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Hardwood Flooring Tips

Looking for kid- or pet-friendly hardwood flooring?

Your choice of flooring for your home in Cary or Raleigh NC is one that should be based on your personal preference along with the value that the new floors will add to your home.

Not all hardwood floors are created equal nor is there a one-size fits all scenario. The hardwood flooring you select is based on your home’s layout, traffic patterns, your lifestyle, and design preference as much as anything. Why work with the weekend help at that big box store near the mall on such an important decision? Instead, choose Floor Coverings International in Cary with over 15-years of factory-trained expertise, personalized attention, and in-home measurement and consultation.

Consider the following when shopping for hardwood flooring:


Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid wood is just one piece that is milled from lumber. Available in a variety of widths, from 2-1/4″ to 5″ wide, and different thicknesses.

Keep These Things In Mind:

  •    Moisture and extreme temperature changes can cause solid wood to shrink and expand, potentially causing gaps between boards during colder or dryer seasons.
  •    5/16″ thin profile solid wood can be installed directly over concrete; 3/4″ can’t.
  •    All solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished if needed (required every 15-20 years).
  •    All urethane coated floors can be recoated as needed to renew the surface of the floor. This is more economical than sanding and refinishing.



Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood is real wood, but instead of one solid piece it consists of three to 10 thin layers of wood, called plies, that are assembled and glued in a cross-ply construction. The top layer of wood can range from 1/16″ to 1/6″ thick. Overall board thickness ranges from 1/4″ to 3/4″. Due to its multi-ply structure, engineered wood is much more stable than solid wood and is less susceptible to shrinking and expanding with changes in temperatures and humidity. Keep These Things In Mind:

  •    Engineered wood can be installed directly over concrete and can also be installed below ground level.
  •    Engineered wood with a top layer thinner than 1/10″ cannot be refinished; however, it can be recoated to renew the surface of the floor.
Site-Finished vs. Prefinished Hardwood Flooring  Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
A pre-finish, or factory finish, creates a no muss, no fuss installation. There’s no dust from sanding, no fumes from chemicals, no waiting for the finish to dry. These floors are warranted to last longer than site-finished floors–typically 15 to 25 years, versus three to five years. This is because factory applied urethane finishes are much tougher and longer lasting than site-applied finishes.With all the color choices available in pre-finished hardwood flooring, there’s no need to custom stain site-finished floors to get just the right look for your home.
If you like the look of site-finished flooring, but want the durability of prefinished flooring, choose a product with a square end and edge. Site-Finished
Advocates of site-finishing like the fact that the floor can be sanded after it’s installed to even out any imperfections. Site finishing also gives you the widest selection of stain colors to choose from. However, on-site sanding and finishing can produce heavy fumes, messy dust and significant waiting time from when the floor is laid until it can be enjoyed. In addition, labor costs for on-site finishing may drive up your installation costs.

Keep These Things In Mind:

  •    Pre-finished floors are warranted for a longer time period than site finished floors.

Hardwood Flooring Characteristics:

Each wood floor has its own inherent traits, character and color that affect its appearance and durability. One standard measure of a wood’s strength is its Janka Hardness Rating. This test measures the force needed to embed a steel ball (.444 inch in diameter) to half its diameter in the piece of wood being tested, with the rating measured in pounds of force per square inch. With this rating system, the higher the number the harder the wood floor. We’ve included this and other wood specie-specific information about the hardwoods in our flooring collection to help you decide which is right for you. For more information on wood flooring, you may  also visit the National Wood Flooring Association online at  woodfloors.org. 4 Essential Attributes of a quality Hardwood Floor:

  1. Durability – Above all, our customers want to know that their new floor will endure. Robina Wood floors are built to stand the test of time, and are guaranteed to be free of defects in manufacturing for a lifetime. Our superior quality standards include a multi-layer finishing system that is guaranteed for a full 25 years. See warranty section, last page.

  2. Design Details – We pay attention to design details that are often overlooked by others. For instance, our stain finish reduces glare and subtle beveled edges add depth. We offer a choice of finish options: narrow and wide board widths and hand-scultped and smooth surfaces.

  3. Ease of Installation – Our revolutionary VR Loc™ system is quite possibly the easiest and most reliable interlocking floor available. With the help of some common tools and the ability to follow our step-by-step instructions, anyone can install a Robina Wood floor like a professional.

  4. Ease of Care – Who knew beautiful hardwood floors could be so easy to care for? We did. Our products are made to be easy on the eyes and easy on you. Simply sweep regularly and wipe with a wood floor cleaner and clean, white cloth.

Selecting the Perfect Hardwood Floor:

We feature a selection of Robina and Somerset hardwood floors in varying formats and finishes for your consideration. We are constantly updating and improving our collection, so be sure to check online for the most current product offerings.

  1. Choose a Floor Color – Our floor color palette ranges from wood floors with light or bright coloring, to dramatic and dark wood floors.

  2. Choose a Format – We offer 3” wide hardwood floors, or 3 ½” wood planks and 5” hardwood flooring sizes.

  3. Choose a Finish – Choose between classic smooth finishes or time-worn, hand-scultped wood floors.

Other Flooring Topics:

When you need great flooring in Raleigh, look to Floor Coverings Intl for your carpeting, hardwood and laminate floors, area rugs, vinyl and more.

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