Where do I even start?
If you are looking for a new floor, chances are you know what style or color you want, but you are not brushed up on your Janka ratings or saw patterns. If you want to make the best decision without getting a career in the hardwood industry, Floors 101 is exactly where you need to be. There is actually a lot of science that goes into flooring. In some cases, you might feel like you don’t even know which questions to ask. Don’t worry. We’re here to help. Download the Complete Floor Buyer’s Checklist to help organize your thoughts. Then, start making your way down this page and we’ll help you understand everything that you’ll need to know. If we miss anything here, you can always Ask the Experts!
First things first...
What is a floor?
The floor of your home is the part that crashes into you, if you accidentally roll off of the couch. You probably already knew that. What you might not know is that there is actually a floor under your floor. This is the subfloor. (More on this in a moment.) You also likely know that there are lots of different kinds of flooring. It would be easy, otherwise, and there would be no reason for Floors 101 to exist. The good news is that you have lots of different floors to choose from, so you can get just the right floor for your home. The bad news is that you have lots of different floors to choose from, so there is a chance you’ll choose the wrong floor. We’re not going to let that happen!
The first thing you’ll need to know about flooring is that it can be made from many different materials. No doubt, you’re familiar with the idea of tile, wood, carpet, linoleum, and so on. If you are here, you have presumably decided to explore the possibility of putting hardwood floors into your home or business. If this is the case, then you will basically have three options: solid hardwoods, engineered hardwoods, or a manufactured wood alternative (waterproof rigid-core, in our case.)
You mentioned subfloor. Why is that important?
Your subfloor is the super-secret, hidden floor that your actual floor sits on. It serves several important roles. It provides additional stability to your floors, as well as limiting the amount of air flow and moisture that pushes up from beneath. Most importantly for our purposes here, it gives your floor something to attach to. This is important because certain subfloors make some installation processes impossible. For instance, if you have a concrete subfloor (called a “slab”), then you obviously cannot nail into it very well. This means that you’ll need to make sure you choose a floor that can be glued or simply laid down on top (this is called “floated”). Different subfloors have different advantages and disadvantages. If all of this makes you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. You don’t need to understand all of the options here, a retailer will. Just make sure that your retailer understands what kind of subfloor you have, so they can help you to choose correctly.
Should I be concerned about...?
This is fun! Now, teach me some awesome new words!
Yeah, but what about...?
We try to plan ahead and think of everything you might not know. As much as we try, there is certainly something that we have missed. As you have additional question, just ask. We work very hard to answer all of the questions that come in as quickly as we can.