Tag Archives: cheapest hardwood flooring

What Makes A Beautiful Hardwood Floor?

How do I know what I am getting when I shop for Hardwood Floors?

When we start shopping for Hardwood floors the first thing we notice is how confusing this is going to be. There are thousands of choices. We have at least 25 different companies that manufacture hardwood floors and each of those have a minimum of 10 SKU’s {stock keeping units} with probably 3-5 different colors per line. There are at least 100 different species of wood rated on Wikipedia’s Janka Scale. So why not just buy the cheapest and end this madness?

Bella Cera Estate Collection, La Martine

Bella Cera Estate Collection, La Martine

We have all seen the Television Advertisement or received a mailer describing unbelieveable deals for Hardwood Flooring. They might say something like this:

Hardwood for .99 ¢- Really?

Hardwood for .99 ¢- Really?

The purpose of these ads and their companies is to reduce their cost so they offer ridiculously low prices by sacrificing quality and workmanship. Often when we take our time to actually be lured into these ridiculous gimmick’s we find that there is not enough stock available for my particular job, or the color is so ugly that nobody in their right mind would purchase it.

They products might seem similar to the untrained eye but are they really the same product? I was taught at a young age that anything that seems to good to be true, probably is. Let’s take a look at how to invest your money wisely when shopping for your new hardwood floors.

Acacia Walnut Hardwood gives a very unique look to any home.

Acacia Walnut Hardwood gives a very unique look to any home.

Floor Finish
Floor finish is a critically important step for hardwood flooring. The finish must be durable and elastic to resist scratching and wear, without clouding the natural grain and color of the wood. A poor floor finish can make even the most beautiful wood look dull.

Quality hardwood flooring has a high-quality floor finish, with a fine transparency that accentuates the natural beauty of the wood grain. Cheap hardwood floor finishes obscure the natural grain of the wood with a cloudy coating; scratches on the wood floor make this whitish coating readily apparent. Cheap hardwood floor finishes are also inconsistent in color, and can have rough surfaces with small raised bumps.

Hardwood Floor Creaking 
With quality hardwood flooring, the gap between the “tongues” on board edges and the grooves they fit into is less than 0.15 MM. This tight attachment eliminates the creaking you find with cheap hardwood flooring when it is walked upon.

Precision Milling 
Quality hardwood flooring is milled using expensive, high-end machines for extreme precision and consistency in height, length, width, edges and ends. Bargain flooring is manufactured using less expensive and precise machines, resulting in gaps between board edges and ends, as well as differences in thickness.

Floor Glue Safety
Quality hardwood flooring uses Taier E1 glue between layers, with a very low level of formaldehyde. Bella Cera flooring, for example, conforms to CARB, with a formaldehyde level far below its guidelines. Vapors from cheap glues can be harmful to your health!

Engineered Flooring 
Good quality engineered hardwoods use a veneer core with higher-quality tropical woods alternately layered in a crisscross pattern, for superior weight-bearing strength and screw-holding ability. The gap between each layer should measure less than 1mm. A quality engineered floor has higher density and is more durable than cheap plywoods, regardless of how similar they look on the surface. Learn about engineered flooring vs. solid wood flooring here.

Wear Layer
With quality hardwood flooring, you can count on the exact thickness claimed for its wear layer. But as thinner wear layers are less expensive to produce, cheap flooring is often found to have a wear layer that is thinner than what is claimed.

Longer Wood Plank Length
Long planks are more expensive to produce, but make a more beautiful floor. Short boards can look like shoeboxes when placed in a floor. Cheap wood flooring typically includes too many short planks, with boards as small as one foot in length. But quality hardwood flooring uses longer planks. Bella Cera, for example, includes boards up to seven feet in length, with the average being over three feet.

{Borrowed from Bella Cera’s website}

I wanted to take just a minute to shamelessly promote what I think is a very worthwhile cause with one of our Hardwood Manufacturer’s Product. It’s called: Homes For Our Troops.

Armstrong Floor Products is the exclusive flooring supplier to Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization that builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans.
Through 2013, a portion of the sales from the American Scrape collection will support Homes For Our Troops, including the Armstrong product donation for 30 – 35 homes to be built across the country.

We assist severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

We assist severely injured Veterans and their families by raising money, building materials and professional labor, and by coordinating the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.

The Estate Collection with 2" and 8" Planks makes an awesome statement!

The Estate Collection with 2″ and 8″ Planks makes an awesome statement!

As hardwood flooring dealers see demand rise, so too does ProSource’s ability to deliver new finish and customization options at wholesale prices. Our hardwood flooring now features an appealing selection of hand-carving, borders, medallions and accents. And hardwood’s color palette has expanded to include exotic offerings like pink, yellow, white, purple and black.

Hardwood Flooring is an Investment You Can Trust

Ask any hardwood flooring supplier – a quality hardwood floor isn’t just an aesthetic investment; it also helps boost a home’s selling price. And that’s what helps make our flooring showrooms’ hardwood departments a key destination point. With so much to offer, hardwood flooring is a tough option to beat.

Hardwood Flooring types

Hardwood flooring comes in two varieties: engineered and solid. Solid is the most common choice and best suited for higher-grade installations. It consists of one-piece boards that are generally nailed to a sub-floor. Most are unfinished, thereby allowing customers, the hardwood flooring supplier or distributor to apply a variety of colors and finishes.

Engineered hardwood is comprised of two or more layers of wood that have been laminated together, the top being a veneer and the bottom a softer wood backing. The top wood veneer comes pre-finished and the overall system gets glued to the subfloor or even concrete, making it better-suited for below-grade and basement installations.

More hardwood flooring information
Janka hardwood flooring hardness scale
Hard surface education
Installation tips
Green information

At ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings you will always pay less, see our Low Price Guarantee

I have $100 that says you can't beat our prices!

I have $100 that says you can’t beat our prices!

We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290

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Filed under Hardwood, Kitchen, Special Promotions

Hardwood or Laminate?

Today the Laminate Industry has come a long way in making products that are more appealing then in the Days when Pergo first came to the United States in the early 1990’s. There are many options in thickness, style, sound, color, etc. So the dilemma I am constantly hearing is: “Which floor should I choose? Laminate or Hardwood?”

Today’s Laminate have a much more real look, feel and sound.

Armstrong: Sapele Long Plank - Wrought Iron 12.30 mm Laminate Wood Look

Armstrong:
Sapele Long Plank – Wrought Iron
12.30 mm Laminate Wood Look

Laminate has it’s place and I will usually show it if the budget dictates, and that isn’t always true the nicer looking laminates in the market are priced similar to hardwood. Another reason you might choose laminate is if you wanted a more “Green” Product. Laminate in most cases can be more environmentally friendly.

Check out these environmental facts about Laminate:

Laminate flooring is inherently eco-friendly but not all products make the cut. The NALFA certification seal is proof that a laminate floor is sustainable and is built with these qualities:

  • It’s made with natural resources like wood chip fiberboard
  • It’s recyclable
  • It’s free of air-damaging chemicals
  • It complies with formaldehyde emissions regulations for laminate flooring core board set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sections 93120-93120.12, title 17, of the California Code of Regulations
  • It is comprised of recycled content that may contribute points to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for homes and businesses
  • It requires no special glues or adhesives during installation (eliminating VOCs) and no special cleaners for proper cleaning and maintenance (improving air quality)

Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.

Check out these environmental facts about Wood Floors:

  • Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
  • Indoor air quality is better with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors last hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National Association of Home Builders)
  • While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)

You can learn more about the environmental benefits of wood floors by downloading a copy of the University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis

Hardwood gives much better re-sale value to your home. In today’s tough real estate market, sellers are looking for any edge they can find to help sell their home fast. For many sellers, hardwood flooring can help. Across the country, 99% of real estate agents agree that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell. And, 90% agree that they sell for more money. In many cases a homeowner can double their return on investment by installing hardwood floors. You can’t get a much better bang for your buck than that. With today’s finishes the average lifespan of a hardwood floor is 30 years, so whether you are selling or plan to stay a while, hardwood is always the better option.

Armstrong: Acacia - Natural 4.72 in. Engineered Hardwood Plank

Armstrong:
Acacia – Natural
4.72 in. Engineered Hardwood Plank

So, what do we need to look at? Durability, dent resistance, wear layer, moisture resistance, they are all traits that might make us choose one over the other.

Laminate:

Laminate Flooring has four layers: a wear layer, a design layer, an inner core layer and a backing layer.

Wear layer – clear top layer that protects the floor from stains and fading
Design layer – a photographic image of wood, stone, brick or ceramic
Inner core – plastic resin that keeps the laminate stable and flat
Backing – creates a moisture barrier that protects the floor from warping

This layered construction makes laminate floors remarkably durable.

Engineered Hardwood:

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

One of the most critical elements about either of these products is installation. Many products say DIY, and that sounds wonderful. Neither are any easier to install and I have installed both. Laminate is sold as easier for a Do-It Yourselfer, but I disagree. I found that gluing down my Hardwood floor was much easier then laying my floating laminate floor. to each his own I guess. If you are not up to the challenge and need a reputable company to install your laminate, ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings has many Members that could assist you with your project and let you buy direct through their account.

To find out more about Laminate Flooring visit: North American Laminate Flooring Association

To find out more about Hardwood Flooring visit: The National Wood Flooring Association

We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290

Doesyour Professional have a Membership?

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Filed under Green Products, Hardwood, Laminate, Uncategorized