Increase your home's value with hardwood floors
Where to start?
Between unfinished plank, prefinished strip, engineered and hand-scraped, it’s easy to get confused by all of the flooring options. You’ll need to think about issues like humidity, the shape the existing subfloor is in, how level your floors are and your family’s lifestyle before you pick what’s best for you and your budget. If your TV room is in the basement and that’s where you spend your time, you might go for an engineered option because it can be installed over concrete, and can handle humidity and expansion better than hardwood can. If you’re looking to install hardwood on your main floor or upstairs in the bedrooms, prefinished strip or plank floors are the way to go to save the step and expense of staining unfinished wood.
Whenever possible, I try to use eco-friendly products, and, not surprisingly, the hardwood flooring industry has a ton of eco-friendly flooring options to choose from. Look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) stamp of approval on hundreds of flooring options. The FSC manages sustainable forests where trees are replanted and the natural environment is carefully monitored. FSC-certified hardwoods can also apply toward LED credits. LED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system for the design, construction and operation of green buildings, homes and neighbourhoods.
A gleaming hardwood floor draws the eye and adds a “finished” appeal to your home. However, don’t be fooled because something is sold as a “green” product. Bamboo flooring options might be made out of an amazing and renewable resource, but some manufacturers affix the layers of bamboo together with a glue that can emit formaldehyde. Do your research, ask the right questions and use your best judgement.
Keep reading to learn how to cost it out.
Photography courtesy of istockphoto.
Cost it out
So you have decided to give your hardwood floors a facelift. You have found a great deal and the hardwood floor you want is only $3.79 per square foot. Why, then, does it end up costing $10+ per square foot when everything is factored in? There are a lot of variables than can really impact the cost of installing hardwood floors. Basic installation runs anywhere from $3 to $6 per square foot, but that’s just the beginning, as there are other factors to consider, too. Take a floating floor, for instance. Most floating floors are installed over an underlayment to help level the floor and provide some cushion underfoot. Or, perhaps you’ve chosen a hardwood that is nailed or glued down. The installer may add a charge for the nails and glue, not to mention the additional labour of installing a subfloor. Add in the expense of replacing or refinishing the baseboards and trim and the price rises quickly.
Installing any type of fabulous flooring is a huge job. Don’t make it harder on yourself by having to move your furniture out of your house and back in again so the installers can do their job. Whenever possible, choose to redo your floors before you move in, and leave enough time to lay the floors and stain them, if necessary. Before you invest in hardwood for your home, head to your closet and rip up a corner of that old, stained carpet. If luck is on your side, you might have original hardwood underneath just waiting to be restored to its original condition.