New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

How to Choose Types of Hardwood Flooring | Custom Home Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 20:05 PM

Top 6 Types of Hardwood Floors for Your New Home 

Until recently, hardwood floors were found only in high-end homes. 

Now, hardwood flooring is one of the most popular upgrades in any new home in the Raleigh area.

Advances in wood flooring during the past few years means that you can now have wood anywhere in your home.  Here are the top 6 different types of wood and hardwood floors. 


1. Solid Flooring

Solid wood flooring refers to anything that consists of one piece of wood from top to bottom.  Most often 3/4" inch thick, a solid wood floor can be sanded and refinished, making this an extremely long-lasting flooring.Hardwood Flooring

Oak is the most common natural hardwood flooring, in white or red.  A white oak is usually just a little more expensive, but red oak tends to pick up and reflect red tones in cabinetry and other nearby features. 

Maple, ash, hickory, and a variety of exotic woods are also available as solid flooring.

Custom builders often include at least several rooms with solid or engineered hardwood floors. 


2. Engineered Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Custom Homes

Still most often referred to as hardwood or wood flooring, this wood flooring product consists of layers of wood pressed together. Because grains run in different directions, it is more dimensionally solid wood.

 If the top layer is thick enough, it is possible for the flooring to be sanded and refinished. 



3. Site Finish

Solid or engineered wood floors can have stain and varnish applied in several ways. 

Custom Home Flooring

The most premium is "site finish".  Unfinished hardwood is installed in the home.  The buyer or builder chooses a stain color, which can be customized at the time of application by mixing one or more standard colors together.  This stain and a final coat of varnish is then applied to the floor over a period of 3-5 days.   




4. Prefinish

Individual pieces are pre-stained and varnisheTypes of Hardwood Flooringd, then installed in the home.  This process is quicker and less expensive than site-finished stain, but can be higher quality. 

Some manufacturers offer a 50 year warranty, and apply up to 12 coats of verathane.  


5. Wood Laminates

Wood laminates consist of a plywood base covered with a layer of veneer.  Plies and thicknesses vary, but three-ply, 3/8 inch flooring is most common (compared to 3/4 inch for solid hardwood). New Home Hardwood Floors

The veneer topping of wood laminate floors (commonly 1/8 inch thick) can be sanded and refinished 3 times, at most. 

Most manufacturers have 5-year finish warranties.   Laminate wood flooring can be a great way for a first time home buyer to experience the benefits of a wood floor.  It's a low-maintenance alternative to carpet, and great for pets. 


6. Synthetic Plastic Laminates

Usually 1/2 inch thick, plastic laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard center wrapped in top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate - a tougher version of the same material used in many kitchen countertops. 

Hardwood Flooring in New Homes


These floors cannot be sanded or refinished. They usually come with 10 or 15 year manufacturer warranties. 

These laminate floors are very tough - they hold up very well, even under heavy traffic and pet claws.  Because they are inexpensive and last 10-15 years, even if they eventually need to be replaced the long term cost is low. 


Choosing Your Hardwood Floors

There are many colors, types, and styles of flooring within each of these categories.

Buyers should choose wood flooring based on both asthetic quality and cost (over the life of the home). 

Solid or engineered hardwood floors cost mCustom Hardwood Flooringore upfront, but are likely to last the lifetime of the home with proper care. 

Laminates will most likely need to be replaced at least several times over the life of the home, but can be lower cost and allow buyers a low-maintenence alternative to carpet.  


Talk to Your Builder

Buyers should ask their builder and/or real estate agent exactly what kind of flooring is standard in their new construction home, and which styles of flooring would be an upgrade.


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Tags: hardwoods, flooring, custom home tips, new homes raleigh, raleigh custom homes, custom homes raleigh nc

Flooring Cost Guide: Know what you're stepping into before you buy

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Dec 09, 2010 @ 06:12 AM

Flooring Guide Cost Analysis 

Tips from Raleigh Custom Home Builders

What you put underfoot can make a big difference, in how it wears, what it looks like, and how long it lasts.

What you pay depends on what your flooring is made of, and how it goes down. Your Raleigh custom home builder can break this down for you so you know what you're paying for, into categories like this: 

    • Species of flooring (carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile)
    • Solid or engineered
    • Installation method (nailed, glued, or floated?)
    • Finish method (prefinished or site finished?)
    • Type of subfloor
    • Waste factor
    • Special order materials
    • Shoe molding or standard baseboard

Here's what you're paying for, depending on the type of flooring you choosing.

Flooring Cost Guide | Raleigh Custom Home BuildersCarpet Flooring Cost Factors - $

Carpet is generally the least expensive flooring treatment.  Raleigh custom home builders such as Stanton Homes offer a wide variety of standard carpeting, including Berber, frieze, Green Label, and a variety of plush/pile carpetings. 

Carpet padding can make a big difference, too. It's softer underfoot if you use a thicker pad, and Stanton Homes uses an upgraded 8 lb padding, but many builders charge extra for anything above a 5 or 6 lb pad.

Carpets can vary considerably in price, and premium flooring selections can include multi-colored carpets, wool carpets, or high-end soft nylon carpets. 

Laminate Flooring Cost Factors - $$

Depending on the type of laminate, materials and labor usually cost more than carpet but less than hardwood. Flooring companies offer a huge selection of vinyl and laminate floorings to choose from.  Armstrong vinyl flooring is one of the more durable options, particularly in secondary baths and laundry rooms.  

Laminate hardwoods are available in a variety of styles and costs, from budget to luxury. Premium laminates can cost more than standard site finished solid oak hardwood.

Flooring Cost Guide | Raleigh Custom Home BuildersHardwood Flooring Cost Factors $$$

A site finished or prefinished solid hardwood can last the life of your home.  These floors will hold up for decades if cared for, and if you want to buff them up, they can be refinished many times over.

Ask your Raleigh custom home builder what type of hardwood they're installing.  Don't take for granted that hardwood always translates into a solid oak, 3/4" thick hardwood. There are all kinds of hardwood options, and you'll want to consider the hardness and durability in light of the kind of wear you're expecting from your lifestyle.

Tile Flooring Cost Factors $$$$

Tile can be the most expensive flooring to install, mainly due to the intensity of labor required.  Materials aside from the tile, itself, are also extensive: You'll need Durock or backer board in certain areas, grout, installation materials like glue and sponges, and even sealant once installation is complete. 

The size of the tiles can also make a difference.  A 12x12 tile is most cost effective to install.  Larger and smaller tiles require additional time and expertise.  Specialty pattern work will need even more care and time. 

The Best Flooring Choice for your Raleigh Custom Home?

That's up to you.  Think about what you want to walk on, look at and care for - and understand your options and your budget.

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Tags: flooring, cost guide, Raleigh Custom Home Builders, raleigh custom homes