Your Guide to Fitting Hardwood Flooring In Your Home

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When the carpet is getting worn and threadbare and you decide it is time for a change, or you are renovating a room or a whole house and need the perfect finishing touch to set it off, then hardwood flooring could be the answer. It could even help to sell your home.

If you are looking to install hardwood flooring, then there is some research to do before you make your final decision. It will change the look and feel of your home, so it is important to get it right.

Why choose a hardwood floor?

Hardwood floors look amazing and can totally change the look of a room or a house. There are lots of different styles and colors to choose from, so you can find one that fits the interior design of your home. You can choose from a matte look or glossy finish. You might choose to use stains to change the color to suit your own home.

Hardwood floors are hard wearing and long lasting and they are easy to clean. If they are looked after and well maintained, a hardwood floor could last centuries.

Which is the best wood to use?

There are so many different types of wood you can use for flooring, you will be sure to find the right one for your home. The most popular hardwood flooring is Red Oak. But White Oak and Maple are also popular choices.

Here are some other woods that you can choose from:

  • American Cherry – this is a softer wood and very popular. Many people use it is wider planks and it has a reddish brown color
  • Birch – there are two types of birch woods, yellow and red
  • Walnut – one of the hardest woods you can get and comes in a range of dark brown shades
  • Hickory – very durable and has some fantastic patterns. It is good to use in areas that are walked on a lot
  • Yellow Pine – this has knot pattern and gives a country style look and finish
  • Ash – hard-wearing and stain resistant
  • Beech – this has very tight grains and is a warm brown in color
  • Maple – this is a sturdy wood and doesn’t dent or scratch easily
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There are also some more exotic woods to consider too. Brazilian cherry, Amendoim, Santos Mahogany, Kempas, Timborana, Tiet Chestnut, Brazilian Teak, Brazilian Walnut, Tiete Rosewood, Bamboo and Merbau. Bamboo is not strictly a hardwood, but it is extremely durable and water resistant and takes on all the characteristics of the best hardwoods.

Should I go for tiling over hardwood flooring?

Tiles are extremely durable and good quality tiles can last up to 20 years. If you crack one, then it is relatively simple and cheap to replace one tile rather than the whole floor. The cost of tile flooring will be more expensive than carpet, but it is cheaper than hardwood flooring. Like hardwood flooring, tiling doesn’t attract dirt and germs and pollen like carpet does, so it is good for people who suffer with allergies. Tiles are easy to clean, but they can be cold and hard and if you experience cold winters then it will make the room or the house colder.

Installation of tiles can be complicated and more difficult than installing hardwood flooring. It also requires more tools and supplies like grout and or mortar to fit them.

Should I go for engineered hardwood or solid hardwood?

Engineered flooring is made up of layers of hardwood and plywood. Solid hardwood flooring is literally solid wood. Engineered hardwood can be easier to fit and is found to expand and contract less than hard wood, so it is less likely to move and warp in different temperatures. And because it is made of layers, engineered hardwood can be stronger. Hardwood is also more expensive than engineered hardwood and it is more expensive to fit because it is harder to fit.

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You can tell the difference between the two types of wood by picking up a plank. You will see the layers in an engineered hardwood plan and a solid hardwood plan will just be one layer of solid wood.

How much does hardwood flooring cost?

Hardwood floors would typically cost between $8 and $23 per square foot, it just depends on the wood you use and the company you use to install it.

Installing hardwood on stairs can cost between $100 and $200 per step, so a flight of stairs with 12 to 15 steps would cost $1,200 to $3,000 for materials and labour.

Wood floor will come in three different grades and the costs will change within each of those grades.

  1. Low grade – this includes the soft woods like pine and the wood will cost between $3 and $6 per square foot, plus and extra $3 to $5 of labour costs.
  2. Medium grade – this covers common woods for hardwood flooring like oak, teak and American cherry. This is likely to cost between $5 and $10 per square foot and with an extra $4 to $8 for the installation.
  3. High grade – this would include the most expensive and more rare or exotic woods that can be used for hardwood flooring, like Brazilian walnut or tigerwood. The costs for these could be as high as $8 to $15 per square foot and similar labour costs to the medium grade installation.

Engineered wood installation is graded in a similar way.

Can I fit hardwood flooring myself?

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Hard wood flooring can be fitted by an individual, but it is an extremely hard and fiddly job. Properly trained experts could have your floor finished in a few days because they know what they are doing, they know how to overcome issues and they know how to fit the flooring in awkward or difficult to reach spots as they do it every day. It will add to the cost, but if you want it done quickly and efficiently and to a high standard, then finding a good hardwood floor fitter should be part of your research.

Wood flooring is an enhancement and investment in any room or home and even more so when you consider news from the National Wood Flooring Association that 90% of real estate agents says homes with hardwood floors sell at a higher price.