From my previous post, Love It or List It? The Case for Decision-Making Renos, you’ll know that after nine long years with our berber carpet on our home’s second floor, it was time for a change.
However, settling on the perfect hardwood flooring – even when you’re simply matching one floor to the next – is not a quick and simple process. There are many variables that can influence the colour, type and price of the flooring you choose. Today, let’s go over the Top Five Factors When Selecting Hardwood Flooring.
1. Decide if You Are Ready to Make the Change. I know, you’ve heard that a hardwood or engineered hardwood floor is best for your home’s resale. I’m not disputing that! It is one of the top reasons we were enthusiastic to replace our old carpet.
There’s lots of price variety in hardwood at The Home Depot Canada or even new vinyl options – but depending on finances, your family life and even your décor preferences, remember, carpet can still be replaced with… carpet! You can find carpet in an array of textures and fibres to add a comfortable, decorative touch to any room. Because on a cold day, there’s nothing like getting out of bed and stepping onto plush, warm flooring!
But if you’re reading this and thinking, Nope! Let’s do this Lena. Hardwood flooring all the way! – here are four more factors to consider.
2. Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring. There are two main types of wood flooring: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. A popular misconception is that engineered hardwood isn’t made from real wood – it is, it’s just that engineered hardwood is manufactured differently. Here are the main points to consider when selecting between the two, courtesy of The Home Depot Canada’s Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide.
Solid hardwood is milled from solid lumber and works well in almost any room. This type of wood flooring can be sanded and refinished numerous times to maintain its natural beauty. Solid hardwood flooring is generally not recommended in below-grade locations like bathrooms or basements due to the potential for damage from ground moisture.
Engineered hardwood flooring (pictured below) combines a thin-but-tough real hardwood surface with underlying multiple layers of plywood or fireboard. Its laminated layers make it remarkably strong and more resistant to moisture. As a result, it can be used in below, on, or above grade locations, basements. Just like solid hardwood, engineered hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished for a longer life span.
3. The Wood’s Species and Finish. It *is* derived from a living organism, after all, so of course it has a species! Oak, hard maple and birch are common in most homes, but we know many homeowners who have used bamboo, pine, walnut and cherry flooring as well. And here’s the thing – ALL wood species are suitable for everyday use, so don’t let anyone tell you that one is infinitely better than another. It all comes down to the style of your room and your own personal preference; you’ll often see pine flooring in country-like homes, whereas red oak creates a more traditional look.
As for the finish, hardwood flooring is usually pre-finished with a polyurethane product to give it a rich shine and protective surface. The standard polyurethane finishes are semi-gloss or satin, or matte. The only advice I have for you? Matte finishes are more practical for pets, children and higher foot traffic, as it will show scratches and dents less, and will not dull quickly.
4. The Reputation of the Product and Manufacturer. If it’s being sold at The Home Depot Canada, you know you can trust the reputation of the product and manufacturer. However, customer reviews exist – practically everywhere online! – so it’s a very good idea to do a little research on the product you are investing in.
For our part, we selected Beaulieu Canada’s Inverness Oak Engineered Wood. Not only does it feature stunning antique visuals with an authentic handscraped finish; many online reviews verified that it was easy to install and maintain (tongue and groove method, micro-beveled edge). Plus, since it’s engineered, it is more dimensionally stable than solid wood and perfect for the traffic it will see from the kids on the second floor.
(This is an actual photo of the wood installed in my home! Stay tuned for my “before and after” post to read more about why we are deliriously happy with this particular product. In the meantime, bookmark this link for Beaulieu Canada Engineered Wood Flooring available at The Home Depot Canada.)
5. DIY or DIFM (Do It For Me)? When purchasing hardwood flooring, there is one major variable that can change your budget dramatically – whether you choose to install the flooring yourself or call in a professional to do the work. If you decide to hire an installer, you have two choices: you can call around for referrals and estimates, or you can enlist an experienced, highly skilled and licensed installer from The Home Depot Canada’s Installation Services. Here’s how they can help:
When you visit in-store, an associate will show you the possibilities and help you pick the perfect flooring option. If you bring along approximate measurements of the room or areas involved, you can also be provided with an estimate for the project. Then, an Installation Services Coordinator will arrange an in-home consultation at your convenience. At this time, an installer will visit you in your home to evaluate the area of your new hardwood flooring and take necessary measurements.
During the installation, the installer will remove existing flooring if necessary, move furniture if required, and install your new flooring. Once the installation is complete, your installer will meet with you to perform a final inspection and confirm your satisfaction.
Are you ready for a renovation? Next week, I’ll share my key learning points from our recent hardwood flooring makeover. If you’re thinking of replacing your flooring this year, stay tuned! I’ll help you navigate the process with ease.
This post is sponsored by The Home Depot Canada. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words.
Hardwood floors are so nice!! I would love to have hardwood, maybe some day I will!!
Thanks for all the info. on hardwood floors. We do have hardwood floors and they are so much easier to clean and maintain than the carpet. Besides,they also add value to your home.
When we built out home we put hardwood right through except the bathrooms and laundry room,We just the pass summer sanded and varnished it’s just like new.Wood is always a good investment.
Great info as we head into home reno decision making time
Love hardwoord floors! They definitely make a difference to the look of a home as long as you keep them away from pets and water! Do installers from Home Depot offer warranty on their work? Is it just on parts or is it labour too?
Thanks for asking! There is a one year warranty on the workmanship, but there are some exceptions for things like damage you cause yourself. I’d recommend that you read through the fine print with a Home Depot associate before you go ahead!
Home Depot outsources their contractors and I’ve heard horror stories about not honouring warranties
Love hardwood floors. Right now we just have laminate but would love to upgrade one day.
Lena does the price of the hardwood include delivery?
It’s best to check in-store as an associate can help you with questions pertaining to delivery and installation. :)
Hardwood floors looks great and add to the value of your house too! I love them because I have allergies and hardwood is so much better than carpets!
I love that we changed to hardwood floors in living room, dining room and hallways. Still need to do the stairs and get rid of the carpet on them.
I did my floors a few years ago, decided to stay local. Unfortunately the guy that HH uses here is a real piece of work and did a crappy job. HH couldn’t have cared less, they had my money. Have not bought anything from them again.
thank you for these tips, they came just at the right time as we are about to choose flooring for our family room!
I absolutely love the look of hardwood floors. We got a friend to install ours. Definitely a lot cheaper.
beautiful choice. we too have engineered hardwood and love it.
I love the colour of your hardwood floors Lena!
I wish my whole house had Hardwood flooring!
Thanks for all the info. on hardwood floors. We only have hardwood in our family room. How to match the rest of the house when we get rid of our carpets will be a huge problem.
Love me some hardwood.. had no idea there were the different types though. Hardwood is beautiful when its maintained properly.
I love my hardwood floors. So easy to keep clean.
Great tips Lena. This is our first time with hardwood. The only downfall for us is keeping the doggy nails short to avoid scratches ????
I have 3 more rooms to do will have to check them out
great post!! I was actually lucky enough to win a $1000 voucher towards flooring and decided our bedroom needed an from carpet to hardwood :) we have our flooring now sitting in the basement and hoping sometime this spring we can make the change over. So excited to see how much of a difference it makes to our very plain and boring bedroom
I would love some hardwood floor, we have laminate which I really like but hardwood looks so much nicer.
I love hardwood floor. Great factors to consider!
We’ve got a house with old hardwood in it – I’m almost afraid to have someone in to look at it! I’m just going to try and maintain it the best I can :)
I grew up with carpet, have always loved a soft plush carpet in my home.. but the look of hardwood is so rich that I would definitely like to have it in a few areas of my house. Your choice is beautiful!
Thank you for all the great information.
I do have some hardwood floors and am wishing for more throughout the house.They are so easy to clean and they look so beautiful!
really need to do my bedroom and computer rooms, right now all that’s on there is stained plywood
yeah it’s hardwood!
With the allergies in our household, hardwood floors have been the only way to go. I love the look of them anyway!
one day I will have hardwood floors
I love my hardwood floors even after 20+ years they are still beautiful !!
struggling to find posts to comment on
I’ve heard quite a bit about bamboo flooring whilst in Europe and from what I hear it’s more resistant to scratching than other woods. I’d love to have that throughout my apartment.
I am definitely a DIFM person, same with hubby. Thanks for such an informative post. We have been going back and forth about putting down hardwood.
We bought and installed good quality hardwood floors in our last home. Our current home has poor quality hardwood and I can see the difference.
I love the floor you had installed in your home. How does it wear when it comes to pets?
Durable and long lasting hardwood is what I look for
Thanks for the information I will keep for when I purchase my first home.