Ways To Choose Inexpensive Hardwood Flooring

How to Choose the Right Hardwood Flooring for You – 5 Tips

In addition to bringing warmth and beauty into a room, hardwood floors are also a great way to increase the value of your home. To choose the right material you’ll need to consider a few things ahead of time, such as how the room is typically used along with your family’s lifestyle. Also think about your priorities and whether you prefer ease of maintenance over aesthetics.

Taking a few moments to contemplate these considerations and prioritizing what’s really important to you will help you narrow down your focus to a short list of good candidates.

Floors take up a lot of visible space and it’s only natural to want them to look great. Just don’t forget the practical aspects when making your choice. The right blend of fashion and prudence should result in the right product for your home.

Don’t be afraid to think a bit “unconventionally” either — in other words, it’s easy to default to a wood floor for example, because wood is a great surface and has been around for centuries. But there are advantages to other materials like laminate too. Take your time, think about how you live and match a floor that’ll meet your criteria for performance and visual appeal.

  1. Construction

Hardwood floors can be installed on any level of your home and are available in multiple constructions to allow for installation flexibility over different subfloors and to mitigate moisture.

It’s important to take moisture into consideration when you’re installing hardwood floors since changes in moisture can create issues such as warping and gapping. To mitigate the effects of moisture, keep moisture levels within manufacturer recommendations and choose the right construction of hardwood flooring and installation materials. For an added layer of protection against moisture damage, install a moisture barrier.

There are three primary subfloors over which you can install:

  • Basement or concrete below ground level
  • Concrete at ground level
  • Plywood subfloor at or above ground level

There are four constructions of hardwood floors to address each primary type of subfloor.

  • 3/4-inch Solid
  • 5/16-inch Solid
  • Engineered
  • Locking

Discuss with your flooring provider the proper contruction for your application.

  1. Style Considerations


Finding the right type of wood is just a matter of personal taste and budget. There are domestic types like oak, maple, and cherry as well as exotic types like bamboo, brazilian cherry, and cork. Each type has a distinct grain pattern. For example, oak has a very distinguished grain whereas maple is very subtle. Exotics are very popular because of their distinct grain patterns and color.


Most domestic types of wood come in a variety of colors. Most exotics, on the other hand, are not stained because their natural color is distinctive. Many exotic types are photosensitive and need exposure to sunlight to achieve their desired rich color.


Widths can easily change the look of a floor since the wider the plank, the fewer the seams that can be seen in the floor. Wider widths also showcase the natural beauty of the wood, especially hickory and tigerwood.


There are many types of texture, including smooth, hand-scraped, distressed, and wirebrushed.

Additional Tip – You can buy prefinished hardwood floors that are already stained and finished with a coating that is stronger than most site-applied finishes.

  1. Hardness

Different types have different hardness ratings. The higher the number the harder the wood. Hardwood floors are a natural product and are susceptible to dents (not covered under manufacturer warranties unless specifically stated). If you expect your floors will take a lot of abuse, consider a type at least as hard as red oak.

  1. Defects

Make sure you know the defect rate of the wood you’re buying. If the rate is over 50%, you’ll need to buy almost twice as much than a wood that’s rated 95% defect-free. Wood with high defect rates can also create issues with installation.

  1. Grade

The wood’s appearance determines its grade. All grades can be equally defect free, but each grade offers a distinct look. Clear and select grades are the cleanest looks with minimal knots and color variations. Millwood and cabin grades will allow all the characteristics of the species to show, such as knots, streaks, and color variations.


High Quality Solid & Engineered Hardwood Flooring



Engineered flooring is constructed by joining layers of high-density fiberboard sandwiched between a solid wood top layer and a hardwood backing, giving it a uniform thickness and the advantage over hardwood when it comes to overall toughness.

Moisture Resistance

Because of its unique construction, engineered wood floors create a solid structure that does not respond to fluctuations in temperature or humidity, making them ideal for basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.


Many people prefer the aged look of a hardwood floor, though over time the surface becomes dull, scratched, and water stained. Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times, while engineered flooring may only need it once or twice in its lifetime.

Environmentally Friendly

Solid hardwood floors are milled out of a thick piece of lumber, putting a burden on our natural resources. Due to its layered construction, engineered flooring takes only ¼ the timber required to make the same number of floorboards.


If you’re on a budget, when it comes to installation, labor, and materials costs, again, engineered wood flooring will keep more money in your wallet.

Clean up

Use an angled broom or a microfiber mop head to collect pet hair and dust. Clean solid hardwood floors with hardwood-specific products. Use a mop occasionally for a deep clean, but avoid excessive moisture to ensure your solid hardwood doesn’t warp.


When To Choose Engineered Hardwood Floors

Wood floors add a touch of character to any home. Solid or engineered wood floors bring value and warmth into the interior of your home, and once installed, they can be very difficult to tell apart. In fact, even trained eyes have trouble distinguishing between a solid or engineered hardwood floor. Just because they look the same doesn’t mean they act the same, but most homeowners are confused when it comes to what to install in their own home. Luckily, it’s not so complicated. Engineered hardwood planks behave a bit differently than solid hardwood planks. They are also easier to install and generally less expensive than their solid counterpart.

Originally, engineered hardwood was developed to use in homes that were built on concrete slabs, but the technology has exponentially increased over the past 20 years to allow engineered planks to be used just about everywhere indoors.

Increased Stability of Engineered Hardwood

While not waterproof by any means, engineered hardwood was designed to withstand higher levels of moisture than solid wood planks. This makes them a great choice for homeowners who need wood floors over concrete, which has higher levels of moisture than most floors, or in a dry basement. Engineered hardwood also stands up better to heat than solid hardwood does. In extreme heat conditions, like being next to a furnace, solid hardwood can warp and buckle, but engineered hardwood will better keep its shape.

Increased heat and moisture resistance is due to the design of engineered hardwood. The substrate or under layer of the floor is made up of layered plywood , about 1-2 centimeters thick, stacked up in a criss-cross pattern to give the plank greater stability. On top of the layers lies a thin layer or veneer of the desired wood (oak, maple, walnut, etc…). If thick enough, this veneer can be refinished multiple times. While thicker veneers come with heftier price tags, they are worth the investment for homeowners looking for a lifelong flooring solution.

Importance Of Layer Thickness

When shopping for engineered hardwood, the layer thickness is just as important as how the top veneer looks. The different thicknesses exist so that engineered hardwood can be used without awkward transitions between rooms and flooring types, the most common being between kitchen or bathroom tiled floors and wooden flooring.

While developed for use over concrete slabs, thicker planks of engineered hardwood can be nailed down over a wood subfloor in the same way you would install a solid hardwood floor. Thinner layers are best when glued down, in the same way you would install laminate or vinyl wood floor. It’s a fairly straightforward DIY project for the motivated person with a lot of time.

The thinnest of all engineered hardwood layers incorporate an advanced tongue-and-groove system that allows for easiest installation. These floors are usually called floating floors and can be installed directly over a cork or foam underlayment, or even over an older and worn floor (as long as it’s flat).


Layers of Engineered Wood Flooring

The moisture resistance of engineered hardwood comes from the layered design. This flooring will be more or less resistant to moisture depending on the composition of those layers.

Wear/Veneer Layer:

Here’s where you find the veneer of genuine wood that gives your flooring its beautiful, unique look. The wood veneer can be almost any wood species you want.

The manufacturer will determine in their instructions if this layer is thick enough to refinish or not. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before sanding or refinishing engineered wood.

Core Layer:

This is the powerhouse of the plank. The artificial core increases the durability of your flooring compared to solid wood. Plywood and MDF cores offer some moisture resistance, especially if mixed with wax and other water-repellent materials. The layers of the plywood are oriented to create a lattice structure, which provides durability and stability.

Backing Layer:

This is the foundation of your floor. Before now, the backing layer was typically made of plywood, but new luxury engineered hardwood offers a premium pre-attached underlayment.

A pre-attached underlayment saves you some time and money on installation. Who doesn’t love that? Made of cork or foam, this underlayment will soften sounds and smooth out less-than-perfect subflooring. Please note: for any engineered hardwood product, you need to purchase a moisture barrier to install over the subfloor. This barrier will protect your flooring from any moisture that might seep up from below.


What Are the Advantages of Engineered Hardwood?

  • More affordable than solid wood: You get the high-quality visuals of real wood without that big price tag, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Score!
  • Every plank is unique: Since this is a real wood veneer, you’ll never find a repeating pattern or an unconvincing texture.
  • Moisture resistance: Thanks to the materials in the core of your flooring, your engineered wood could be moisture resistant.
  • Install it anywhere: High moisture resistance means you can install it in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and even basements! No grade level of your home is off-limits.

What Are the Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood?

  • Not solid hardwood: This is important to some people. No matter how great it looks, it’s not solid hardwood.
  • Difficult to DIY: While some engineered hardwood offers a simple click-lock design, other styles might need to be nailed or glued down. That will take some more time and effort.
  • Might not be able to refinish: Depending on what the manufacturer says, it might not be possible to refinish your engineered hardwood. While this cuts back on maintenance, you have less flexibility when it comes to redesigning.

Important Tips For New Hardwood Flooring

How to keep your hardwood floors looking fantastic

New hardwood floors — or restored old ones — can be a beautiful addition to your home. But they’re also a huge investment. You can make that investment last longer with some simple care tips. Here’s how to keep your hardwood floors looking great, long after the installation or renovation

Start with a clean sweep

You need to sweep hardwood once a day, but your typical broom isn’t going to cut it. Invest in a dust mop such as the O-Cedar Dual-Action Microfiber Sweeper (which is what I use) or something similar. These mops have wide heads that trap dust without making micro scratches in the floor’s finish.

Be sure to push the mop in one direction and swivel to turn. Don’t lift the head of the mop off the floor until you’re done. If you lift the mop prematurely, dust and lint will be released into the air and you’ll need to re-mop the area you just finished.  I learned this trick when I was a school janitor cleaning gymnasium floors way back in the day.

Keep it dry

This may be counter to what you’ve learned about housekeeping, but don’t use wet mops or steam mops on your wood floors. The moisture can damage the finish and may even harm the wood after a while, according to the National Wood Flooring Association.

Instead, use a cleaner that’s made for wood floors. Many of these products are formulated to work with the type of finish you have on your floors, so make sure you read the labels before you make a purchase.


Hardwood Floors: The Good, the Bad, and the Conclusion

They say that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Although we are strictly optimists, here at Trinity Surfaces, we also respect facts. And, the fact of the hardwood floors matter is: there are pros, cons, and horror stories to boot.

The upside of hardwood floors

Obviously, the beauty and allure of hardwood floors are the first things that come to mind. If hardwood is your thing, isn’t it difficult to imagine your taste being swayed in another direction? Even a vast list of cons doesn’t hold water when you see results like

Whether you’re a type-a, tidy person or someone who suffers from allergies, sticking with hardwood flooring allows for a cleaner space. Carpet is proven to harbor bacteria, dust, and other unwanted flooring stowaways.

The risks of hardwood floors

If you live somewhere with rough winters, hardwood flooring can be something you love six months out of the year but loathe the other half of the time. These types of floors can get extremely cold, and oftentimes, their beauty gets covered up with furniture or an area rug to prevent frostbitten feet!

Overall, hardwood floors = worth it

We put it to a vote, and sides with hardwood! When you weigh the pros and cons, there is a lot more to benefit from [than not] by having beauties



If you’re a commitment-phobic shopper, choosing interior flooring can feel like a never-ending process. While trends like linoleum and shag carpet (eek) went out of style as quickly as they came into it, hardwood flooring has—for centuries—been a failsafe choice for any and every aesthetic.


“I love warm lighter woods for the floor. I think this has been and continues to be a big trend in home design. My favorite wood species is a European White Oak; in a wide plank (above 9’’). It adds the perfect balance of organic texture and modern warmth to any space.


“We love a dark charcoal wide plank wood floor to ground a space and keep it looking rich. We custom blended three Minwax stains to get our favorite shade of charcoal without any red or orange hue’s coming through. The combo was Ebony and Dark Walnut with a touch of Country White.”


“I’ve watched clients and showrooms shift away from the cool gray finishes that were so popular for a couple years, and move towards wood tones that seem closer to their natural state. Personally and professionally, I’m also gravitating towards white oaks with yellow undertones, walnuts in a cool brown, and distressing only if authentic. Less is more. Except for chevron and herringbone…then the more the better.”


“Bright painted hardwood floors are warm, soft, and forgiving when you drop something, and you can repaint them whenever you feel like it! I personally don’t have a favorite color because I paint my hardwood floors at home every 2-3 years to experiment and keep things fresh. I prefer colored hardwood floors especially in the kitchen as they generally have large amounts of tile and stone in them already (backsplashes and counters) and metal materials (appliances, pots and pans). This is a great solution when you may be looking for a material to soften a utilitarian space that most people spend the majority of their time in.”


Should You Use Hardwood Floors in Kitchens and Bathrooms?

Hardwood floors offer a number of benefits. They are both incredibly beautiful, and incredibly easy to clean. They are a great option for allergy sufferers as carpets can aggravate symptoms. Even homeowners without allergies can enjoy the seamless look of hardwood flooring.However, water can easily damage or warp these types of materials. So, is it a good idea to install hardwood floors in kitchens and bathrooms? Freshome asked several experts, including designers, realtors and water damage restoration experts to weigh in on this topic.

Pros of hardwood floors

believes that hardwood floors make an excellent choice in the kitchen. “Hardwood flooring is stylish and sustainable, comes in a variety of natural colors, and doesn’t absorb dust or debris, making it easy to clean and maintain,” he says

“Wood also adds a comfortable, livable feel to a space due to its warmer color palettes and natural essence.”She admits that liquids are the enemy of wood floors.  “If left too long, the wood can swell or stain so it is important that spills are cleaned up quickly.”

She agrees with Davis that you should wipe up spills as soon as you notice them. “Small spills, noticed later, will not damage a wood floor; however larger spills, such as a leaking icemaker in a refrigerator, or leaking dishwasher, most likely will damage the floor, especially since leaks often appear under the appliance,”

Wood and water do not mix, so wood flooring cannot be 100% sealed –  it expands and contracts with heat, humidity and moisture.”As a general rule, she says, hardwood floors in the kitchen or bathroom only face problems from leaks. “If you live in a house with a wood frame, you would have a problem regardless of the damage to the floors in an situation like this,”



Whether its hardwood flooring, composite wood flooring, tile, or linoleum, your floors are more than just somewhere to put your feet. Check out these articles to see how to protect, maintain, restore, repair, and appreciate this beautiful and valuable part of your home.

Nobody would disagree: Cleaning aged or dirty surfaces isn’t a homeowner favorite. But with these floor cleaning tips, you can take an unpleasant but necessary task and turn it into a job well done.


If you have hardwood floors throughout the home but tile or laminate in the bathroom and kitchen, choose a cleaner that works as a maintenance solution for all of them. A mix of warm water and detergent does a good job of removing dirt on many kinds of flooring.


Some appliances do more harm than good. A soft mop won’t damage the floor, but abrasive tools like a non-hard-surface vacuum can


Cleaning your floors regularly helps to avoid damage from the dirt and debris that accumulates from dirty shoes and other everyday activities.

Choose The Best Hardwood Flooring For Your Floor

Tips For Choosing The Right Hardwood Floor Colour

One of the first things you want to keep in mind is the colour of your furniture and decorations. The reason behind this is because you do not want the colour of your wood floors to match the colour of your furniture and décor. Matching everything will make the room look cluttered. You should go for colours that contrast with each other.

Beautiful flooring is something desired by many and when you have a large open area, the main element of that area is going to be the flooring. You should consider deep colours for your open rooms as this will allow the character of the floor to shine through.

If you have a small room that is limited when it comes natural lighting or the room already has darker coloured walls, you should choose lighter coloured wood flooring. Flooring that is too dark will create a sense of doom and gloom within the room.

Scratches and dents in your hardwood flooring are likely to happen in high traffic areas and areas where pets and kids play. If you want to be able to conceal these imperfections easily, choose a natural colour wood floor that does not have a glossy finish. The scratches and dents will look like they belong and no one will know the difference.

When it comes time to choose your hardwood flooring colours, always ask for some wood samples and compare them in your home. You will be able to hold the samples up to your walls and compare it to the colour of your furniture. Without samples, you will not have an idea of how the flooring will look in your home and you may be surprised come installation.


How to Choose the Right Hardwood Floor

Types of Hardwood Floor

When considering how to choose a hardwood floor, first consider the two main types of hardwood — solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Both types of flooring have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on where your home is located and how much foot traffic your hardwood floor will be subject to.

How to Choose the Right Type of Hardwood Floor for You

When thinking of the how and why of choosing your hardwood floor, first think about your lifestyle and the degree of distress it will undergo. Is there the potential that your floor could be dented and scratched on a regular basis? Do you want the flexibility to change up the stain color at a moment’s notice? These are all questions you should be asking yourself.

Since solid hardwood can be sanded down repeatedly, this means dents and scratches can be easily sanded out, and there are no limitations to the number of times you can refinish your floors.

Engineered hardwood

While it is possible to sand down some engineered hardwood floors, it can be risky since their top layers are so thin. This thin layer is also easily dented and scratched. That said, engineered hardwood does have its benefits, especially in terms of versatility. The man-made interior helps prevent warping, making it a much better choice for damp areas like basements and laundry rooms. Engineered hardwood also tends to be slightly less expensive than solid wood, ranging from $3 to $10 per square foot. You can also save money on installation when it comes to engineered hardwood by choosing lock assembly or by floating your floor over a moisture barrier.


Tips For Choosing The Best Wood Floor Color For Your Home

Selecting the Material

Before you can choose the best wood floor color, you need to select the proper material. That includes its hardness. The Janka Hardness Scale rates wood’s hardness. As we explained in the blog, a wood’s hardness is determined by the amount of force needed to drive a .444 inch diameter steel ball to a depth of half the ball’s diameter. The amount of force this takes, measured in pounds-force (ibf), becomes that species’ hardness rating. In simple terms, the higher the rating, the harder the floor. Strand-woven bamboo and eucalyptus are at the top, rated 4,000-5,000. Douglas Fir is at the bottom with 690.

Choosing the Best Wood Floor Color

Now that you know a little more about the hardness factor, you can start considering your future floor color. The size of the room and how much sunlight it gets matter.

The Finishing Touches

After you select which material is best for your home, choosing the best wood floor color will be easier. But, using samples to gauge your choices will take time.Don’t rush the decision! Hardwood is an investment that will last decades. You also shouldn’t trust just anyone with your investment. You need a professional installer that specializes in hardwood.At District Floor Depot, we’re members of the National Wood Flooring Association. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard than other flooring specialists. From start to finish, your flooring needs will be in the best hands.


How to Choose the Right Hardwood Floor Color

Start With the Basics

There are two basic factors that go into what hardwood floors looks like, says Patrick Bewley, vice president of marketing at California-based flooring brand Duchateau. First is the grain, which is determined primarily by the species of wood. Then there’s the finish or stain, which creates the color. “Our advice is to start by selecting the color range that is most attractive to you—the one that speaks to you and the space,” he explains. “Then, you can look at various grain patterns and surface treatments within that range and find the one that you feel works best with the selected color and your other design elements.”

Undertones Matter

Just like with paint colors, it’s crucial to consider the undertone of your flooring. Most designers warn against anything wood finishes that skew very red or orange, which have a tendency to look dated. But that doesn’t mean that you should steer completely clear of warm undertones. In fact, says Bewley, one of the biggest trends in wood flooring right now is a warm take on of-the-moment gray. “These new tones mix the coolness of gray with warmer undertones, creating high livability along with an on-trend look,” he notes.

Think About Upkeep

You might love the look of a certain type of wood flooring now, but think about how it’ll hold up—and how much effort you’re willing to put into keeping it pristine. As a rule of thumb, says Bewley, “harder woods, such as European Oak, are a good choice for high-traffic and kid-centric spaces, whereas softer species, such as walnut, are better suited for lower-traffic areas.”


How to choose the best wood flooring


Should you choose narrow floorboards or broad ones? Small lengths – think parquet floors – or long ones? Narrower boards tend to look more traditional than broader ones, while parquet boards, once reserved for period properties, are a hot trend for contemporary spaces, too.


Hardwoods, such as oak, maple and cherry, are among the most durable species, making them ideal for long-lasting looks in a busy household. However, they also the more expensive wood flooring choices.


Most wood flooring will come factory pre-finished, which means its colour and lustre will be as you saw them in the showroom, and should be guaranteed to remain just so for some time. You can, however, buy unfinished boards for painting, varnishing or oiling yourself at home.


Solid wood flooring can be refinished repeatedly; engineered wood flooring can only be refinished a limited number of times, dependent on the thickness of the top veneer.