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What should I look for when shopping for hardwood?

Wood flooring will add a lot of richness and charm to your Arizona home. It's an investment because it adds value to your home and will last for years. Shopping for hardwood floors is exciting, but also a bit overwhelming. At A&R Flooring, we’re a hardwood retailer so feel free to visit our showroom in Cottonwood, AZ to find the answers to any of your questions or concerns.

Understand your subfloor

The subfloor is the layer below your surface floor. It is important, especially with hardwood flooring, because a damaged subfloor can result in squeaks, gaps and even cupping on the surface floor. Sometimes it will even be recommended to replace the subfloor entirely.

It's critical that a moisture reading is done before the surface floor is installed. If the subfloor is excessively moist it can warp the surface floor. That's when cupping occurs. The planks expand and the edges turn up into a U-shape to try to make space. Also, ask about acclimation, a fairly simple process to help the species adjust to weather conditions; remember, many species come from forests in different climates, so they shrink and expand to try to adjust.

Most installers will automatically conduct a subfloor inspection and make recommendations. You should always ask if it's part of the installation, however. If it's not included, you'll want to negotiate that as part of the installation. Do not skip this step.

Know the two kinds of hardwood

There are solid and engineered constructions. Solid is, as it sounds, one thickness throughout the floor. Engineered is layered. At the top is a slice of authentic wood; that gives it the knots, grains, and beautiful undertones we've all come to expect.

Underneath are at least three layers of genuine wood combined with a little resin. Every layer is placed in a crosswise position, giving the floor more stability and an increased ability to handle water. Other things to know: Thickness determines how many times solid or engineered floors can be sanded and refinished. The ideal thickness for solid is ¾-inch and it can be sanded up to five or six times. Engineered ranges from ⅝ to ½ and can be sanded up to five times.

For more information about hardwood or any of our other products, feel free to give us a call. We service Cottonwood, AZ, Camp Verde, AZ, Clarkdale, AZ, Lake Montezuma, AZ, && Sedona, AZ. Ask about our estimates.