When it comes to hardwood flooring in Minneapolis, there are a lot of choices. So much so that it can be an overwhelming choice. Hardwood offers the longevity, looks, and ease of maintenance you want, but how do you sort through all the options?
The simple answer is that you can’t do it in one day. You really need to do your homework. It is also beneficial to sit down and talk to a hardwood flooring expert. Here at Alpine Hardwood, we would love to discuss your upcoming hardwood project and walk you through all the options available for your home or place of business.
In the meantime, we took it upon ourselves to compose a simple guide to all the excellent hardwood flooring choices you have at your disposal when you work with us. So please take a look at our Minneapolis guide to hardwood flooring.
Hardwood Flooring 101
Before we get into the different types of hardwood flooring you can choose from; it would be helpful to cover some essential topics when discussing this type of flooring. First, certain aspects of the milling process alter the longevity, looks, and performance of hardwood flooring. Aspects such as:
- The Thickness of the Cut: ¾” thick cuts are standard yet expensive. They are costly because they have a very long lifespan as they can be resurfaced a high number of times compared to thinner cuts. However, you have limited installation options with this thickness.
- Not All Hardwoods are Equal: Hardwood is a misnomer when discussing wood species like white pine and beech. That’s because these kinds of woods (and others) are on the softer end of the hardwood spectrum. Therefore, certain types of woods are more suitable for high foot traffic conditions than others. For instance, white pine flooring would work better for pure aesthetics in an area of the home that doesn’t get a lot of heavy use.
- Subflooring: Perhaps the most important deciding factor is which surface you will install your hardwood flooring over. For instance, if you have a concrete or tile subfloor, you will be relegated to Pergo or click-together floating flooring, especially since you can’t nail planks into concrete and tile.
The Basic Types of Hardwood
There are all kinds of subsets of hardwoods that are better left discussed with a hardwood flooring expert. For now, it would be more beneficial to cover the basic types of hardwood flooring that you will find in most homes:
- Engineered Floors: Engineered floors are made from engineered wood. Pretty simple concept, right? Engineered wood floors tend to be half the price of some domestic and exotic woods. They are made of a plywood base with a veneer on top. Engineered wood floors can be made to mimic the look of a wide variety of more expensive options like black walnut, tamarind, and bamboo. Of course, the main draw of these woods is that they are much more affordable than others. One of the most significant drawbacks to this type of flooring is a much shorter lifespan. Since the veneer top is thin, it can’t be refinished nearly as many times as actual wood planks.
- Imported Woods: Imported woods, sometimes referred to exotic woods, as you may be able to guess, will cost you a pretty penny. While still not the most expensive hardwood flooring option available to you, you’ll still pay anywhere from $4.40 per square foot to $5.70 per square foot. Woods in this category include Brazilian Redwood, Acacia, and Koa. These woods are coveted for their deep, dark hues that add warmth and sophistication to any room. They are also highly dense, so they hold up very well in high-traffic areas. Imported woods in this category will last a very long time, even if you don’t get particularly thick cuts.
- Domestic Woods: Domestic woods are generally pretty affordable depending on the specific species but can run the gamut in terms of hardness. Some of the wood species in this category include pine, Red Oak, black cherry, and ash. The good thing about shopping in this category is that you have a lot of color and grain pattern options. You will find domestic woods cut in flat sawn and quarter sawn patterns, so you have a lot of combinations to choose from. Whether you want a swirly-looking grain or a straight grain look for your floors, you will find something you will like with domestic woods.
- Click-Together Floors: You may have heard of Pergo flooring. Heck, you may have installed some Pergo flooring in your own home or place of business. Pergo is a brand that specializes in click-together flooring. As we mentioned earlier, click-together flooring is a viable option if your surface is concrete or tile because no nails or fasteners are required. Click-together (sometimes referred to as glue-down flooring) flooring includes laminate, cork, and Pergo flooring. This type of flooring is easy to install and can be made to mimic more expensive styles. Cork flooring is perfect for noise insulation and feels soft underfoot. As you can imagine, click-together flooring will be cheaper than just about any other type of wood flooring.
What Hardwood Floor Works Best in Which Situations?
It’s time to get practical. So let’s take a look at the kinds of woods commonly used for specific situations:
- For a Brighter Room: If you want to evoke a lively, modern or simply more illuminated feel in the room, the naturally light tones of bamboo and white pine would do a great job.
- For Sustainability: If you are concerned about your environmental impact, bamboo is a great option. Bamboo regenerates from its own roots when it’s cut for wood. That means bamboo trees don’t have to be replenished when cut. It’s actually considered a grass, if you can believe it. As a species of grass, it is very resilient and needs little water to grow and regrow.
- For Apartments: Cork or floating hardwood floors would be a great option if you live in an apartment and want to reduce foot traffic noise. This type of flooring would also be a great choice if you have kids running around your house a lot and value your peace and quiet.
- For the Kitchen: It can be challenging to choose a hardwood for your kitchen because you need a species resistant to water and can stand up to a lot of heavy foot traffic. We have seen Brazilian Chestnut work very well in hectic kitchens – plus, it looks stunning.
- For a Larger-Looking Room: If you want to give the illusion of a larger room, you can use pretty much any hardwood so long as you make sure you have shorter strips of it installed. The shorter strips will give the illusion of a large room.
For expert assistance with hardwood flooring in Minneapolis, be sure to give us a call or send us a message.