Type of Flooring
This choice has to do with where your new wood floor will be installed, what type of subfloor is present, what kind of existing floor is present, and some other factors. Each choice has advantages and limitations, as well as a variety of price points.
Species of Wood
Choosing a species of wood is mainly determined by what look you want and can also be influenced by the use/wear that is expected from the floor. You can choose from the widely available domestic oak floors, reclaimed antique flooring, exotic wood species such as walnut, cherry, etc., or other domestic like hickory and maple.
Grade of Wood
This choice in the grade of wood is also determined by what look you want. Each option generally has a different price point as well.
Milling of Wood
Again, this choice is mainly determined by what look you want. However, a rift/quarter-sawn floor will tend to be more stable (a good option when using wider planks). Each choice generally has a different price point as well.
Color & Finish
- Standard Stain
- Custom Stain
Click the link below to see all the standard stain options. Howdyshell Flooring can mix these stains to provide you with a custom mix if necessary.
Prefinished floors generally come without a choice; however, with site-finished floors, you can pick a sheen to match your needs. A satin finish shows fewer scratches but provides a “duller” appearance. On the other hand, a gloss sheen offers your floor a showroom shine but will likely show off more scratches. A choice of semi-gloss (the most popular) is a good compromise for most families.
- Oil-modified poly
- Water-based poly
Oil-based polyurethane has been the finish of choice for decades. It is durable, easy to work with, easy to repair/touch up, and provides the warm, rich color most people have come to expect. The newer water-based finishes give a very durable finish in residential or commercial grades that have a higher wear rating than standard oil. These water-based products dry in hours, are more environmentally friendly, and give off less of the odor commonly associated with floor finishing. Since the cost can vary between the two choices, please consult your sales associate.
Prefinished vs. Site-Finished
Prefinished floors have come a long way. Although they do generally have a beveled edge that some customers find undesirable, these floors come in a wide variety of species, colors, widths, textures, etc. The finish is usually of aluminum oxide, and the wear layer warranties can range from 25 or 50 years and sometimes even for a lifetime. Although you need to be careful of “bargain-priced” products, prefinished floors can be a great option to avoid the sanding/finishing process and walk on your new floors the day they are installed. It is important to remember the product information so you can get an exact match if board replacements are necessary at some point – or if you want to add additional matching flooring to other rooms of the home. If your prefinished floor gets damaged, it means cutting out a board or a whole section of flooring and completely replacing it to correct the problem. Additionally, some flooring may be discontinued over time, eliminating the availability of future supply.
Site-finished custom sanded hardwood floor has been the standard for decades. You can achieve a smooth appearance and flat-looking floor without the bevels, as mentioned above. Site-finished flooring is sanded flat, so it is more forgiving of slight irregularities or slight height variations in the home’s subfloor system. This type of floor is an excellent option if you want to have a custom stain color or install decorative options such as borders or medallions. Site finishing also offers the customer more options as to the type of finish, such as oil-based poly, water-based poly, tung oil penetrating finish, etc. Small repairs are generally easy for these floors, accomplished by lightly sanding the spot and re-applying the finish. You can also have the floors re-coated with the original finish several years down the road to eliminate scratches and light wear.
You can choose from intricate, factory-made borders or a custom one designed by you. Borders can be used to enhance a room, highlight furniture such as an island or table, or to divide rooms.
As an alternative to the standard metal vent, you can upgrade to wood vents. These beautiful vents can be ordered to match your floor species and can either be “drop-in” style or, for a more custom look, go with the “flush-mount.”
Depending on the type of subfloor you have, we may be able to install your wood flooring on a diagonal or possibly even in a beautiful herringbone pattern. Patterns are a great choice for drawing attention to a particular room or space in your home.
Sound Reduction Underlayment
You may be interested in adding a sound-reduction underlayment to your flooring to eliminate noise in your home. This option is ideal for a second floor. Adding this to the floor above would greatly eliminate footstep traffic noise in rooms below.