Natural beauty and lasting durability. The enduring appeal of hardwood flooring is in its timeless look and the value it adds to your home. Armstrong offers the most choices in styles, finishes, and installation options to fit your taste, lifestyle, and budget.
But with so many choices, there’s a lot to think about beyond choosing the right color and wood species. Armstrong takes the guesswork out of the selection process by explaining the important considerations you need to know before buying. Your local Great American Floors store can help in finding the perfect match for you and your home.
Is Hardwood Flooring the Right Choice?
A hardwood floor is beautiful in its own right. The richness and character of natural wood grain enhances just about every décor and design style. Still, these floors are an investment. By knowing the answer to why buy a hardwood floor, you’ll feel confident that you made the right choice.
For example, hardwood floors can last for generations, so they don’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options. They’re non-allergenic, a big plus for homeowners with allergies or pets. Hardwood also offers the environmental benefit of being the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. And, of course, hardwood flooring increases the value of your home and boosts its appeal when it comes time to sell.
Solid wood flooring is 100% hardwood milled from lumber. As a natural material, hardwood reacts to changes in its setting, like moisture and extreme temperatures, which cause solid wood to shrink or expand. All solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished if needed over the years. Solid hardwood is not recommended for installation below ground level or in bathrooms.
Engineered wood flooring is built up of layers of wood. It consists of three to ten layers, called plies, which are glued together. This multi-ply structure gives engineered wood superior stability, greater than solid wood, which reduces concerns associated with shrinking and expanding when temperature and humidity change. Engineered wood can be installed below ground level making it a great choice for finished basements.
Pre-Finished vs. Site-Finished Hardwood
All Armstrong hardwood flooring comes pre-finished for a no fuss, no muss installation. There’s no dust from sanding, no fumes from chemicals, no waiting for the finish to dry. These floors are warranted to last longer than site-finished floors—typically 5 to 35 years, for residential use, versus 3 to 5 years for site-finished hardwood. This is because factory applied urethane finishes are much tougher and longer lasting than site-applied finishes. If you like the look of site-finished flooring, but want the durability of pre-finished flooring, choose a product with a square end and edge.
Kids, Pets, and Durability
Hardwood flooring is typically durable for most areas in your home – even high-traffic areas. But keep in mind that hardwood is a natural product. Things like athletic shoes with cleats, a stone in a boot tread, and pet claws can leave scratches or marks if you’re not careful. For rooms where hardwood flooring is installed, use area rugs and ask friends and family to leave their athletic shoes or boots at the door. Where your pets are concerned, it’s a good idea to get their nails trimmed regularly.