artfully flawed and full of character.

How do I choose the best hand scraped hardwood flooring for my home?

Choosing the best hand scraped hardwood flooring can be an overwhelming decision, and not one we suggest you make on your own without a professional opinion. Like many hardwood flooring types, the quality of hand scraped hardwood flooring weighs heavily on design and manufacturing processes. Also, you’ll want to consider wood type, engineered or solid wood designs, and specific hand scraping techniques. At 1woodfloors.com, our flooring experts are willing to consult you every step of the way to help you find a floor you’ll love for decades to come.

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How does the cost of bamboo flooring compare to regular hardwood?

A cost-effective alternative to regular hardwood, even the highest-quality bamboo flooring is often cheaper than its wooden rival. Actually a type of grass, it provides a similar look and functionality to that of hardwood flooring, but costs consistently $1–$2 less than even the cheapest hardwood. Installation is also less expensive for bamboo, making it a versatile, affordable flooring option that complements a wide variety of interior design styles and home architecture.

What do I look for in the best bamboo floors?

To find the best bamboo floors, you’ll want to know how to avoid greenwashed imitations that will warp, cup, or toxify your home based on the formaldehyde some companies use in the finish. Other traits of the best bamboo floors include five-to seven-year maturity, vertical grain, strand woven fabrication, and natural color. You’ll also want to verify that the manufacturer has used finishes that exceed European E0 standards, including water-based, solvent-free materials that do not contain toxic chemicals.

What’s the difference between bamboo and hardwood flooring?

One of the major differences is that bamboo is a grass and not a wood. However, bamboo is just as elegant and can be a superior option in terms of price, ease of maintenance, and spill-resistance. Bamboo is not as porous as hardwood and deflects stains like laminate, making it an ideal choice for kitchens and bathroom. Also, bamboo flooring is a green alternative to hardwood because it can be much more rapidly planted and harvested than most hardwood species.

How do you maintain and clean quality bamboo flooring?

For frequent cleaning, you should vacuum or sweep the floor to remove dirt, sand, or grit, and you’ll want to use a well-reviewed hardwood floor cleaner and mop to finish the job. Never use a wet mop on bamboo, as standing water may cause permanent damage. You also should never use abrasive products on the floor, including ammonia-based cleaners, wax-based products, bleach, or oil soap. Major modifications such as sanding and refinishing are not recommended, and the floor should not be exposed to excessive humidity.

Is bamboo flooring durable?

Bamboo flooring hardness is comparable to that of regular hardwood, although dark bamboo is almost always softer. Created through a carbonization process, the heat treatment yields the darker colors, weakening the fibers. However, medium-to-light bamboo is just as durable as hardwood, holding up well within similar environments and use patterns. Especially when you choose quality bamboo flooring from a supplier like 1woodfloors.com, you know you’re getting a quality wood that will require minimal maintenance to preserve its beauty and smoothness.

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How are hardwood laminate flooring types made?

Hardwood laminate flooring types are developed using the latest technology to bring you affordable, low-maintenance flooring that closely resembles the real hardwood look that you love. Laminate flooring is made like a four-layer cake. First, the bottom later, or backing, is made of a melamine plastic layer that guards the subfloor. The next layer is a core board, made from high-density fiberboard (HDF) or particle board. Then, a decorative layer or print film is adhered to produce a tile look. The final layer gives the flooring its authentic aesthetic, which is a printed high-resolution photo-reproduction of the wood grain you select.

Is laminate flooring durable?

Laminate flooring is actually more durable than many traditional hardwood floors. Because it’s made from pressed wood, it can withstand more pressure, scratches, moisture, and general wear and tear better than the average hardwood floor. It also never requires refinishing and is maintainable in humid climates where the indoor humidity stays between 30 and 60 percent. Most manufacturers also offer a fade and stain warranty, extending the floor’s life in your home.

What’s involved in cleaning laminate floors?

Cleaning laminate floors couldn’t be easier. Designed to handle spills and stains, you can keep your floor looking sharp without much effort at all. We recommend you start by using a dust mop or vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle brush on a regular basis. For a light mopping, spray a conservative amount of a hardwood and laminate cleaner onto a cotton, terrycloth, or microfiber mop. You’ll want to avoid wet-mopping and steam cleaners to prevent serious warping damage.

How ideal is laminate flooring in the kitchen?

Back when laminate flooring technology was less advanced, laminate flooring in the kitchen was damaged easily by moisture and warping. But laminate flooring has improved dramatically over the decades to allow for enhanced spill- and moisture-resistance, making it much more kitchen-friendly. However, you should still take precautions. Standing liquid may cause curling or delamination, so spills shouldn’t be left for a prolonged period of time. Also, you’ll need to consider a laminate flooring that provides traction to avoid slippage.

What do you look for in the best wood laminate flooring?

You’ll find quite a range of quality among laminate materials, making it crucial to know how to find the best wood laminate flooring on the market. Ideally, you want a floor that best fits your lifestyle and can handle the daily traffic in your home. You’ll want to choose a floor that offers easy-care features, with a durable surface that resists scratches, fading, wear, and stains. The best wood laminate flooring also often looks authentic, making it hard to distinguish it from real wood at first glance.

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What is vinyl wood flooring?

An affordable and low-maintenance option, luxury vinyl flooring is typically made of durable polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Available in sheet or tiled form, this PVC gives the material a firm but elastic feel, making it a resilient flooring option that allows it to compress and expand under pressure instead of cracking or breaking. Luxury vinyl wood flooring is also protected by a durable outer layer of urethane that provides orthopedic comfort as you walk across it. Best of all, top quality vinyl can emulate the finest hardwoods, making it tough to tell it apart from the real McCoy.

How does luxury vinyl flooring measure up against other flooring types?

Compared to traditional hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl is long lasting and substantially resistant to dents, scratches, and stains. You can easily clean it with a broom and moist mop, and it’s just as elegant as hardwood without the need to refinish and fret about excessive humidity. Alongside laminate flooring, luxury vinyl outshines the latter in terms of handling humid climates, and has more “give” to the material, making it less rigid and less susceptible to dents and pressure.

Where’s the best place in my home for vinyl flooring?

Although luxury vinyl wood flooring could have a place of honor anywhere in your home, many people love installing it in their kitchens and laundry rooms. The resilient quality of the PVC makes it particularly durable in locations where spills, dents, scratches, and scuffs are more likely. At 1woodfloors.com, our kitchen vinyl flooring and vinyl flooring for laundry room use will hold up regardless of moisture or sun-fade exposure. However, we recommend you try luxury vinyl throughout your entire home, especially in heavy foot traffic areas.

Is vinyl flooring waterproof?

Yes! Vinyl is completely waterproof and can handle full liquid submersion, unlike laminate and any other hardwood option. This makes it ideal for any flooring section in the house, even in the kitchen where moisture infiltrates even the most stalwart of material. You won’t need to lose sleep over fears of refinishing, sanding, and treating your subfloor for moisture damage with innovative vinyl options.

How long does luxury vinyl flooring last?

When it comes to hardwood flooring alternatives, a big concern is how long the flooring will last. Without a sturdy, all-wood composite, what can you expect? The best manufacturers produce vinyl flooring that can last for well over 20 years with proper care and maintenance. And because it wears so well, manufacturers will often also include warranties of 15 years or more, adding to your peace of mind that your floor will remain beautiful and strong.

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What do you look for in the best exotic hardwood flooring?

Choosing the best exotic hardwood flooring can be a long, challenging decision. Although a variety of factors are involved, we recommend that you begin by referencing the Janka scale, a hardness rating scale attributed to all wood species. The harder the wood, the better it can withstand denting and wear. Exotic wood tends to be harder by nature, with one of the softest, Amendoim, beginning at 1912 (Red Oak is a 1290, for comparison). One of the hardest is Brazilian Walnut at 3680. Beyond hardness, even the best wood will react to moisture, so you’ll want to be careful to consider your environment, foot traffic, and how much work you’re willing to put into maintenance.

What kind of exotic hardwood flooring types are available?

One of the most alluring aspects of exotic hardwood flooring types is the rich palette of colors and grains you can access due to narrowing global markets. In a way, you can visit foreign lands without ever stepping outside of your home. Popular types include Brazilian Cherry, variegated Santos Mahogany, distinct Tigerwood from Bolivia, or the pinkish beauty of Tiete Rosewood. On top of the base species types, you can choose from hand-scraped finishes, gloss finish variances, or engineered designs, depending on your personal preferences.

Do exotic hardwood flooring installers require special training?

While hardwood flooring installers don’t require specific training certificates to install exotic hardwoods, hardwood floor installation does require special training to ensure that the wood you choose will be installed to exact codes and specifications. At 1woodfloors.com, our installation experts are all licensed by the State of Michigan and hold certifications in Professional Sand and Finish from the NWFA and Pergo. We know how to install every exotic floor type available, and will advise you on maintenance, regardless of your choice.

Are exotic hardwood flooring options more durable than other types of wood?

Hardwood floor durability increases with wood hardness, and exotic woods are often harder than domestic species. You’ll want to keep in mind the type of wood you’re choosing, analyzing your choices with an installation expert. Brazilian Cherry is one the hardest woods available, whereas Sapele is softer and requires more meticulous care. As with many hardwood flooring options, exotic wood is still vulnerable to spills, scratches, and dents. However, knowing the durability quotient of many exotics makes the somewhat more expensive cost well worth the investment.

How do I know what kind of exotic hardwood is right for me?

Which exotic hardwood you choose completely depends on four components: moisture, hardness, dust management, and stain. While exotics are highly durable, many are also more reactive to moisture than other hardwoods, making it essential that you understand how your climate and lifestyle may affect the hardness and reactiveness of your choice. Dust management is significant, but often overlooked because some species can permanently stain other surfaces. Also, regarding staining, many exotics don’t accept stain well so you want to know all your factors before you proceed.

We’ve just scratched the surface of the wonderful world of hardwood flooring. For more hardwood flooring info or to get started on your new renovation project, call or e-mail us today.