Hardwood planks can be purchased with a raw face that gets finished by a professional after installation, or prefinished, which arrives with the stain and topcoat already applied. The advantage of prefinished wood is that you know exactly what you`re getting.
Add felt protectors to furniture legs to help pick up debris and protect floors from scratches, says Brett Miller, an expert from the National Wood Flooring Association. Replace them as needed, as they`ll wear down and become less effective over time. For furniture that slides around often: kitchen and dining chairs, for example, replace the protectors every month.
The direction you choose to lay your wooden flooring is entirely up to you. It might be worth thinking about how you want the room to look though. Most people lay their floor lengthways according to the path of light coming from a window or door. This helps to highlight the natural beauty of you flooring as the light falls on the grain pattern.
If you need an excuse to shop, the one must-have decor item with hardwood flooring is a rug. It will perform double duty as a decorating piece and floor protector.
But choose carefully because some engineered floors have top layers so thin that they can`t be sanded and refinished in the future. Higher-quality products feature a thicker layer where you`re getting as much usable wood as you would out of a solid board.
Traditionally, hardwood flooring came in thick planks of solid timber. Today, solid hardwood is still widely available, but many companies also offer engineered flooring—planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting during expansion and contraction cycles. All wood moves in three directions: There`s tangential, radial, and longitudinal movement.