Finding and Buying Discount Hardwood Flooring

Finding and Buying Discount Hardwood Flooring


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Home Page > Home Improvement > Construction > Finding and Buying Discount Hardwood Flooring

Finding and Buying Discount Hardwood Flooring

Posted: May 10, 2011 |Comments: 0
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What is discount hardwood flooring? In general, unfinished flooring is sold at a particular grade that pertains not to its physical quality but rather to its appearance. Hardwood with a “Clear” grade is considered to have the most uniform appearance, and the next grade down, “Select,” is similar but with some natural character marks. Following are #1 and #2 Common grades, both of which feature such character marks as knots, mineral streaking, and greater color variety. Below this is discount hardwood flooring, sold under such grades as “tavern,” “cabin,” “#3 common,” or “character.”

No matter the label used, however, discount hardwood flooring can be difficult to find. Retail stores rarely carry it, and selections at distributors are based on monthly lists from mills, which indicate the species and types of wood from certain manufacturers being sold. Selections are based on hardwoods that do not meet manufacturers’ standards.

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Discount hardwood flooring has the most distinct color variation out of all grades available and, in some cases, varies significantly from the appearance of higher-grade flooring. This notable difference has caused discount hardwood to be called “swamp wood.”

In some cases, however, hardwood flooring is sold at a steep discount as a result of milling. Poor milling can result voids, tree bark edges, missing tongues, splits, checks, or windshake. Many of these qualities present problems in installation. Boards may not fit or align because edges are not square, and the surface of your floor may seem uneven.

The low price makes discount hardwood flooring enticing for installation, but you should keep in mind a few points. First, discount hardwood is not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Second, find out why a certain product is labeled “cabin,” “tavern,” or a similar grade. A lower grade could be the result of too many character marks or poor milling. Third, because some boards may not fit together in installation, purchase 10 to 15 percent more.

Prefinished discount hardwood flooring differs from unfinished products in that grading uses different sets of labels. Prefinished grades are assigned by a manufacturer, and as a result, “character” grade prefinished hardwood may not actually be discount flooring. Given a distressed appearance, character grade prefinished flooring is not the same product – appearance or price-wise – as prefinished discount hardwood flooring, which does not pass a manufacturer’s standards before or after finish is added.

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What type of rug/flooring should I put over hardwood floors to turn it into an exercise room? I know I can purchase the pvc mats (treadmill, utility, etc), but what rug should go under these?
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