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Floor Options

 Options for flooring can be a bit overwhelming. If you ever need any consulting or have any questions, we are here to help.

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Options for hardwood flooring can be a bit overwhelming. At Choice Flooring Services, we hope you find this guide helpful.

Pros & Cons of Prefinished Hardwood 

Finished Edges

 Unfinished hardwood is typically straight cut; straight cut is available as a special order product in prefinished. It pays to keep in mind that the flooring is, after all, wood. The nature of the species is to expand and contract, and eventually there will be some gapping regardless of the finished edge.

Prefinished Hardwood is ready to move into and walk on the day it is installed, Finished wood is not - you have to deal with the drying time usually taking several days and dust everywhere.

Choice of Stains

o        Prefinished wood has a limited number of stains and colors available, while unfinished wood can be stained to your exact preference. Because you purchase the stain separately, you can choose the exact color, mix colors and control the depth of the color by applying multiple coats.

Finish

o        While unfinished hardwood is typically finished with either a water- or oil-based sealer, such as polyurethane, prefinished hardwood is impregnated with an acrylic finish, making it tougher and more durable than its unfinished counterpart.

Refinishing

o        While both finished and unfinished 3/4-inch hardwood can be refinished by sanding the wood several times, keep in mind that a prefinished hardwood floor will no longer have the acrylic seal and will lose some of its durability after the first refinish. Engineered prefinished hardwood flooring cannot be refinished due to the layered nature of the product.

o        The costs of unfinished and prefinished hardwood are typically about the same once stain and finish is added to the price of the unfinished floor. Additionally, the professional installation cost of unfinished hardwood is considerably higher due to the extensive labor involved in the multiple sanding, staining and sealing steps. Special-order prefinished hardwood flooring can be double the price per square foot than products carried in stock by the retailer.

 Pros of Laminate Flooring

  • Very Durable Surface. Unlike wood, which can dent, laminate flooring is almost impervious to dents and scratches. Laminate flooring has what's called in the industry a "wear layer" that protects the photographic layer underneath. Some manufacturers, DuPont in particular, give very generous 10+ year warranties on this wear layer.
  • No Bad Pieces. Unlike real hardwood, which comes with many imperfect pieces that need to be thrown out or re-engineered, there are no defects in laminate flooring.
  • Good for Moist Places. Laminate flooring can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and other places where you encounter "topical moisture" (as Mannington calls it). But it will not tolerate standing pools of water. However, let's be clear that neither solid hardwood nor engineered wood can tolerate standing water, either. For heavy moisture, you need a very impervious surface like vinyl or tile.
  • Easy to Clean. Just use a vacuum or broom. Mop with a slightly damp mop. No floor waxing needed.
  • Resists Stains. Laminate flooring's tough surface resists stains. And if you do get a stain, it's easy to clean off.

Laminate Flooring - Cons

  • Not Real Wood. Some people are bothered by this, some aren't. Technically, there is wood in laminate flooring--a wood chip base layer. But, for all intents and purposes, laminate flooring isn't wood.
  • Hard Under Foot. Foam underlayment helps dampen this feeling, but it's still there.
  • Slippery. Traditionally, laminate flooring has been very slippery. More currently, though, manufacturers have been developing slip-resistent wear layers.
  • Lower Resale Value. Good hardwood or engineered wood gives better value when selling your house.
  • Not Sandable or Refinishable. This is probably the biggest disadvantage of laminate flooring. If laminate flooring is heavily worn, deep scratched, or grooved, it cannot be sanded or refinished like solid hardwood: it must be replaced.

Pros and Cons of Engineered Wood

With layers upon layers of plywood, this type of flooring is more stable than real wood. As with hardwood floors, most homeowners wait too long to keep up the maintenance.

Pros: When installed over a subfloor, engineered products nearly match hardwood (quiet and solid). Engineered wood also looks more like hardwood than the laminate products. It is resistant to traffic, and available in many finishes.

Cons: Engineered wood has a slicker surface than hardwood, and when installed without a subfloor it has a hollow sound.

Finish: Hardwood or engineered wood can be pre-finished or finished on the job site.

We are servicing Fort Collins, Loveland, and all of Northern Colorado for all flooring purchasing and installation needs. Contact us today! Evan Peterson, President 970.412.8506