A closer look at the installation of factory finished hardwood floors
Our business is built on refinishing, repairing, and making additions to existing traditional solid hardwood flooring that is tongue and groove, nailed down to the subfloor and sanded and finished in place. Some companies in our business consider factory-finished flooring as a competitor to traditional flooring materials, while we view factory-finished flooring in the context of what the homeowner is trying to accomplish.
In general, mixing different hardwood floors throughout the house is to be avoided. If there are existing traditional hardwood floors in the house, it is usually a good idea to consider extending the same materials to new areas, rather than introducing an entirely different product. But if there is an isolated room, such as an office or bedroom that needs hardwood floors, it may not be necessary to match the flooring that exists elsewhere in the house.
In the event that there are no existing hardwood floors in a house and a change of flooring is desired from, say, carpet to a hard surface material, we recommend people go look at the factory-finished products currently available on the market. There is so much variety! So many textures, colors, wood species, etc., coming in from all over the world. You really have to see for yourself the many choices you have. Many of these products are manufactured with quality materials and hard-wearing finishes that are hard to duplicate on the job using traditional unfinished materials.
We are equipped to deal with most any factory-finished flooring product selected, but very often our customers will come back from the product showroom and want the plain old unfinished flooring product that is sanded and finished on the job. Of course we give the customer what they ask for, but they have then been exposed to many new options.
The installation of factory-finished flooring can be just as demanding as the installation of traditional unfinished hardwood flooring. In some cases it can be even more challenging. For one thing, it has to be installed without damaging the finish. Extra care must be taken with handling, tools, cleanup, foot traffic, etc. An issue that is often overlooked is that of slight irregularities in elevation between the new floor and other existing flooring material. The installer must work to create matching elevations by getting the subfloor level prior to installing the prefinished flooring.
Considering that factory-finished flooring now comprises approximately 50% of the flooring market, we think it is foolish to ignore the potential of quality factory-finished hardwood flooring as an option for our customers. At the same time we know that there is a role for the traditional hardwood flooring tradesman to provide high quality installation of factory-finished floors.
Next week look for an article on our recent installation of a factory-finished engineered plank floor for one of our clients.