What is your favorite type of hardwood flooring and why?

  • January 23 2009 - Portland
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Answers (25)

Profile picture for BungalowMo
agentblu15 said "I like whichever kind of hardwood flooring happens to be covered by carpet at the time.

Seriously, hardwood makes everyone go "oooh" and "aaah", and it looks nice as a showpiece, but for a HOME that you actually plan to LIVE in, it's not comfortable, and it's not practical for most rooms.  A nice comfortable carpet gets my vote for livign areas, and a smooth, durable hard surface for kitchens and baths."

Hmmm.... I don't see where carpet is more "livable" than hardwood.  My home is no "showpiece".  It is truly lived in and has been for a very very long time.  Where is your data that proves it is not practical for most rooms?   Really...I'd like to know where this educated opinion originated from.

I have yet to see a carpet that made me go "OOOHHH" even 10 years later, let alone 90! 

That's my data...the proof is in the pudding.
  • November 27 2009
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Profile picture for Justin Kennedy
years ago, I did floors in lake sherwood, a huge home, 13,000 sqft.
we layed 5" plank walnut, t and g, unfinished, 3/4 inch solid. once we sanded and finished was great.
  • August 29 2009
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nvchaz:  Rent the floor nailer.  It maintains a tight fit from plank to plank as you strike the nailer with a hammer during installation, which brings the boards together before the nail is driven in.

Other advice:  Use straps!  Cheap to come by online.  For instance, see HERE.

Glue down bamboo is beautiful, I just installed it in a kitchen/diningroom (used a moisture barrier first!).  Not sure about it's durability - seems to dent a bit easier than hardwoods.  Zebrawood is incredible but expensive.  Braz cherry as Debbie G. suggests is beautiful also.
  • August 24 2009
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I have 2 personal favorites.  First, a Brazilian Cherry w/ Royal stain - it is breathtaking and different from any other Braz Cherry I've seen esp after it's aged for 1-2 yrs.  It's less orange and more burgundy/rich looking.  I buy it from Ark and it's available in solid and engineered, and it's reasonably priced.

My other favorite is Timborana because it shimmers and looks so exotic and unusual.  I have to find another place where I can get that in solid.

Lately, I've also become a big fan of Kempas cherry and stained Kempas Cherry.  And, I've installed a lot of bamboo floors, too.

www.westchester.floorcoveringsinternational.com
  • August 16 2009
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Prefinished and true hardwood.  It is easier to install, looks devine and can be refinished in the future.
  • August 12 2009
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Profile picture for agentblu15
I like whichever kind of hardwood flooring happens to be covered by carpet at the time.

Seriously, hardwood makes everyone go "oooh" and "aaah", and it looks nice as a showpiece, but for a HOME that you actually plan to LIVE in, it's not comfortable, and it's not practical for most rooms.  A nice comfortable carpet gets my vote for livign areas, and a smooth, durable hard surface for kitchens and baths.

Someone above said to treat your floors like your coffee table-- but I don't think many people plan to walk/sit/play on their coffee table.  I say treat your floors like floors-- choose something durable, cost-effective, and as low maintenance as possible, then walk all over them without a second thought.
  • August 11 2009
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I personally like oak.
But most of my clients are asking for Cherry & Bamboo now days.

  • August 11 2009
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Profile picture for Douglas Leone
Oak is best! Prefinished can offer a nice 15 year warranty but you have beveled edges between boards. I have used maple and it looks geat however the boards shrink a lot in the winter.
Doug Leone
  • August 11 2009
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Profile picture for FlooredAgain
Hardness has nothing to do with how scratch resistant a wood floor is. There is whats called a Janka Scale, which is an independant test done to all wood species which measures a .444" steel ball bearings ability to penetrate half way into the hardwood flooring when dropped from specific heights. There's a calculation that's done to give it a number...the higher the number, the harder the floor.  Tropical species of wood flooring consistantly is harder than any northern species such as our red and white oaks and maples. Scratching happens to all floors, from abrasion from foot and pet traffic. You are scratching the sacraficial wear layer of polyurethane on top, not the wood. Periodic screena dnrecoating can be done depending on how much it matters to you. That will cost around $2.00-2.50 sq. ft.  To refinish a floor, where it's sanded down to the bare wood, should only be done when the wood is gouged or damaged and that will cost up to $5.00 sq. ft.  Treat your floors like your coffee table. Sometimes, families would love hardwood floors when a high pressure laminate floor, such as Wilsonart, should be used.
  • August 10 2009
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg
100 year old oak gets my vote as well.  There truly is nothing like it!
  • May 26 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I have heard mixed reviews on bamboo flooring, so I hope you'll come back and tell everyone how it's working for you. Everyone that I have talked to that has bamboo loved it, but some have had problems with delamination in heavy traffic areas so I am unsure how they hold up over the long term.
  • May 26 2009
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Profile picture for hisheirs
I've just installed 1000 Sq of Sommerset Hickory 3/4 T&G. I love it. It is the hardest wood available. If you appreciatte the "look" of wood, this is a nice option. Strong grains in the lighter pieces, and plenty of knots and mineral stains. It's absolutly beautiful
  • May 26 2009
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I like maple the best too but I have an lower end house. I don't want to get carried away and over-improve the house. I think I can get Oak for about $4.50/sq ft. Even that may be too much for this house. The cheapest maple I've seen is $6.95/sqft.
  • May 24 2009
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Profile picture for westridge88
maple is god for wood flooring..dark to light its harder than oak and looks better (less 1970;s)  I am trying carbonized bamboo on an investment home...2.40 sqft
  • May 24 2009
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I have 3 nasty dogs. I've decided on Oak.

Any difference between Red and White Oak?

I'm a pretty handy guy and can do just about anything in the house. I've never installed hardwood flooring before and I will be using pre-finished 3/4" strips, probably Bruce. I plan to do it myself. Any comments?

Also, instead of renting a floor nailer, can I do it with my pnuematic finish nailer and some sturdy knee pads?
  • May 23 2009
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We recently installed, sanded and finished 1750 sq. ft. of #1 common red oak flooring. We bought our oak at Cascade Pacific Flooring in Portland, Oregon. We have installed oak, maple and clear vertical grain fir flooring over the years. The oak flooring holds up very well.
  • May 23 2009
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I think bamboo is too soft, dogs will destroy it.  Oak wares great.  I like the 5" hand scraped, Cherry, hickory flavors.  These are recommended for engineered for our are because of the water problems we have. Oak is the safest. 
  • March 19 2009
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Profile picture for BungalowMo
I have (nearly) 100 year old oak downstairs in LR, DR, kitchen and office.  Same age pine upstairs. 

I love both and would never replace.  It's irreplaceable.
  • March 18 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I have 2 1/4" oak. it is a bit boring, but it wears like iron. I would take them again due to their trouble free nature alone. My neighbor has hickory floors and she loves them, but I don't know how they will wear over time. They are very pretty.
  • February 10 2009
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Profile picture for Jon Petersen

It is glued to my foundation, which is a slab on grade. There is no basement or crawl space. I dont believe that it is a ground water issue, as I see no signs of moisture anywhere else. It is in the kitchen, which might be from the dishwasher, but I think that I spread too much glue to work with in that area when I set it, and it wasnt tacky enough. It seems to not be bonded well.

  I dont know if I pull it up only in this location if I can put it back without going all the way to the wall, because it is tounge and groove.

  • February 10 2009
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I have been told you refinish bamboo like any other floor but I have yet to try it.  As far as cupping that sounds like a water issue.  Did you glue it to a basement slab?
  • January 25 2009
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Profile picture for Jon Petersen
I have a glue down solid bamboo and I like the look, but it seems that after 6 months, it has started to cup. Could this be fixed by refinishing?
  • January 25 2009
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I've seen plenty of tongue and groove floors that couldn't be resanded 'endlessly' because the top tongue had been sanded through to the groove.  But you can certainly refinish them multiple times unlike most engineered floors.
  • January 24 2009
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3/4" T&G Oak, I did my whole down stairs and the steps and landings 6 years ago.  Still looks great and will out last the life of this home.  Can be refinished endlessly.  Dogs, parties, you name it, nothing has phased this floor.
  • January 24 2009
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I have been installing hardwood floors for some time now. In my own home I have 900 sq. ft of  ( Mirage 5" red oak at the time of installation it was supposed to have the hardest finish. My 90lb dogs nails have really done a job on the finish. Since then I have installed 1880 sq. ft of (BellaWood 3 1/4" Cherry in the other rooms of the house. The damage has been minimal. According to BellaWood charts the hardness finish is almost double that of Mirage. I guess only time will tell.
   BellaWood and Mirage both have a slight micro bevel and are very easy to install. BellaWood comes with a 50 year warranty on the finish.
  In my opinion standard stick flooring installs o.k. also, yet the finish does not last unless  3 to 5 coats of a WATER based finish are applied.
most customers don't like the delay due to odor and time out of their home.
  • January 24 2009
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