Flooring: foundation of your home design
"You can have any look you want on a wood floor and stain
it anything you want on a job-site finish," says Wayne Cotton, immediate
past president of the National Wood Flooring Association and president of Design
Flooring Distributors in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Most often with
a job-site finish, there is a one-year warranty. The key for the homeowner is
to have the job done by a good company.
Job-site floors cost more money
because of the labor needed to put the finish
on the floor. For example, in South Florida,
the cost is $4 a square foot, but in Central
Florida it may be $3 a square foot, while
in North Florida it ranges as low as $2 a
square foot. The regional costs vary and tend
to be more expensive in larger cities and
surrounding suburbs. The wood itself doesn't
vary that much in cost across the country,
and there may be only a 10 percent to 15 percent
Cotton says more homeowners
today are selecting prefinished floors. He
adds: "Homeowners like the option of
selecting a prefinished floor with a 20- to
25-year warranty with a stain that will hold."
Furthermore, there is a wide price range on
prefinished floors. For example, homeowners
can pay as little as $2 or up to $13 per foot
for a prefinished floor. Homeowners should
understand the differences between these protective
coatings on their floors. However, some species
of wood only come in a particular glossy look.
So, look around and find the look you want.
The harder the species, the
more durable the wood will be for young families,
says Cotton. He points out that American
cherry and American black walnut are softer
woods that would be used in a dining room
or library or around the edges of a room where
there is less traffic. Pine is another soft
species. Cotton would recommend homeowners
with children or pets to consider the oaks
or maples as well as the exotic Brazilian
cherry and Brazilian walnut. "When the
100-pound dog passes away and the kids move
out, you can always finish the floor with
a different look," he says.
Cotton also recommends that
these homeowners get a hand-scraped or sculptured
wood floor. Hand-sculptured floors have a
texture to them. The more the floor is used,
the better it looks. With a hand-scraped textured
floor, the soft grain is taken out and the
harder grain is left.