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You are interested in hardwood floors, but still have few questions that need to be answered before you make a major investment?

  • The dimensions of your room.

  • What type of furniture will rest on the wooden floors.

  • Who will you entrust to install your floors.

  • Much more....

Knowing all the different types of hardwood floors offered on the market is not everything you need in order to carry out your project. When buying a hardwood floor, it is also important to know your priorities in order to choose the type of flooring that suits you. Now you have to personalize your purchase by considering certain criteria.

What type of residence do you have? You would invest more in a main residence rather than in a secondary one.

Caution! A condominium flooring requires special installation in order to have adequate soundproofing.

How old is your residence? For the most part, the age of your residence and it's decor will determine your choice of wood species, grade, color and it's finish.

Which rooms and their size? Make a sketch of all the rooms which you would like to cover with hardwood. Make note of their size and of the stairs, closets and all obstacles which would require cuts of wood.

Caution! Check the type of sub-folder and the direction of the joists. Also, will you need some accessories like nosing, reducers or wood vents etc...

What kind of furniture and decor is there in the room? Is there already a hardwood species in the room? Is there a lot of furniture or only a few pieces? What shade? Will it be moved around frequently?

How many people live in the residence? The more people there are, the more coming and going there is. A finish which gives more durability should be considered.

Caution! If there are any young children or domestic animals, the use of a low luster finish, such as Satin, can diminish the appearance of wear and marks on the surface of the strips.

Who will you entrust to install your flooring? The installation of a quality pre-finished hardwood floor is relatively simple for a good handy person. You can also entrust the specialists, to install your flooring, who will guarantee their work. The good retailers can guide you in this regard.

Caution! Make sure the specialized retailer provides you with all the necessary information and tools. Ask for the installation guide and video from the manufacturer.

Your hardwood floor can last years and years if it is well chosen, installed and maintained properly!

Deal with a specialized retailer

It is essential that you buy your prefinished hardwood floor from a retailer who is more than a floor salesperson, but a counselor who is able to help you carry out your project according to your priorities and budget.

Take advantage of the showroom: Go beyond publicity. Do they have a clean showroom and a wide product variety? Do they show you some big samples, representative of the product (species, grade, color etc...)? Don't be shy about asking your retailer to compare, open boxes of strips and to demonstrate an installation. Touch the wood to check the uniformity of the strips, their manufacturing and finishing quality. Many prefinished hardwood floors look alike in appearance, but in performance, few can compare.

Find out about services:

- Does the retailer have a large inventory of product and accessories available?

- How will delivery be done? How long of a delay?

- Do they offer an installation service? Do they have the accessories, the installation tools, guides and videos on hand? Do they know how to give practical advise to the do-it-yourself?

- Do they offer maintenance products and the maintenance guide from the manufacturer?

- Do they offer repair services due to damage, or refinishing of the floor or in case of use or aging?

- Do they inform you on their warranty program and the one from manufacturer?

Find out about the retailer's experience: Inquire about the retailer's reputation. How many years have they been in business? Are they authorized dealers of the selected brand? Did they ever serve someone you know, who can recommend them? Ask for some referrals on their installation works. Ask to see pictures or videos of what have been installed. Will they be able to understand the sketch of your project? Is the estimate detailed and precise? Can they explain the technicalities of installing a prefinished hardwood floor properly?

Beware of low price specialists. The happiness of a low price is quickly forgotten with the discovery of bad quality or no after-sale service.

When buying, always remember these 3 main principles:

- a well prepared project will avoid unwanted and costly surprises

- by choosing a competent specialized retailer you will get practical advice to succeed on carrying out your project

- buying a quality product will give you less worries and bring you many years of enjoyment.

By using these principles, your priorities will be met and you will make a long term investment in a product which will offer you the best price/quality ratio. Remember that you will probably buy a prefinished hardwood floor only once in your life.

So, make the right choice!