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the best wood flooring to install

Updated on April 26, 2012

hardwood flooring adds real value to any home

3 tips on choosing the best wood floors for your home

The options are endless. There are 100's of wood species to choose from. Add to that the fact that there are different construction options as well. You can intall engineered flooring, sanded flooring, pre-finished flooring, etc. All these options can drive you nuts, so let's look at the big picture: finding the balance of cost, durability, and ease of installation.

1. Understand the durability of the flooring you are looking at. The wood you choose needs to last longer than a few years. You want beauty for today and tomorrow. Below is a link to the scale showing the strength of many popular and exotic woods.

2. Understand how difficult the install will be. Laminate and engineered hardwoods are easy to install, but don't have the life expectancy of real hardwood flooring. Hardwood requires nail down installation, but can be sanded many times over the life of the floor. The question is: How often do you want to replace the floor.

3. Find a flooring option that works with your budget. If you want wood flooring for less than $4/sf, you will be disappointed. Engineered is anywhere from $3-10/sf before the pad, prep, etc. Real wood flooring can come as low as $2/sf, but once you factor in stain, poly, and finishing touches, the price will double easily. If you want cheap, laminate is your best option. Exotic hardwoods can cost as much as $10-25/sf. Exotic beauty always costs alot of money. Need tools? be sure to check out 50 tools every handyman needs.


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