What Grade Hardwood Flooring Should I Choose?

Hardwood is a classic flooring choice for many folks. It gives a floor natural beauty and feel that few man-made materials can match. Hardwood flooring comes in a couple different widths and grades. Strip flooring is typically narrow pieces of wood up to 2 3/4″ wide. Plank flooring is wider, generally up to 7″. Some wood like maple and birch are ranked as being First, Second, or Third. Oak is the most popular hardwood choice and judged as follows: Clear is wood that has very few flaws or character marks. Select has a bright grain, a few flaws, and most pieces match well. No.1 Common has both light and dark pieces, some marks. No.2 Common allows for all character marks; like knots, worm holes, and discoloration. If you want an immaculate, uniform floor, consider spending more to get one of the premium grades. If you want to add character and warmth to a room, the Common grades are good choices.

Can I Afford A Wood Floor?

That should be an easy one…YES. Over a ten year period, a site finished floor will cost less than virtually any other floor covering on the market…and still has HUNDREDS of years of beauty and function left. See the next question for ways to cut costs even more.

Shouldn't I Use Title Or Vinyl In A Kitchen?

Only if you prefer the look. As far as living on or with a kitchen floor, you can’t beat a site finished wood floor. Site finished wood floors are smooth and flat, thereby easy to clean and the wood is far more resilient and easier to stand on than tile. The new fast drying and low oder finishes that are on the market offer extreme durability and water resistance. Remember, the pilgrims came to the new world on boats made of White Oak!

Why Use Unfinished As Opposed To Pre-Finished?

A site finished floor will offer up to a 35% better return on investment than the pre-finished floors. A couple of reasons for this include: The site finished floor is flat and smooth, allowing for a much easier surface to maintain. The pre-finished floors also use a faster drying and shell hard finish which looks good on paper, but in real life shows problems with cracking and chipping when compared to today’s finishes that are applied in the home. Then, most importantly, there is appearance. No one will argue that a site finished floor LOOKS like a million dollars and can be spotted from a pre-finished floor from a mile away.

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