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How do I Choose the Best Prefinished Hardwood Flooring?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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There are various types of prefinished hardwood flooring, and choosing the right kind will give you a better chance at enjoying your floors for longer. Although most flooring options today are made to be long lasting and durable, some are more suited to certain situations that others. You may also choose your floors based on personal preference and individual style tastes.

While you are browsing at your local retailer, keep several things in mind when looking for your ideal prefinished hardwood flooring. If you have children in the home, keep that in mind while making a decision. The age of your children also makes a difference, because kids of varying ages may create different challenges than another age group. For example, a home with toddlers may require flooring that is more stain resistant and easier to clean, while a home with young teens may need a flooring option that is more scratch resistant. Of course, children do get older, so choosing a floor that lasts is the primary goal if you do not expect to sell your home.

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You may also choose your flooring based on the color and type of wood. If you live in an area with bright red clay, you may choose a floor color that is less likely to show every speck of dirt brought into the home. Consider the colors of any wood already existing in your home as well, such as that used in ceilings, walls, and trim. Make sure all colors coordinate or contrast nicely if you can’t find an exact match.

Another thing you may wish to consider when choosing prefinished hardwood flooring is the ease in which it can be installed. You may want to put the floors down yourself, in which case you may need an option that easily glues down or snaps together without as much technical skill being needed. If you don’t have the skill or desire to lay your own flooring, consider buying from a retailer who offers free or reduced priced installation.

The price of your prefinished hardwood flooring is also an important factor. Although you want quality floors that will last and hold up against wear and tear, you also may need to stick to a specific budget. Figure out how much you can reasonably afford, and explore your options within that price range. If you don’t find anything for the right price that is also of the quality you desire, ask your local retailer about payment options.

Find the right prefinished hardwood flooring by visiting local retailers. Some good places to start are flooring specialty chains as well as home improvement stores. Be sure to check with more than one retailer before making a decision to ensure you are getting the best deal with the best installation pricing. You can also ask when certain items may go on sale or when special promotions may be offered, and wait to pursue your project at that time.

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Discuss this Article

mobilian33
Post 3

This article mentions the different ways prefinished wood flooring can be installed. Speaking from experience, if you don't have experience putting down flooring then find a floor that snaps together. This is going to be your best bet. Some of the other installation methods can get complicated and frustrating.

Drentel
Post 2

@Feryll - There is what is known as cabin grade wood flooring. This is the wood flooring that has the imperfections you were talking about. Anyone who has ever worked in a factory or in a mill knows that not all of the items you are making are going to come out the way they are supposed to every time.

Cabin grade wood may have a defect in the color or some other type of defect, but whatever the defect the manufacturers can't sell the products as first quality, which is what the stores want. Since the stores won't carry this second rate flooring, you will have to go through a distributor, but you can get it for a lower price than first quality engineered wood flooring.

Feryll
Post 1

One of the aspects of wood flooring that I like is that the wood planks are not perfect. At least the real wood floors you see in old houses have a few nicks and scratches, and the color isn't always consistent. This is what I think of when I think of wood floors.

The new finished wood flooring you buy from the store is going to be expensive. I would be willing to use imperfect prefinished hardwood flooring if I could get it at a significantly lower price.

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