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  • Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

    The local HD has 3/4" x 3 1/4" Oak Gunstock hardwood that's appealing to me. It has a 30yr residential warranty.

    Are there major differences between brands?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards.
    Regards,
    K. Nezz

  • #2
    Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

    Knezz,

    I guess it depends on what one considers "major". Much has to do with finish, it's durability, sheen, etc. Actual wood quality is pretty consistant I think, but finish seems to vary, between brands as does it's warranty for wear.

    We had an oak floor put in a couple of years ago. The installation was well done, but not the "selection". Apparently the installer doesn't take the time to look for defects and after installation I found several pieces that were dinged, dented, and even with split ends. I was not at all happy and now I have a brand new floor, that had to be repaired! End product looks okay, but it's just the idea that there are now pieces in there that are "inserted" after having the original "cut-out", because it should never have been installed because of defects.

    The other "problem" was the sheen. My wife wanted a high-gloss look and though the small sample looked good, the final product was mort "matte" finished than she liked. In hindsight, it was our fault as we should have been there to watch the installation.

    The other issue is "length".... If you look at old, classic wood floors you will find that the pieces are long... six foot at least, except for ends of course. Much of the new flooring, and especially the stuff I've seen in the big-box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) consists of short pieces, sometimes only eight inches or so. That may not make a difference to many, but looking at the display examples at my local store and it looks ridiculous! I guess I would describe it as "pieced together" from mill ends. (I'm sure that if you wanted the traditional longer pieces, the price would be substantially higher!)

    I hope this is helpful,

    CWS

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

      If you are putting the floor down yourself, buy 30 to 50% more than the footage of the floor you will lay down.

      Open ALL the boxes AFTER making sure they are the same product. By that I mean to check all the stock numbers and that the finish is the same (matte vice gloss, etc.)

      MIX all the pieces from ALL the boxes, just as you should do with multiple gallons of paint, to distribute any variations is the wood color, finish, etc.
      Cull out any pieces that are too short or have surface defects and set them aside. THIS is what will eat up a lot of that overage you buy, but your end product will look so much better.

      Save any decent size pieces for future repairs. Five years from now whats in the store may carry the same product name and finish, but it will never match what you put down today.
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      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

        on many Pre finished floors there is nearly no wood in the top layer, and usually will not taking many be only one if any resanding for a refinishing, also on Prefinished floors to make them appear level they usually bevel the edge so there is a place to catch junk,

        but the quality of the finish of the floor is probably the most important thing, and IMO avoid very glossy finishes, as when they wear they will appear less attractive, as the contrast will be very appearent, to the unworn places, also a glossy reflective floor will show ever defect your floor has to offer,

        If I was to recommend I would suggest a solid wood floor that is site finished, yes more work and time, but you will have a 100 year floor, if it is at all taken care of,

        there are many different grades of flooring that go from wild and woolly to near perfection in wood quality, some small variances and defects add character, as a floor with ever board the same is boring IMO, to many looks varances and knots, looks like you slopped down junk, so one may want to study the grades of flooring to know what your ordering or buying up front (this is more in solid flooring than in manufactured flooring).

        when it comes to color variations and lengths take some time laying out the floor, if you end up with a bunch of lengths lining up or a light area with a darker strip running through or vise versa, it it can look funny, and it is not fun to take a few pieces up and replace them, especially after it is finished,
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        • #5
          Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

          BHD,

          Thanks for your words on "high-gloss" finishes and their problems with regard to showing wear. I think I need to pass that point on to the LOML... she's still commenting on the lack of the gloss finish that she wanted.

          Personally, I like the floor the way it is, as it gives nice reflection without being mirrored.

          Thanks,

          CWS

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

            Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
            In hindsight, it was our fault as we should have been there to watch the installation.


            CWS
            I totally disagree with you here (but understand where you are coming from). You paid to have it installed and the installer should have disgarded split and dinged pieces and saved them for end cuts pulling off the good section as filler.

            Thanks a lot for the information - very helpful.

            Regards.
            Regards,
            K. Nezz

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

              Knezz,

              Thanks.... but I meant I was wrong in the perception of the "gloss". We had looked at a sample, and went with the okay on that and then kept away purposely to our original home here in Painted Post. (75 mile difference) The new/future home is considerably bigger and considerably older, being built in 1887.

              As we had purchase it, the living room had been expanded to include what once was the front porch (done by an earlier owner in the 70's). Problem with that was that the old oak floor ended at the original structure and the new expansion had been plywood underlayed and then carpeted, which raised it over an inch above the old hardwood. Also, the old floor had plywood inserts placed where the original gravity-coal furnace grate had been. That plus various drilled holes and other marks.

              So when we decided the new floor was needed... it was an entire new floor with the old stuff ripped right down to the old subfloor boards, the porch area ripped up and redone so the whole thing first floor was now one continuous new oak.

              Also, the upstairs was completely resanded and finished and new oak was put in the second floor library. Big job and the place wasn't going to be habitable, even for visitation. It took over a month.

              So, after picking the floor sample and then seeing the final job we were very happy, except for about a dozen imperfections (dings and split ends). That didn't make me happy, but I understood how it happened and the owner of the business agreed and fixed it. The "gloss" issue was a bit perplexing, but I certainly couldn't blame the contractor entirely. We did pick the sample and that's what he installed.

              BTW. He did have some problems with the supplier in getting enough of the entire color lot. That also caused some delay, but in the end he got enough to do the whole job... problem though was that we weren't smart enough to get extra, as was pointed out by the other posters.

              CWS

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

                Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                Knezz,

                I guess it depends on what one considers "major". Much has to do with finish, it's durability, sheen, etc. Actual wood quality is pretty consistant I think, but finish seems to vary, between brands as does it's warranty for wear.

                We had an oak floor put in a couple of years ago. The installation was well done, but not the "selection". Apparently the installer doesn't take the time to look for defects and after installation I found several pieces that were dinged, dented, and even with split ends. I was not at all happy and now I have a brand new floor, that had to be repaired! End product looks okay, but it's just the idea that there are now pieces in there that are "inserted" after having the original "cut-out", because it should never have been installed because of defects.

                The other "problem" was the sheen. My wife wanted a high-gloss look and though the small sample looked good, the final product was mort "matte" finished than she liked. In hindsight, it was our fault as we should have been there to watch the installation.

                The other issue is "length".... If you look at old, classic wood floors you will find that the pieces are long... six foot at least, except for ends of course. Much of the new flooring, and especially the stuff I've seen in the big-box stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) consists of short pieces, sometimes only eight inches or so. That may not make a difference to many, but looking at the display examples at my local store and it looks ridiculous! I guess I would describe it as "pieced together" from mill ends. (I'm sure that if you wanted the traditional longer pieces, the price would be substantially higher!)

                I hope this is helpful,

                CWS
                I won't be installing myself. The GC will be doing that. I'm choosing 3 1/4"w Oak Gunstock.

                Pre-finished - does anyone have any brands they would suggest = quality finish, minimal splits, imperfections with long pieces?
                Regards,
                K. Nezz

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are there major differences in oak hardwood flooring?

                  I don't like H-D for flooring - either tile or hardwood. There are specialty places that offer better material for less $$ than H-D. For hardwood flooring, have you tried Lumber Liquidators? Best prices I've found in my area. I think it's a national chain.

                  With respect to pre-finished v. site finished.... I have the opposite opinion. I think you will get a longer wearing floor using prefinished if it's an aluminum oxide based finish. That's a very hard wear surface. The typical site-finished stuff is polyurethane, which has a plastic look to me and and in my experience doesn't hold up as long as the aluminum oxide, factory applied stuff. Since you're getting 3/4" - and I'm assuming this is solid wood prefinished, not some sort of "engineered" wood (which is usually thinner) - I think you will get the same number of refinishes out of it when the factory finish wears out.

                  I fully agree that the high gloss finishes should be avoided if the boss will let you.

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