Choosing a floor can be confusing

Does deciding on new flooring make you feel like this?

Woman Screaming   Choosing a new floor can be so confusing.  Tile? Carpet? Laminate? Hardwood? Many factors go in to deciding which kind of floor to install.  Once you’ve made the decision to put in hardwood, then you’ve got even more decisions to make.  What kind of hardwood?  What color? Site finished or pre finished?  Solid or engineered? Here are a few tips when considering what kind of hardwood floor to install.

Pre-finished layersThe first thing you want to consider is where you will be installing the flooring.  Wood is affected by humidity.  It will expand and contract based on how much humidity is in the air.  If you are putting the flooring in an area that is below the grade, meaning it is below ground level, such as in a basement, your best choice is an engineered flooring.

Engineered flooring is still a hardwood floor.  It’s not laminate.  Engineered flooring is produced with three to five layers of hardwood.  Each layer is stacked in a cross grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure.  As a result, engineered flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity.  Once the layers are bonded together, a top layer is glued to them.  This top layer can be any species of wood, so you have the same options of type of wood, color and plank width as you do with solid flooring.

Other factors to consider when deciding between solid or engineered hardwood are what type of surface the hardwood will be installed on, and plank width.  If the installation will be on cement or gypcrete, or if you want a plank width of 5 inches or more, engineered hardwood will once again be your best choice.

Pr-finished colorsBased on the above criteria, if you have decided your best choice is not an engineered floor but a solid floor, there are a couple of other factors that will guide your decision.

Solid flooring is usually 3/4 inches in depth.  It is usually sold in plank widths between 2 ¼ inches up 5 inches.  Your floor will be more stable if you choose a plank width between 2 ¼ inches and 3 ¼ inches. The 4 and 5 inch width planks can be used, but the installation type will change in order to keep the floor stable.

Ok, so you’ve decided on whether the floor is engineered or solid.  Now how do you decide what type of hardwood to use?  Some types of wood are more durable than others, so the use that the floor will get is important to consider.  Do you have dogs or children?  Will there be a lot of heavy foot traffic, or will chairs be moving in and out frequently?  Yankee Classic Flooring uses the Janka scale of hardness found on the National Woods Flooring Association website (

chart_janka_001Woods such as Hickory, Maple and Oak are very durable and suitable for areas that will get a lot of wear.  American Cherry and Dark Walnut, while beautiful, are very soft and will scratch and dent easily.  Be careful where you use these.


Once you decide on what kind of wood, your next decision is color.  This is what sets the mood for your room.  Floor coloring plays an important role in establishing the overall feel and design of your room, so you need to think about what kind of mood you want created.

Dark Hardwood

Is it a formal setting, or an area of fun and activity? LIght hardwood

Traditionally, the darker the flooring, the more formal the space will feel.

The last decision you need to make is whether to have the floor site finished or pre-finished.  There are benefits to both.

A site finished floor will be:

  • Seamless – no beveled edges
  • Color can be custom. Yankee Classic Flooring works with you to get the right color applied to the floor.
  • The floor is sanded and finished on site.

A pre-finished floor will:

  • Have beveled edges
  • Be factory stained. This process gives normally hard to stain species a very smooth stain / finish
  • Faster installation without the sanding and finishing so there is less mess in your house.

So many choices, so many decisions.  Don’t let it overwhelm you.  Yankee Classic Flooring are experts in helping you make the perfect choice for your home.  We will bring samples out to your home, discuss what feel you are trying to achieve, and help you find the perfect floor for your home.  Consultations are always free, so give us a call today!



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