Hardwoods have distinct character—the beauty of the different grains, the tonal qualities, and yes, sometimes the exquisite flaws that makes each piece of wood special. A key benefit is that hardwood is a “forever floor” so it won’t need to be replaced every 10 to 12 years like carpeting or vinyl. Hardwood floors also work in sync with carpet and tile, should you choose to carpet the bedroom or have ceramic tile in the bathroom.
Studies have shown that homeowners who choose to install hardwoods tend to reap rewards on that investment when it is time to sell the home.
While hardwood is usually installed in living rooms, entry ways, hallways, dining rooms, and kitchens, the Malkin’s Flooring professionals are also seeing hardwood installed in non-traditional areas such as bedrooms, powder rooms, or utility rooms—due to the versatility and many design options.
In hardwood flooring, the latest fashion is to use very long and wide planks as they make your room look bigger. These large planks look modern, elegant, and sophisticated in any room in the home. It’s a classic look that will pass the test of time.
The hardwood finish “trends” always bounce back and forth between gloss and matte, so this is why we guide many of our customers to satin finishes. Satin finishes will never go out of style, so you can be sure you made a wise investment.
We are also noticing that many families are mixing wood types and colors—for example, using a light oak on the floor combined with darker maple for cabinets or a decorative floor border. We believe this a perfect blend and adds character to the home.
While hardwood is clearly a forever floor, you can still change the look of your room or space with an area rug. This way, should you decide to paint or remodel your kitchen or bedroom, you don’t need to invest in totally new flooring, just a couple of new accent area rugs. And Malkin’s can custom-design rugs to meet your exact specifications.
You have a choice when it comes to hardwood flooring, but many homeowners and businesses are not aware of it. They assume all hardwood flooring is solid—and this not the case. Malkin’s offers three options.
Solid hardwood—This flooring is typically ¾-inch-thick and is created from a single wood type or species. Homeowners have many choices—from the basic birch and oak to the more-costly maple or the most expensive and exotic species like Brazilian Cherry or Tiger Wood. These are the “Cadillac” of wood flooring.
Since wood is a natural product, it does expand and contract with the seasons, temperature, and humidity. It also requires a higher level of care.
Engineered hardwood—This flooring features a top surface of the desired wood type, however the backer boards feature layers of different types of wood applied in different directions, providing more dimensional stability. This product is usually a bit thinner than solid hardwood—from 3/8-inches to 9/16-inches—so installers need to be aware of the difference.
The different wood species and construction greatly reduces the amount of expansion and contraction for homeowners who may want a more forgiving hardwood floor.
Longstrip plank woods—Longstrip is an engineered flooring that typically features locking edges and ends, for an easy and fast installation. Longstrip plank can be installed in virtually any room, as it is a floating floor. Note: a floating floor is not attached to the subfloor, which allows it to be more easily replaced and can also be installed on top of most existing flooring surfaces.
The most important thing to understand when selecting a hardwood floor is that wood is a natural product and it expands and contracts with the temperature and humidity levels in your home. This is the main reason why you will see cracking in hardwood floors—the proper humidity level was not maintained.
When you make an investment in hardwood, the experts at Malkin’s suggest purchasing and running a humidifier in the winter, and a dehumidifier in summer, as well as working to control the humidity with air conditioning. Ideally, you want a humidity level between 40 to 55 percent, with the temperature around 68 to 70 degrees. If you are one of those individuals who resists turning on the air conditioner until late July or August, hardwood may not be the best choice for you.
Optimum performance from a hardwood floor comes down to proper installation and ongoing maintenance. The professionals at Malkin’s provide expert installation—whether you choose solid, engineered, or longstrip flooring. Our installers are trained to understand the specific techniques required for each installation, so you can be sure the job is performed correctly.
We also provide a one-year installation guarantee, which is very rare in this business. We are so certain you will be thrilled with your hard floor installation, that should anything go awry, we will come back and fix it, free of charge.
Fortunately for homeowners, maintaining hardwood is easier than it used to be, due to technological advances in the building of hardwood planks and improved finishing techniques. Here are a few common-sense tips for cleaning and general maintenance:
Malkin’s offers such a wide selection of hardwood flooring colors, styles, and types, we know it can be difficult to decide which option is best. While the Internet can provide plenty of design inspiration, let the hardwood specialists at Malkin’s help you choose the ideal floor for to meet your lifestyle, tastes, and color scheme.
Stop in soon and tell us your flooring dreams—we will make them come true!
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