which hardwoods

kristinekrSeptember 11, 2010


We have finally decided to replace our worn out parquet floors. There are so many choices!

My neighbor installed bellawood santos mahagoney and they are nice--but pricey. They are happy with them so far, but they just installed them a few months ago. However, I have read some bad reviews on bellawood.

I am wondering if anyone has a rec for a good hardwood in the $5/sq ft range.

I think I want a traditional red oak color. I like the santos mahagoney and also like brazilian cherry, but am thinking the darker color may show the dirt/pet hair more? (I have 2 cats, small dog, and 2 toddlers) Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

At this point I think i want solid vs engineered--but I havenot done all that much research.

I would love to hear thoughts on color and brand recs.

thanks so much! I appreciate any and all comments.

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Darker shows dust a lot more. You would think that it would be the opposite, but think of a black automobile--they show the dust about an hour after they are washed. Same with floors.

We have a light oak floor in the family room and a medium oak floor in the library, and the library shows more dust and dust-bunnies, while the family room you have to stop and search carefully to see anything.

Solid vs. engineered. Solid you can potentially refinish. Some engineered will allow a few refinishes, but those are the most expensive ones, sometimes as expensive as solid.

New polyurethane seals are more durable than the old finishes. Also depends on how much traffic you are going to have and how often you clean--if you dry mop daily and keep the floor as clean as possible your finish will look good longer. It is the small grit underfoot or paw that wears down the finish. Less grit, less wear. Are you a compulsive mopper? Some people are, some people are not.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 6:42PM
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We have been happy with our light colored engineered wood flooring. Our home was built on a concrete slab and engineered was our only option. The flooring is made by Lauzon and we are extremely happy with the quality of the boards and the finish (not overly shiny) and it's durable. The boards also fit together very well. If you purchase from an online site, you may get a better price than from a local flooring store (we were able to get a good price this way). Lauzon also sells solid wood flooring. Good luck in your search!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 6:57PM
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You don't say where you live, but something else to consider is the dimensional stability of woods.

I have been trying to decide on wood floors for my own home, but I live in the midwest and have humid summers and dry winters (and poor HVAC). I would have loved one of the exotic woods like the ones from Brazil, but they expand and shrink so much that a google search will show all the people having problems. An expert told me in my situation, it's best to stick to the American species like Oak, Maple, Walnut and Cherry.

Wish I could get Cumaru and not have to worry. :(

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 5:39PM
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thanks for the replies!

I am NOT a compulsive cleaner at all, so I think the lighter wood is a better choice for me.

I talked to one contractor and he is recommending I get the floor finished onsite. I don't have a problem with that except I am wondering whether on site finishing will have as durable a coating as pre finished? Does anyone know?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 11:34AM
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I posted probably three yrs ago a post call advice from a hardwood rep for those shoppping. You might want to search for it on this forum. Why do you want solid? Do you assume thicker must be better"? Factory finished floors do have a much more durable finish. Aluminum oxide can only be applied in a factory setting. Downside with onsite is the smell and dust and if something should happen you need to resand all adjoining areas. Prefinished you just replace a board or two. I think you need to do a lot more homeowrk. Since a 'brand' might accompany 4 or 5 types of wood products knowing a good 'brand' isn't all that useful, especially since almost all buy wood from various factories.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 11:49AM
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Boxers as always is right smack on the money. Great advice.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:04AM
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Please reconsider using an exotic wood species. I don't understand why people do this.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:58AM
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thanks for all the responses! I am deciding between amendoim and red oak. If amendoim, I will use BR 111--probably solid 3/4 inches. If red oak, not sure who i will use.

I know I need to do more research, there are so many choices out there--its gets overwhelming.

Plus, I don't have the ability to visualize what an entire floor will look like from a sample board, so I will have to look for floor stores with a large display.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:41PM
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Since I am in the same boat, I am wondering if "Boxers" is opposed to solid hardwood or prefers engineered. If so, please let us know why?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:56PM
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no objections to solid or engineered. What I was referring to is 'why' the preference. Solid lends itself to custom stains etc, but many engineered products are as good. Your choice will come down to subfloor and personal preference. The OP was just starting the search and I don't think the reasons for her? decisions was known. I live in the NW where everything was solid sand on site till yrs ago when builders started switching to prefinished solids and engineered.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:50AM
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If you go br-111 email d.hollenbach@echoflooring.com and she will make sure you are buying it at the right price. Their is much lower numbers available than direct through br111.She has all kinds of contacts. My girl is brilliant at saving you money on br111 so email her and said the owner requested her to help you. Thanks. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:24PM
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We put 3/4" red oak in our last 2 houses (living rooms)and love it. There is variation in the actual color of the wood planks but it is beautiful. We have engineered wood in our dining room now because it is on a slab and it is okay but not nearly as satisfying to look at as the real thing.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:55PM
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