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  #11  
Old 2008-01-16, 10:53 AM
patrob patrob is offline
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Originally Posted by csmfung View Post
Patrob

If I have plywood, would I need put anything else down before installing the hardwood?

Also, what is the rate per sq ft for hardwood installation?

Thanks.
You don't need anything else. Installation cost can vary depending on what has to be done & also the type of wood you have to work with. But generally standard installation is around $2 sq. ft.

Many times if someone gets really cheap quality wood, the installation cost per sq. ft. will be higher because it will take longer to install it vs. good quality wood. So it's worth to spend your money on better wood than go with cheaper wood but end up paying more for installation, which many people don't realize Unless you get the cheap wood & a cheap unprofessional installer, then you got yourself a disaster.

Last edited by patrob; 2008-01-16 at 08:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 2008-01-17, 01:48 PM
Kimmy Kimmy is offline
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What is the difference (or advantage) of pre-finished as opposed to finished on site?

We are looking at both since we are staying at my in-laws while we paint and get hardwood installed.

We visited a few flooring places and when we asked about finished on site...we got this look like..."duh"...and nobody really could give us an answer!

Do you recommend places like Home D. for hardwood?

Third question...which hardwood is most durable? When I posed the question to a flooring guy (who seemed to be wanted to just make a sale) his retort was: it doesn't matter what hardwood you go with; kids, no kids...you are looking at sanding them down in 8 years anyhow!


Thank you for any input...
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  #13  
Old 2008-01-17, 02:25 PM
patrob patrob is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimmy View Post
What is the difference (or advantage) of pre-finished as opposed to finished on site?

We visited a few flooring places and when we asked about finished on site...we got this look like..."duh"...and nobody really could give us an answer!

Do you recommend places like Home D. for hardwood?

Third question...which hardwood is most durable? When I posed the question to a flooring guy (who seemed to be wanted to just make a sale) his retort was: it doesn't matter what hardwood you go with; kids, no kids...you are looking at sanding them down in 8 years anyhow!
I would go with pre-finished! These days, very rarely you do an on-site finish floors. Yes it is an inconvenience around a week (install, sand, stain & finish). Unfinished floor, even installed as tight as possible, will still contract & expand. It will separate & the finish will crack on the joints. Looks nice for the 'first couple' of years.

Even 3 good coats done on-site are not as strong as everybody thinks. Just because you apply the coats thicker, doesn't mean they are stronger. If you apply the coats with couple of weeks break between, to let the finish cure completely, it's a lot stronger then. Rarely anybody has that much time to spare. But if you apply 3 coats in 1 week, it's not the same. There can also be problems with machine marks, dust in the finish, overlaps, etc.

Cost wise, it's pretty much the same, unfinished wood is slightly cheaper but you still have to pay for install & finish. Some will tell you there's nothing better than on-site finish & others will tell you pre-finished. With today's pre-finished you have uniform colour, perfect finish which is a lot stronger, UV cured which doesn't yellow & micro bevel which gives you true flat surface.

The reason the stores don't like doing it, is because it's more of a headache for them. Lets say you are not happy with final look & you are withholding the money & are insisting on a re-sand again because there are bubbles or dust. You get the point...

I personally don't recommend places like HD but that's really up to you. You should stick to places that deal with this stuff only plus HD charges a lot for installation.

If you have kids or pets, I recommend oak. The grain in the oak hides many flaws, dents, scratches. But some people don't like the grain & want a nice smooth finish like maple. Maple is actually harder than oak but due to the smooth finish, any dents/scratches will show more. We had maple in our previous house & once the kids cam, goodbye smooth floors

If you go into exotic woods, they are even harder than oak/maple, so the harder the wood, the less chances of visible damage. American Cherry, Birch & Ash are a bit softer woods. Here is the Janka scale http://www.brazilianhardwood.com/ima...kahardness.gif

Hope this helps
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  #14  
Old 2008-01-17, 02:49 PM
Kimmy Kimmy is offline
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It does ...
Thank you!
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  #15  
Old 2008-01-17, 02:53 PM
Madame X Madame X is offline
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Last edited by Madame X; 2008-03-19 at 06:21 PM.
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  #16  
Old 2008-01-17, 03:00 PM
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Last edited by Madame X; 2008-03-19 at 06:20 PM.
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  #17  
Old 2008-01-17, 05:37 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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Originally Posted by patrob View Post
... Unfinished floor, even installed as tight as possible, will still contract & expand. It will separate & the finish will crack on the joints. Looks nice for the 'first couple' of years. ...
I agree with the rest of your post except this part. I have site finished hardwood floors (about 9+ years now), and it has not separated nor has the finished cracked at the joints. Its the same at 4 other friends home that have site finish.

You can have problems if you home is very very dry or very very humid. But if you run your AC during those really hot humid summer days, you'll be find.

I have heard that wider floors (like planks) will have a more of a tendency to separate, but I have never seen this (do not know anyone with that type of flooring).
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  #18  
Old 2008-01-17, 06:11 PM
Mark & Lynda Mark & Lynda is offline
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We have Oak pre-finish which was purchased and installed from a hardwood flooring supplier. When the floor was installed a year ago it was pretty much perfect but now I have noticed some small gaps between a couple of boards that I never noticed before.

I think gaping would be less noticable on site finish because there is no micro bevel but have heard site finish is not as durable.
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  #19  
Old 2008-01-17, 08:51 PM
patrob patrob is offline
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Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
I agree with the rest of your post except this part. I have site finished hardwood floors (about 9+ years now), and it has not separated nor has the finished cracked at the joints. Its the same at 4 other friends home that have site finish.

You can have problems if you home is very very dry or very very humid. But if you run your AC during those really hot humid summer days, you'll be find.

I have heard that wider floors (like planks) will have a more of a tendency to separate, but I have never seen this (do not know anyone with that type of flooring).
Do you have plank flooring or mosaic parquet?
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  #20  
Old 2008-01-17, 09:02 PM
patrob patrob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark & Lynda View Post
We have Oak pre-finish which was purchased and installed from a hardwood flooring supplier. When the floor was installed a year ago it was pretty much perfect but now I have noticed some small gaps between a couple of boards that I never noticed before.

I think gaping would be less noticable on site finish because there is no micro bevel but have heard site finish is not as durable.
In your heating season you will always notice little bit of gapping. Especially around heat vents and above heat runs. Do you have a humidifier, if yes then you should buy a small humidistat that checks the "actual" humidity in your house. If your humidifier is set at 40%, this may not be the actual real air humidity.

Even so, you will still have small gapping in winter but then it closes in the summer. That's the beauty of natural wood, it's "alive"

Only engineered wood has lesser tendency to expand & contract.
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