Wood Floor Covering Guide
Wood floor covering instantly brings out the natural beauty of your home – rich, traditional, rustic, contemporary- but choosing the right hardwood flooring for your Middle Tennessee home is not always easy. Here’s an overview of the many unique features to consider when selecting your hardwood floors.
- Hardwood or wood floor covering prices range from $2.99-20.00+ per square foot. Hardwood prices vary due to quality, finish, species, and appearance. Hardwood, like everything else, is a product that you get what you pay for.
HARDWOOD vs. ENGINEERED WOOD vs. LAMINATE
- Solid Hardwood Flooring- You can buy solid wood flooring in a variety of North American wood species as well as exotic hardwoods from different countries from around the World. Because solid wood planks are sensitive to changes in humidity, they are only recommended for on or above ground level. Also, in Tennessee, our weather and humidity changes are very volatile, and therefore solid woods are always moving and have a hard time laying completely flat. Most people purchase solid hardwoods because they are under the impression that they are “real wood” and that being solid makes them a better quality. The best reason to purchase a solid floor is if you have an issue that dictates you need the thickness, like cabinets, doors, casings or trim work.
- Engineered Hardwood Flooring- Engineered hardwood floors consist of several, wood plies that are glued together under heat and pressure. Engineered wood planks are more dimensionally stable than solid wood planks and can be used on all grade levels, including in dry basements over fully-cured concrete slabs. Many engineered hardwood floors can be glued-down, stapled down or floated over wood subfloors. They can also be glued-down or floated over dry concrete slabs and some types of hard surface floor coverings, such as vinyl flooring or vinyl floor tiles. Engineered floors are indeed “real wood”. Engineered floors are ideal for all applications in Tennessee, and do very well with our regions climate changes. They offer you all the durability that our clients come to expect from hardwood floors.
- Laminate Flooring- Laminate is easier to clean because it is sealed against stains, making it nearly maintenance-free. Laminate is also one of the most hypoallergenic flooring materials available today, and moisture and age resistant, meaning that it will not yellow, curl or crack, like linoleum. Laminate is far more durable for active applications than hardwood due to its scratch and indentation resistance. With the technology today, laminate floors look just like real hardwoods, and provide you all the beauty you want and the durability you demand.
PREFINISHED vs. UNFINISHED HARDWOOD
Consider the gloss level of hardwood. Satin or low-shine urethanes tend to show less traffic patterns than do the higher gloss finishes.
- Prefinished wood planks are stained and finished at the factory. Advantages: prefinished wood can be solid or engineered, takes only 1-2 days at job site to complete, less affected by moisture- will not shrink or swell, minimal mess and smells, and the finishes are applied in controlled environment and heat set providing far more durability than a hand applied finish ever could. Disadvantages: None that we know of!
- Unfinished planks are sanded, stained and finished at the job site. Advantages: can be custom stained to match existing trim. Disadvantages: takes a week to install and for coats to dry, very messy and can smell, inherent imperfections that come with the environment that it is installed in and varies from home to home, but costs more to install.
- Clear Grade – color and graining is uniform and virtually no wood knots, pinholes or blemishes on the surface.
- Select & Better – slight variation in the color but, still, virtually no wood knots, pinholes or blemishes on the surface.
- Country Grade- variation in color and graining and lighter to darker contrasts, could have small pinholes and small wood knots causing more waste during installation.
- Character Grade, Rustic Grade, or Traditional Grade – planks will show more natural character and have more pinholes and wood knots.
- Tavern Grade or Cabin Grade- planks may have visual character in color and graining, as well as wood knots and dark colored mineral streaks.
Parquet is a series of wood flooring pieces that create a geometric design and/or pattern.
Plank is linear and wider than parquet. The wider the plank, the more concern for effect by moisture.
Strip wood floors are also linear and gives the illusion of a larger and more open space.
- Oak- one of the most favorite hardwoods of homeowners, available in red or white oak, durable and termed best for the everyday wear and tear.
- Maple- a popular choice for those desiring a lighter color than oak, color ranges from plain white to reddish brown, texture is uniform and naturally resistant to abrasion, scratches and dents.
- Cherry- highly moisture resistant with minimal shrinkage and swelling, popular for its rich, reddish-brown color which darkens beautifully into a lustrous burgundy with age and exposure to sunlight.
- Walnut- dark brown to purplish black in color, noted for beautiful, distinctive grain, produces a greater variety of figure types than any other wood, is not recommended in high traffic areas, is preferred as a general building material due to its ease of use.
- Exotics are defined as those that would be imported, like Tiger wood, Brazilian Cherry, and Bamboo. Exotics are more expensive than domestic woods, so many prefer to reserve exotic woods for small areas like entryways and bathrooms.
Darker wood floors are more traditional, formal, and warm. Lighter wood floors showcase a more casual, country, or contemporary look. Darker colors tend to show traffic quicker, whereas natural wood colors of oak and maple do not.
Today’s most popular colors are red oak natural and maple natural, but anything goes with today’s eclectic decoration styles.
THE BUDDY ALLEN CARPET ONE DIFFERENCE
Price: As a member of one of the world’s largest buying groups in floor covering, Buddy Allan Carpet One Floor & Home in Nashville offers a vast selection of affordable hardwood floors from major manufacturers. We’ve built strong relationships with these manufacturers giving us huge buying power and allowing us to offer the best price on hardwoods in the area.
Certified Installers: All big-box stores in Nashville that sell hardwood flooring will contract a 3rd party installation outfit out and send them to your home. The person you made your purchase with may not even know the names of the individuals they’re sending over to measure OR install….SCARY! At Buddy Allen Carpet One, we have a certified, in-house installation team that we work every day. They’re part of our team, and some have worked for us for over 25 years! A few people on our installation staff are actually the children of Buddy Allen’s first installer! It really is a tradition at Buddy Allen Carpet One.
Warranty: No matter which hardwoods you choose, at Buddy Allen Carpet One, you’ll receive our Lifetime Installation Guarantee! This means that if there is ever a problem with your flooring due to the installation, we’ll fix it at no extra cost to you! We have a range of warranties on hardwoods that you can see here. Hardwood flooring products with a Titanium, Platinum, or Gold SelectAFloor™ warranty carry The Beautiful Guarantee®. The Beautiful Guarantee® means that at any time after installation and during the terms of The Beautiful Guarantee, you wish to change your new hardwood flooring for a different SelectAFloor™ style, we’ll replace it free!
Experience: Aside from our nearly 50 years of flooring knowledge and experience, we are locally-owned and on the third generation of being family-operated. We even provide FREE in-home estimates and shopping throughout Middle Tennessee. Our showroom is located at 2517 Lebanon Pike Nashville, TN 37214. Shop hardwoods with us online at www. BuddyAllenCarpetOne.com, in-store: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., or call (615) 208-5169, and we’ll send a flooring consultant to your home, FREE!