| > > Any opinions as to which way to go? I originally wanted solid,
| > > oak but dh is telling me there are types of flooring that is *hardwood*
| > > but
| > > prefinished? I'm not sure that would be called *laminate*? He's not
| > > right now for me to ask. The only reason I'm hesitating on the
| > > solid oak, is the amount of time it takes to install and poly it a
| > > of
| > > coats. That means we and the dogs will have to locate elsewhere for
| > > probably close to a week?
| > There are at least four types of wood style flooring.
| > Unfinished hardwood, such as the oak you mention. (many other woods
| > available too http://www.cwghardwoodoutlet.com/flooring/display.html )
| > hardwood is my choice of best quality, 100+ year longevity. IMO, the
| > Pre finished hardwood. Similar to above, but with a factory finish. (I
| > don't know a lot about it in use)
| > Engineered hardwood. Like a plywood base with a nice finished wood on
| > Very durable, easy to DIY install. See examples at www.mannington.com I
| > put that in my family room and like it very much. It is over concrete so
| > is a good choice for that.
| > Laminate. This is a plastic material. Some look like plastic, others
| > close to real wood but some simulate marble or granite. Very durable,
| > cleanable. www.wilsonart.com I have this on a stairway and foyer and
| > been for over 10 years. Still looks like new. I'd use the engineered wood
| > if I was doing it today.
| Thanks for the links! At the rate we are plodding along in our
| kitchen/dining room remodel, I have time to consider all the options, as the
| flooring will be our last step. I've consistently leaned towards solid oak,
| if only it didn't take so long to install and finish it.
10 years ago I bought and had installed 3/4" T&G oak flooring (what you call engineered). The pros were not very professional. They started in the wrong place and did not fully set the boards. When they got to my feature wall, an archway over a sunken livingroom they couldn't figure out how to make the flooring meet the bullnose without leaving a gap. I kicked them out and got the contractor to supply an expert to correct their mistakes. I had 2 days of muttered oaths as he berated the clods who were not up to the task. He did a marvelous job and only we two know where the joint was finessed.
7 years ago I bought the tools and added another 2,000 feet of oak flooring myself. At the time the people who made the original flooring were no longer making specie so I had to find a shop that could duplicate the original flooring. I was lucky to find a cabinet shop that made its own doors, moldings, and such. They got plain boards, turned them into T&G and prefinished them. Cannot tell where one left off and the other started.
As DIY went, I was able to lay about 500 feet a day without busting a gut.
If you are going to make it a DIY be sure to do the following:
1. rent a pneumatic flooring nail gun and the compressor to go with it.
2. get a piece of 2x2 hardwood to aid in setting the boards - relying on the nailer to fully set the boards is not enough -
3. remove , carefully, all the baseboards and doorway trim. A finish that goes under the trim looks a lot better than that which just goes to the trim.
4. determine what wall or opening is to be the "feature". Start there and finish at the opposite wall. This will produce a much tighter joint where it is most likely to be noticed and the opposite end, which will likely be a bit ragged, will be hidden by the trim.
5. Use a finish nail gun instead of a hammer as this will result in a more hidden nail which can be covered with putty of an appropriate colour for a seamless finish.
6. replace all the baseboards.
7. cut the trim to allow for the added floor height and replace it.
8. Step back, have a coolade and compliment yourself on a job well done.