Solid Hardwood Floors
Solid Hardwood Flooring is definitely an Investment.
An Investment that can last for a Lifetime and bring an incomparable Beauty, Comfort & Value.
Wood Floors can Transform any Regular House into a Warm & Inviting Home Instantly.
FloorGO offers only Sustainably Grown, Harvested & Manufactured Solid Hardwood Flooring from Northern US & Canada.
Hello, I am Dan and I have been in flooring and general construction business since 2001. For almost 20 years now, I’ve been installing and selling floors as well as building and remodeling homes, and I am also an engineer by education. So I can say that I’ve been on all 3 sides of a coin and know about flooring almost everything that there is to know about it, and there is quite a lot… And so I’m going to attempt to sum it all up in this post about Solid Hardwood Floors so it makes your project and life a bit easier.
Solid Hardwood Planks were the very first floors that people have invented centuries ago and some of them are still in use today, centuries later, preserved in the old European Castles and American Historic Homes. Obviously, the technology has changed since then quite dramatically, though the natural beauty of wood continues to fascinate & attract most people today.
Today’s Flooring Market offers 4 Imitations of Hardwood: Laminate, Vinyl Plank, Wood-look Porcelain and Engineered Flooring. The first 3 are photographic imitations and the engineered wood is a thin layer of hardwood glued to either plywood or fiberboard, and looks almost like real hardwood. All 4 require glue, resin and epoxy to put together, and the vinyl plank is made from plastics mixed with wood or stone particles.
So if you’re looking for the most Natural and Green product to put in your house or office, there is nothing better than Solid Hardwood, because it is made from Solid Wood and Nothing else but the Finish, which in today’s modern world is a Standard 7-Coats Aluminum Oxide, Cured with UV, which makes it Extremely Tough and Non-toxic.
The only Solid Hardwood products that I offer to my customers are made from sustainably grown and harvested lumber, where every tree that is cut is then replaced with several 3-5 year-old trees of the same kind, which were grown in special Nurseries for that purpose.
Engineered Wood floor may look like real hardwood but its grain will resemble the look of a plywood to a keen eye, because most “manufactured” wood floors are made with a Rotary-peel technique, which is used to make the plywood.
The Hardness in the Engineered Floor is also lost, dramatically sometimes, compared to Solid Hardwood, since the core of the product is now made of Birch or Pine Plywood which is much Softer by nature.
Layers of the Engineered floors will separate eventually with internal stresses down the road and spilled liquids overtime, while Real Solid Hardwood tends to forgive us the minor spills and fluctuations in temperatures & humidity, because there is no glue to fail and there is no difference in tension between soft & hard layers of wood, and therefore- no chance of separation!
The main reasons most people fall for hardwood floor Imitation are the cost of Solid Hardwood and its difficulty of installation, which is time-consuming, physically challenging and requires a certain level of expertise & experience to do right the first time. That’s where my Remodeling Blog and a YouTube Channel come handy because that’s where I share my 30 years of experience in Engineering, General Construction, Remodeling and Flooring, so YouDoIt! like a Pro!
Solid Hardwood Installation is the hardest of all floors and should be left to a professional, if your skill level is somewhat basic and you don’t have the right equipment to do the job right. You know you’re up to the task when your skills are that of an apprentice or higher and you have or able to get: compressor, hose, staple gun, table saw, finish nail gun, tapping block, scraper, undercut saw, broom ,vacuum, utility knife, stapler and miscellaneous tools like measuring tape, square, chalk line, glue gun, caulking gun, pull bar, flooring mallet, nail punch & a pencil, which you could learn more about right here.
Supplies You Need: Solid Hardwood Flooring, Aquabar Underlayment, Moldings, Glue, Flooring Staples, Underlayment Staples, Finish Nails, Caulking, Nail hole Filler & Siliconized Grout for Wood to Tile Transitions. Hardwood, which gets attached to the Sub-floor, in most cases will not require moldings, so a seamless transition with tile or carpet can be achieved.
Expansion Gap of ¼” must be allowed against ALL vertical surfaces like walls, cabinets, fireplaces, etc., and all other floors. This is true for solid hardwood flooring as well all other types.
All 4 edges or seams of every plank in good quality floors are protected by beveled, shaved, tapered or rolled edging, which sinks the seam below the foot traffic just enough to keep it from receiving constant wear and tear.
Smooth and Shiny floors seem to be a thing of a last Century, finally, with most people choosing textured, distressed and “hand-scraped” surfaces lately, and for a number of very good and compelling reasons. Smooth + Shiny = Perfect… Unless no-one lives in the house, or you’ve mastered hovering, it is impossible to maintain floors in perfect condition even for just 1 week! You’d see every little tiny scratch, dent, chip, spot, streak and what not, and you’d regret the moment you bought it. You’d have to spend your “best years” crawling on all 4, cleaning, buffing and doing stain touch-ups that will stand out from the rest of your perfect flooring, and your friends wouldn’t come over anymore cause you’d make them take their shoes off and say every time you open your door: “don’t f***kup my floor”, instead of “Hello!”…
Smooth & Shiny is Misery! You’ve been warned. 🙂 I advise to choose as much texture as you can tolerate, or what fits with the rest of the decor or your style nicely.
Light vs Dark. Unless you’re working on a man-cave, or doing bedrooms or a home theater, you should definitely consider Lighter floors because the Dark ones absorb all the Light and make any room or an area appear smaller. There is a reason why Builders paint everything in bright, white-like colors- it just makes a house appear larger.
Don’t try to match your floors to the cabinets, please! It would look like your flooring is climbing up the hills. Consider avoiding doing different colors in all the different areas- you would waste much more material that way, you’d have to have a bunch of T-moldings separating all of them, and it would look like a nervous breakdown at the end.
Unless you have stained wooden doors and casings, don’t match your “floor-board” to the floor by going with stain grade solid wood baseboards- costly and looks odd: “painted doors and wood going up the walls” combination is not very attractive at all.
Do remove existing baseboards and put them back over your new floors if they’re in decent shape or can be repaired, otherwise consider the new ones! I just can’t understand people investing tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes, to get new beautiful floors and then running Homedepot-style quarter-rounds all over the place (if you like it that way, it’s fine!), or put those ugly-old-ass beat-up bases back, to save hundreds… Unless you can make them look good and fresh again, don’t hesitate to get rid of them now, while you can easily, before painting and putting all your stuff back into the room.
Search around your town and you might find a local place like the Mastercraft we have in Reno Nevada, that sells base and trim for half the price of home improvement chains.
You can paint your wall-base before installing it, but you’d need to fill nail holes and touch up after you do, though. So instead, I prefer to paint them after putting them on, filling and sanding… Yes, I’d burn dollars on masking tape, but the end result is pitch-perfect, because you can see the touched-up areas, hundreds of them, when the light hits them at a “wrong” angle. When you paint the whole thing at once, it looks SO much better and professional. Fresh Water-based paint splashes can be easily removed with just a damp cloth so don’t sweat! I have a post about this!
Finish or Protective Coating. Modern, Hi-Tech, quality laminate and hardwood floors are coated with 7-9 layers of protective finish, based on aluminum/silver oxide, that go through a process of instant cure between the coats under UV exposure, which makes them both highly resistant to wear and scratching. It does not mean, however, that you can abuse them. Sand that is allowed to accumulate on your floors acts as a sandpaper and reduces longevity of the Finish exponentially! Furniture that is very heavy or is intended to be moved around, like chairs, stools, couches, etc., should be cushioned before use with peel-and-stick pads that come in a multitude of different sizes and shapes, and can be found at any home improvement related store. Heavy things like fridges should not be dragged or rolled mindlessly; exercise simple measures of care and your new laminate or wood floors might last for a lifetime. Some brands now have 50-year and even Lifetime Warranties.
Cleaning. Vacuum first on a hard surface setting or with a solid surface vacuum (better), to remove dust and sand. Mist laminate or hardwood floor cleaner with a spray bottle, then Swiffer-mop it before it dries. No steam cleaning required and should never be done, by the way. If you prefer to use water and vinegar like in the old days, just make sure you’re using purified water, because tap water contains chemicals and minerals that stay behind on the floor surface in a form of haze or foggy appearance, just like the very well-known buildup on glass shower doors. Hard water build-ups are practically impossible to remove without harming the finish of your brand-new, beautiful floor.
Acclimation. All laminate and wood floors must acclimate to the conditions of the house they will be installed in, to prevent an “Instant Shock” that is caused by rapid or quick exposure to different climate conditions: temperature and humidity. Instant Shock leads to warping, twisting, bowing and cracking. Laminate flooring must acclimate for a minimum of 48 hours prior to installation. The larger the total continuous area is, the more time is needed. Hardwood must acclimate for 10-30 days, depending on the footage and wood species, so if you decide to go with real wood, do ask whomever you’re getting it from and plan accordingly. Don’t mess with the thermostat- floors don’t care if you’re living in this house right now or not… bring the conditions to a normal operating setting at least 72 hours prior to delivery of your new flooring. Log-stack the boxes like in this picture here. Do not open the boxes and do not remove the plastic wrap- it should be perforated at the factory to allow for “breathing”. I have a Video about this!
Do not overstock in one spot- good laminate is as heavy as some hardwood, weighing 2-½ pounds/foot, so do make several piles in different areas and try not to exceed 500 square feet in one spot, and try to put them closer to the outside walls and not toward the middle of the room. Also try not to put too many boxes on your tile- it might crack.
Product sitting in the garage or in the shed is acclimating to the conditions of the garage or the shed… Is it being installed there? Yes? Ok, then! Some people put laminate in their RV’s… A friend who used to install for my company, even put it into his attic over the rafters so he can use all that dead space for storage and for the kids to play hide’n’seek. I’ll snap a pic sometimes…
So I think, I’ve got all the bases covered here pretty much, so let’s quit with all this chatter so I can show you how YouDoIt!
Video Coming Soon…
This is a Tapping Block you need for this job. $30 at my local supply shop…
This is my favorite table saw and it is a cool $100 less than at homedepo!
This is my favorite pull bar and I paid 50 bucks for it at a local flooring supply store…
If you’ve found my site useful and beneficial… you can thank me by shopping for your new toys on Amazon.com via any of these links. It does not matter what you end up getting there… other brands, thongs or high heels… just kidding… Amazon pays me referral fees that will keep this site up and running, and improving. We all shop on Amazon… I’m just starting with this… ya’know, I could use some help over-here.
Check out my newest Project – Mobile & Online Flooring Store – FloorGO: Smarter Shopping for Floors.