Buying a hardwood floor for the first time can seem daunting from the moment you start looking. You have to find a contractor, decide what kind of floor you like, which of floor is right for the room it's going in, and how all of that will work into your budget. Plus, there are a plethora of new terms that make the whole process even more confusing!
Nobody wants to make a mistake for so large a decision, but how can you make a good choice when you're new to this operation? It is that very question that we want to help remedy. Here are a few key terms and ideas that you should know before ever sitting down with your contractor:
1) Subfloor - This is the foundation that your new floor will sit on for as long as you have it. There are three different kinds of subfloor: concrete slabs, particle wood, and plywood. Ask about the pros and cons of each and which would be best for your home.
2) Engineered Flooring - Floorboards that are engineered are made of a layer of wood that is attached to a plywood backing. Engineered flooring is typically less expensive than traditional wood flooring, but quality can be sacrificed if you don't know what to look for. Some manufacturers will cut costs by topping the boards off with an extremely thin layer of wood. If you opt for this type of floor, make sure the boards have a 4 millimeter wear surface (the thickness of the top layer) and that the thickness of each board in total is about 5/8 inches.
3) Solid Flooring - Beautiful and of a higher quality, solid flooring is exactly what it sounds like: flooring made up of solid wood boards. You can't get much better than that!
4) Square Footage - This is definitely a necessary piece of information you'll need, so listen close! The square footage is the measurement of the area of a room. You can find out how much flooring you will need to buy by figuring out the square footage. To do so, measure the length of your room in feet, then do the same for the width of the room. Multiply these two numbers together to figure out the square footage.
Example: You have a room that is 27 ft. long and 20 ft. wide (this is a very large room, but bear with us), so you would calculate 27 ft x 20 ft. The answer (540 ft.) would be the square footage you would share with your contractor.
5) Waste Percentage - This is the amount of excess floorboard that will need to be cut in order for the contractor's floorboards to fit in your room. Typically this number doesn't surpass 15%, which is on the higher end. If your room is an odd shape that doesn't fit in the category of rectangle or square, you can expect a higher waste percentage.
If you have questions about any of these words or would like to know more about buying a floor for the first time, contact us at 616-826-6668 or leave your question in the comment section below.
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