Shop Hardwood Flooring Types and DealsA guide on choosing solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring, the costs involved, the best retailers, and strategies to find excellent deals.
If you are planning to have flooring installed in your home, you may be considering hardwood flooring as an option. Hardwood flooring is an elegant addition to any house. It is often made up of a popular hardwood species such as bamboo, birch, cherry, maple, oak, or walnut each providing a different color and unique pattern. But hardwood flooring is expensive and making a mistake in your choice could come back to haunt. Here is a quick reference so you have the information you need to make an informed choice.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
There are two main types of hardwood flooring: solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood flooring planks are created from a solid piece of milled wood. In this way, it provides a uniform grade and grain for your floor. In light of a timeless décor choice, solid hardwood flooring additionally offers improved and increased value to your home. Since solid wood floors can last up to a century with the proper maintenance and care, they are an attractive point for potential buyers in the future or they can leverage superior refinancing on your home.
On the other hand, engineered hardwood is just as beautiful as solid hardwood, as it looks remarkably similar. However, it is composed of layers of plywood with a top layer of true hardwood. Although they do not last as long as solid hardwood planks, you still receive up to 30 years. The major advantage of engineered hardwood flooring is its cost. It is much cheaper to purchase and install for a similar attractive appearance.
Hardwood Floor Installation Costs
When you are planning to install hardwood flooring in your home, be aware of all the costs that are involved. Namely, the overall price of your flooring depends on many factors including type, species, grain, and grade of the hardwood as well as the total square footage. Likewise, you need to add the cost of professional installers who usually charge by the square foot. It is important to keep in mind that they may charge extra or include the cost of old floor removal and trim installation.
Starting costs for solid hardwood flooring are around $3.80 per square foot while renovators' lowest rates will be around $4.00 per square foot. Comparatively, engineered hardwood starts at around $3.50 per square foot and renovators start their fees at $2.40 per square foot. Again, it is advantageous to note that these prices for the materials as well as the installation increase depending on various factors. Currently, the average installation rate per square foot is $6 to $12 while high end renovators may charge up to $25.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
There are two major decisions to make when looking at the different types of hardwood flooring. Your first choice pertains to whether you prefer solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring. The main differences are their composition, lifespan, refinishing opportunity, cost, and installation.
Solid hardwood flooring is composed of one plank of hardwood whereas engineered hardwood is mainly composed of plywood with a top layer of true hardwood. Provided that, you receive a longer lifespan and many more refinishing and sanding opportunities from solid hardwood. As for cost and installation, solid hardwood is more expensive for both the materials and the work. It is installed by nailing the planks into a plywood subfloor. Most engineered wood floors are installed using a click-and-lock system and this also floats over a subfloor. In terms of appearance, they are relatively similar with minimal noticeable difference.
Your second choice involves deciding upon a species of hardwood for either your solid hardwood flooring or the top layer of your engineered wood flooring. Although there are many varieties, the most popular are bamboo, birch, cherry, maple, pine, oak, and walnut. Each species should be analyzed for its color, durability against traffic, ideal humidity, and cost. All things considered, most people opt for maple, red oak, or white oak as they are the most durable to high foot traffic, least likely to stain or scratch, and add brightness to rooms.
Stores that Sell Hardwood Flooring
You can easily find a hardwood flooring selection at your local flooring stores, or at major retailers across the United States. Large, and affordable, selections are typically found in the following reputable locations:
- BuildDirect: A fast-growing online retailer in North America, offering a wide range of flooring options starting at $2.50 per square foot.
- Carpet One: Carpet One is a popular carpeting store all across the United States, although they also have their own premium-quality hardwood flooring options.
- Lowe’s: Lowe’s provides all the materials you need to accomplish your flooring needs, as well as offering installation services. They carry a number of high-quality name brands for hardwood flooring options.
- Floor & Decor: If you are looking for affordable prices for hardwood flooring, Floor & Decor may be a perfect opportunity to purchase at wholesale rates.
- Home Depot: A one-stop shop for all the materials you will need to complete an exceptional installation, Home Depot will also provide installation services.
- Wayfair: If you are looking for an online retailer, you may wish to take a look at Wayfair’s nearly 700 options, starting at $3.39 per square foot. You can even order samples for low costs.
How to Find Deals on Hardwood Floors
Hardwood flooring, whether you opt for solid or engineered, can become expensive quickly especially if you are covering a large square footage. Therefore, it can be advantageous to be familiar with how to find deals or discounts. In general, it can be wise to shop:
- Wholesale Prices: Floor & Decor is one reputable retailer that offers flooring at wholesale prices.
- Off-Season: The best time to find reduced pricing is in the wintertime, when people are not looking at flooring.
- Holiday Sales: Large retailers and big box stores will generally mark everything down during holiday blow-out sales such as Black Friday, Boxing Day, or Memorial Day.