Ask the expert: the ins and outs of wood floors: remodelista
Above: Oversized rustic oak planks from Cheville Parquet.
RM: You mentioned width of wood.
DW: We’ve laid flooring as wide as 12 inches, which is wide. The wider it is, the more expensive. Wider woods are hickory, pine, and fir. If you’re going wide on a budget, pine is the least expensive, but it’s soft and will dent more than other woods. The next best priced option is oak.
RM: Requirements for laying down a wood floor?
DW: You should have a subfloor that is flat, clean, and dry. We measure this with a moisture meter and make sure the moisture content is the same as the new flooring. Wood expands and contracts as humidity and temperature vary. If you need a stable floor, then you may want to consider an engineered floor.
RM: Why is that?
DW: Manufactured products are easy to work with generally because they’re more stable than wood. In terms of engineered wood, you want a thick wear layer so you can sand in the future. It can be 1/16th of an inch of wood on top of a plywood base; typically, the more layers of plywood the more stable and high quality the product. Engineered floors are a cheap alternative to wood; Reward is a good middle-of-the-road engineered floor.