In general, before buying any product or service, you’ll usually ask a few questions to determine if that product or service is good for your needs. New hardwood flooring is no exception, especially since it’s the single most popular home improvement upgrade in today’s real estate market and can oftentimes cost you several thousand dollars for a custom installation or refinishing project. With that being said, you want to get the best possible return on your wood flooring investment as possible and with over 30 years of unsurpassable experience under his belt; our company’s owner – Mehsel Azulay is the ideal person to elaborate on this very topic. Here at the respectable Century Custom Hardwood Floors of Los Angeles, we sat down with our master flooring contractor and compiled a comprehensive list of his top-8 frequently asked questions that will help you decide the type, species, color, and other factors of hardwood that are best for your home, office, gym or studio. Ready? Here we go!
① So, what’s the difference between solid and engineered, laminate or real?
Solid hardwood just means that the entire plank of wood is only wood and no cheaper filler material. This type is thicker and heavier usually, but it is more susceptible to shrinking and expanding. Engineered means that there is a layer of cheaper filler in the middle of the plank to reduce cost. However, this type is very moisture and heat resistant, more so than solid. Laminate floors are just fake versions of real hardwood floors, but look the part and cost a lot less to install. They are not made of wood but are otherwise used in the same way.
② Which species or types of wood flooring are best for me?
Any specie of hardwood floor is good for you. It all depends on preferences. Oak, maple, cherry, walnut, chestnut, ash, mahogany, bamboo, hickory, pecan and birch are just a few of the many possible species of wood you can have as flooring. Though some floors are recommended more for certain floor scenarios, all hardwood floors can be installed anywhere, with no restrictions. For example, some floors are stronger and more suited to high-traffic areas than others, while some are better for low-traffic areas or places like bathrooms and kitchens with higher moisture content. Outside of this, there are no limits.
③ What is a finish and why do I need one?
A finish is the last application of a certain stain or polyurethane on your floor that is has a glossy shine or matte look. So yes, you do need one, even if just to seal and protect your hardwood floor from accidental spills or pesky pets with un-manicured nails. You can either buy the wood flooring unfinished or pre-finished, limiting your options for customization but typically a better option if you’re in a time-crunch or you can have the maestros here at Century Floors apply an on-site custom finish that you chose. These finishes can come in various colors and tones, and they can also be made shiny (high-gloss), somewhat shiny (semi-gloss), or opaque (matte). Your custom stain can be made to look any way you want it to or match your home’s existing wood floors, cabinetry or furniture.
④ Are hardwood floors cheaper or more expensive than carpet or tile?
They’re definitely more expensive but with good reason. Hardwood floors last a lot longer than carpet or tile, sometimes outlasting the property owner’s lifespan and more importantly increase the ROI of your home, office or business. Basically, they’re a way better investment than other floor types. Yes, the initial investment can be a bit hefty, but it’s completely worth it. Hardwood floors can last several decades, and even more with proper care and refinishing. Some floors have been in use for over a hundred years and still look great. Not to mention that they’re a ‘healthier’ alternative to the microscopic germs and bacteria living in your plush carpeting. Hardwood floors are not only hypoallergenic but are way easier to maintain clean as well as the most recommended flooring option by physicians for those suffering from respiratory problems. To top it off, did you know that the impact from a fall on hardwood floors is less traumatizing to the human body than falling on an actual carpet? Don’t take it from us, ask the ‘doc next time you happen to be at an appointment.
⑤ How long does the hardwood floor installation or restoration process take?
Honestly, not long at all. For most clients, hardwood floor installation can take anywhere from a week to two weeks at the most, depending on the scope of the project and the material used (some wood flooring requires time to acclimate to the location’s weather environment), as well as optional services such as additional coatings of sealant, soundproofing and custom staining. Here at LA’s Century Custom Hardwood Floors we adhere strictly to all of the guidelines administered by the state of California and the National Wood Flooring Association – not just for us, but also to protect you from any possible harm.
⑥ How do I maintain my new wood floors so that they don’t fade or lose their luster?
Firstly, your floors will gradually but surely change in color over time. How much they change will probably depend on you. Proper maintenance & care with approved cleaning materials will keep your floors in perfect condition as will precautionary steps like putting in rugs in high-traffic areas and clipping your pets’ nails. Some floors change color more quickly than others, so be sure to ask which ones do so what other options are available to delay the inevitable process.
⑦ Great but It’s all kind of expensive; can’t I just do it myself?
Sure, if you know all the guidelines for proper & legal installation, have your industrial-grade sander, belter, stripper, and buffer. Also, don’t forget to check your moisture content and the acceptable level for your region. Make sure you also know how to and how much stain and polyurethane to apply, and when. Not so easy, is it? All this and more is what the Hardwood Heroes at Century Floors manage for you when you choose us to install, restore or refinish your hardwood floor. People don’t often realize how quick costs can begin to escalate when attempting to do an installation or refinishing project themselves, that’s to say if all goes well and doesn’t require an expert to fix!
⑧ So then, you’re the best choice for hardwood flooring services in Los Angeles, right?
Yes, yes we are… but you may be asking why? The teams of technicians, builders, contractors and project managers here at Century Custom Hardwood Floor Inc. have over 30 years of accumulated experience in installing and refinishing, repairing and restoring exclusively hardwood floors. Not only are we experienced, we also have all the legal approval to do this type of work. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured; we also have an A+ rating from the BBB with several outstanding reviews on Yelp!, Google+ and Angieslist to name a few, so you know we value our customers’ time. We have an endless amount of testimonials hand-written by very satisfied clientele and a list of projects that we recently completed, available for your viewing pleasure. Give us a call at (800) 608-6007 today and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly customer service representatives or office administrators. Our on-site estimates and design consultations cost you nothing and are performed around your schedule.