Our hardwood floor buying guide is meant to help facilitate a conversation with your local expert hardwood flooring resource.
Hardwood floors provide a beautiful look as well as providing a great way to increase the value of your home. Selection of the right hardwood flooring is pretty important.
Some quick questions to ask yourself are:
- Is the floor subjected to moisture?
- What type of sub-floor will the hardwood be placed on?
- What style do I want to have?
#1 Is the floor subjected to moisture? If your home is subjected to moisture changes it can cause your floors to warp or gap once installed. Different types of flooring have varying moisture recommendations from manufacturers.
One way to fight against moisture is to install a moisture barrier. The basement is prone to moisture, so in order to protect the floors we installed a moisture barrier. This will prevent the flooring from warping or gaping over time.
#2 is the type of sub-floor the new hardwood floor will be installed on. We have seen almost everything here at B&L Hardwood Floors, but here are the main sub-floor types.
- Concrete at the ground level
- Plywood flooring
- Basement or concrete at the ground level
Ground level or above ground level can be important, because of the different moisture challenges. The different surfaces have standard flooring types that are best suited for the situations.
- Solid Hardwood flooring
- Engineered flooring
The solid hardwood flooring usually require a moisture barrier to be protected, especially in homes prone to moisture issues.
Engineered flooring has an advantage over solid hardwood in higher moisture environments. The flooring does not tend to expand or contract as much as solid hardwood flooring does. The disadvantage is with engineered hardwood floors, you may only be able to sand and refinish once. Engineered flooring also does not wear as well as solid hardwood flooring over time.
#3 What style do I want to have? The type of hardwood floor you select is mostly based on your preference, but there are other considerations. Mostly the traffic and durability needs of your floor. Pine floors are very beautiful, but can be damaged easily if you have pets or people who walk through your home with shoes on a lot. Below is a guide on how hard specific types of flooring is using the Janka Hardness Test.
Every wood type has a hardness rating. The most common test is the Janka Hardness Test. They measure the force required to embed an 11.28mm steel ball into the wood at half the ball’s diameter (shown below)
Here is the table of the types of wood and their hardness rating.
|JANKA RATING||WOOD SPECIES (Hardest to Softest)|
|3684||Brazilian Walnut /Ipe|
|2350||Brazilian Cherry /Jatoba|
|1820||Hickory and Pecan|
|1450||Hard / Sugar Maple|
|1390||Kentucky Coffee Tree|
|1290||Northern Red Oak|
|1280||Caribbean Heart Pine|
|1225||Yellow Heart Pine|
|950||Soft and Ambrosia Maple|
|870||Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)|
|860||American Red Elm|
|690||S.Yellow Pine (Loblolly & Shortleaf)|
|380||Eastern White Pine|
Would you like a free estimate and for us to help you decide which flooring is right for you? Give me a call at (207) 798-9956 or see our contact us page to schedule a time for us to come out to you.