Much harder than you think?
Yes, because the options on the market are limitless! Here are some tips to help you make the right choice. Early in my career as a hardwood flooring salesperson, I believed I knew about wood from the world of custom solid wood furniture. I quickly realized that I didn’t know wood like the flooring specialists at Solu Flooring. In my past world, a brown was a brown, a beige a beige and a few essences to offer, mainly black walnut. But what was my surprise to embark on this world of hardwood flooring.
So if you’ve had any floor covering for several years that you don’t like, whether it’s carpet, vinyl or old wood that has yellowed over time, you can feel stuck, with no options, no matter how many rugs you have. you pile up on this floor which hurts your heart every day. But if you have floors that you love, walking on them will be a pleasure that you can repeat daily.
Keep in mind that the floor is the base on which all decorating decisions are made. Change your floors and you will change the character of your entire home. It’s that simple.
It’s no surprise that most people look to solid or engineered wood flooring on their home improvement or new build list. However, not all wood floors are created equal or will be appropriate for every living space.
Whether it is a renovation or a new construction, the choice of colors, walls, windows, kitchens, stairs and others must be taken into consideration when you want to change your floors. In the 80s and 90s, birch and maple in French Canada were very popular with very narrow planks, but over the years wide engineered floors have appeared on the North American market which offers even more. possibilities for the customer, especially when the house space is large and spacious.
Wood species and color
Let’s start with the essence of the wood and the color. We can choose a closed grain wood such as maple or birch or an open grain such as oak, hickory or ash. Maple and birch will give you less impact in the look being more uniform and oak, hickory and ash a more intense look with the grain of the wood. Also we can stay with the natural color of the wood or put a stain to change the color. Keep in mind that the same brown applied to maple or white oak will not have the same result because the initial color of the wood is not the same.
With our over 2000 colors developed over the years, we can certainly help you with the color choice from bleached to ebony black.
Wood grain and grade
The trend is for natural colors which leaves the grain of the wood showing and if you are having a hard time choosing a color you should always consider other woodwork you have in the house. If you already have a walnut kitchen, choosing walnut for the floor will be perfect.
Next, consider the grain of the wood and the grade. We offer a few grades such as: select and best, clean without color variation or knots, natural select with color variations and authentic with color variations and knots. Each grade offers a different appearance so take this into consideration in your overall look. Then, the cut of the wood, flat which will give a look with vague in the grain of the oak for example and a rift & quarter cut which will give a more linear look to the grain in the oak. In maple we can find pique and “curly”, rarer wood but which gives an extraordinary look and these rarer looks can be incorporated into an overall floor to have something unique that catches the eye. Perfect to impress the gallery. Remember, a beautiful floor will be a feast for the eyes for years to come.
Pre-varnished or oiled
Now the finish of your floors, also big decision because it will have repercussions for the years to come. Being a manufacturer, we recommend varnish or oiled because we do it directly in the factory and the finish is much more durable than on site.
For the varnish finish, we offer a UV cured polyurethane varnish, 7 coats with aluminum oxide and anti-yellowing. This means that your floor will have a nice finish keeping the natural color for the next 20-30 years. A super tough finish that looks a bit like the analogy of putting glass on a dining table. It protects but it will scratch over time. Then, when life has come to the end of the varnish, you will have to sand it on site and redo a varnished or oiled finish.
The advantage of buying a pre-varnished floor is that you can install it quickly often in 1 day depending on the number of square feet to be covered.
We also offer an oiled floor. The look is very different from the pre-varnished floor. Oiled floors give you protection but will need to be re-oiled every 5-7 years as the oil will have dried out over the years. That said, when you have graffiti on the floor, you can easily repair them with a little oil on the spot.
The choice between massive and engineering
Solid lumber says so, we offer 3/4 thick lumber straight cut from the log. An engineered floor is a one-layer construction of wood in your chosen species over a Russian birch plywood backing. The advantages of engineered flooring are numerous. Much more stable over the years. Can be used in basements and on concrete slabs therefore commercial and condo towers. It can be installed like a solid wood floor with nails and can also be glued.
Engineered flooring can be sanded at least 1-2 times in the life of the floor so the average customer is at least 75 years old with their floor before they need to completely change it.
The width of the boards
We talked a bit about board widths at the start of this article. We offer 2 ¼” to 5 ” hardwood because beyond this width, the wood will tend to work too much. And we offer 2 ¼” to 12″ in engineered flooring. Note that the wider your boards, the higher the price will be. When deciding on the width of the boards, take into consideration the dimensions of your rooms. The wider you are, the more appropriate wide planks will be.
You now understand why I said at the beginning that choosing your hardwood floor can be complex. The combinations of choices are incredibly wide, so I who thought I knew wood because I made solid wood furniture for a few years hadn’t prepared myself for the complexity that flooring can offer. Remember the goal is to create a look that will stand the test of time, not that you hate for the next 75 years.