< Back to Blog

Five FAQs When Installing a Hardwood Floor

FAQ Wood Floor Installation photoAt SVB Wood Floors, we get lots of great questions from customers who are considering installing a hardwood floor in their home or business. If you’re thinking of enhancing your home with wood floors, these answers will help you decide which kind and learn about some of the other options you may not have even thought about yet. Here are the top five Frequently Asked Questions we hear:

What are the main advantages of hardwood floors?

Value – Hardwood floors may be a little more expensive to install initially, when compared with other flooring options, but no other floor covering lasts as long. Hardwood floors last for decades and can be refinished several times in their lifetime.

Low Maintenance – Hardwood floors are easy to take care of. Today’s stains and finishes simply require regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product.

Sustainability – Hardwood floors are renewable and recyclable. Recent trends include “new” wood floors that are actually made from recycled wood from old ships, barns, and other structures. Wood can carry a history with it that adds character and value.

Allergy Friendly – Because hardwood floors don’t collect dust or other small particles, they are much better for allergy sufferers.

What’s the difference between solid hardwood floors and engineered hardwood floors?

Solid hardwood floors are made from a solid piece of wood from top to bottom and end to end. Engineered hardwood floors are created by stacking multiple layers of wood together in various directions and binding them into a solid form with heat and pressure. A thinner hardwood veneer is glued on top. Both wear evenly (since both are solid hardwood on top) and today’s engineered planks have a deep enough wear layer to allow them to be sanded and refinished many times like a solid hardwood floor. The main advantage to engineered hardwood is its strength and stability especially when exposed to moisture. Solid wood will warp along natural grain lines when exposed to moisture. Engineered wood does not contain natural lines and therefore won’t be prone to warping or bending. Engineered hardwood floors (both unfinished and prefinished) are best used in lower levels and areas where moisture or humidity might be present.

Which is better to install – prefinished or unfinished wood floors?

Both have advantages. It depends on what you’re looking for. Pre-finished has a more durable finish because it is created in a controlled environment in a factory. You can also avoid fumes, mess, and a longer installation time with pre-finished wood floors. It will also save you a little on installation costs because it will take less time. Pre-finished floors will also be more tolerant to humidity changes. Unfinished may work best if you are repairing or expanding an existing wood floor and want to “lace-in” or seamlessly match the existing floor or if you want to match cabinets or trim. Also, if you are looking for an unusual wood species or width, it may not come pre-finished. You may not like the look of the beveled edges that accompany pre-finished planks, so unfinished would be best for you.

How long will my wood floor last?

The NWFA (National Wood Floor Association) says – “Simple care and maintenance keeps wood floors looking beautiful for a lifetime. Instead of laying an entirely new floor when the original is worn, wood floors can be rejuvenated with sanding and refinishing. When done by a wood flooring professional, wood floors need only to be re-finished every 10 – 15 years or 10 – 12 times during a floor’s life.” –

Is a wood floor durable enough for a kitchen, bathroom?

Yes. The finishes on most new wood floors stand up to heavy traffic, making wood flooring fine for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas. These finishes resist wear and stains better than other finishes and require no stripping, no buffing, and no waxing. Of course, if water is allowed to sit for long periods of time, it could cause damage. But, with proper care, there should be no problems.

If you’re considering having a wood floor installed in your home, give us a call. The wood floor installation professionals at SVB Wood Floors will be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you might have. We’re here to help, so give us a call!