I'd like to replace carpeting with hardwood in most of my downstairs. I
have never been one to try and go cheap, especially with my home. I believe
you get what you pay for. I don't like to throw money away, but I am not in
the market for $2.99 hardwood.
I have found two hardwood manufacturers that look like they have good
One is Columbia and the other is Lauzon. Does anyone have any experience
with these brands?
What do you want from the wood? There are many kinds, each gives its own
characteristics to consider:
I want to stain to a particular shade: oak, ash, birch (possibly maple)
I like grain: oak, ash
I like no grain (flat surface): maple, birch
I'm putting Jatoba ("Brazilian Cherry") in my high traffic LR/DR area. Its
very hard, way beyond oak, and reasonably priced. Its a darker reddish
color right out of the box, but its gorgeous.
There's a million to choose from, go to a store, see what you like, ask
questions there, look at prices, and just pick one, you'll be fine.
For the price of a good quality hardwood floor, you could have a premium
stone floor (e.g. granite) that requires minimal maintenance and is
impervious to water damage if on a concrete slab... If you have a wood
subfloor, I probably wouldn't put down tile or stone since my experience is
that they eventually come loose and you get to spend time re-gluing one by
one many years later...
Oak is definitely a standard by which others are measured, but there's
harder woods out there than oak... It depends upon the look that you're
going for... For the best look, you should go with a solid wood (not
engineered wood product) that is put down unstained, then sanded, stained,
and then protected with some sort of clear coat treatment (poly, aluminum
oxide, etc)... One thing about wood though is that you have to be careful
when moving things to prevent gouges in the wood... Putting down pieces of
MDF or plywood before rolling mover's dollies / hand cards is especially
recommended... Over the years, it's going to be difficult to keep the wood
looking *perfectly* new, so you might want to consider going with the
distressed look initially so that new nicks won't be as noticeable...
Have you looked at bamboo? We decided to go that way last year
when we replaced vinyl last year. It kinda looks like TnG hardwood
but is easier to install and much cheaper ($2.77 sq.ft.). This is
the stuff we used (sorry for the splits):
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