Are you a Do-It-Yourself enthusiast thinking about installing hardwood flooring? Your options might seem overwhelming. Really, those options just help ensure you can find something to suit your DIY project’s specific needs!
Pre-finished or Unfinished Hardwood Options
With easy to install pre-finished hardwood flooring, why would anyone want unfinished hardwood flooring? After all, you can install the wood already sanded and sealed. The job moves quickly. Well, you might choose unfinished flooring if you want to match the color of existing wood in your house. Also, if you want to add it to your kitchen, unfinished might work best. See, the finish will help seal the seams and prevent water from leaking between the boards.
Solid Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood?
Solid hardwood flooring can come in sizes between 5/8 to 3/4 inches in thickness. You can sand an refinish it repeatedly. The downside: Humidity affects this wood. So, don’t use it on below grade basements.
Engineered hardwood flooring consists of real wood glued to several layers another type of wood. For example, wood is glued to plywood creating a beautiful veneer. Installs can even be done with engineered hardwood flooring on below-grade basements. Usually, it can only be sanded and refinished one or twice, so be mindful of your long-term plans for the area.
Choosing a Wood Species
What species of wood works best for your project? Oak, maple and cherry are all readily available. Premium hardwood flooring made of bamboo (which is interestingly enough a grass and not a hardwood), ash, mahogany and walnut will cost more. Even more costly, teak, mesquite and jarrah are available for DIY enthusiasts with a taste for exotic wood species. Locate reclaimed hardwood on local barns, in salvage yards and sometimes on freecycle websites or social media groups. Keep in mind that if you want reclaimed hardwood, you may end up on a waiting list.