Exotic hardwoods information requested

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Old 09-01-15, 04:34 PM
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Exotic hardwoods information requested

We've been in our house for nearly 17 years now and the carpet is beginning to show its age in the high traffic areas. I've decided to pull out the downstairs carpet and replace it with hardwood. I thought I had a plan. Did some searches online for distributors and found Lumber Liquidators...looks like they have a decent selection and a store in town. Let's go look. My wife and I went in and found a Golden Teak Acacia that looked really nice and was in stock so we put down a deposit to hold it and started planning our next moves.

Well, I was sitting on my couch last night looking for more info to help me confirm the path I was on was the correct one and I found quite a bit of info that makes me think that LL is not the way to go after all. I didn't find anything that told me that the LL offerings aren't good but I found a couple sites that led me to believe that there are much nicer offerings available from other distributors and that maybe I need to slow down, request some samples and make my decision based on a broader selection of products.

So, here I am. I'm going to search through the forums and try to find all I can about the various manufacturers but I'd like to ask for your help. If you were going to put an exotic hardwood on your floor, your dream floor if you will, who would you buy it from and why? Any bit of information you can impart, I'll take.

Thank you,
Mike
 
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Old 09-01-15, 04:51 PM
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There are only so many manufacturers of flooring and most outlets carry them in stock. They may be displayed differently, but many are similar. So, in addition to the floor, you need to feel comfortable with the outfit you are buying from. Most any outlet can get the flooring, so go with those that have the best reputation. Play one against the other to get the best value. Carpet, as an example, is called by different names depending on where you buy it- but it is the same carpet. Competent retailers will have a great relationship with the supplier reps and be able to cross reference a style named X at say big orange store with a regular stocked item at Joe's flooring.

Other considerations are types of installations. Nail down, Floating, or Click Lock are some examples and the hidden costs associated with the correct preparation of the subfloor for each. Ask also how the installer will treat the baseboards, I like to remove baseboards and reinstall after the floor is in. Do they use chunky quarter round molding or a slimmer shoe mold. How will they handle transitions between rooms and hallways.

"Exotic" can mean different things, from rare to difficult to get. But it always means higher priced. I have used LL and not had issues, a buddy and fellow contractor has had horror stories from them. Make sure you inspect the stock closely before installation, test for moisture content and ensure best practices are used for the installation. Read the warranty closely and look for gray areas that may come back to bite you (mostly issues in areas that can get wet).

I commend you for taking a step back, it is a big investment and you have to live with it for a long time.

Are you planning on installing yourself, or hiring a contractor?
 
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Old 09-01-15, 06:30 PM
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I'll be doing the installation myself and it will be the second floor I've installed. I've got all the tools required for the work, just need to schedule the project around my work. Actually looking forward to taking on another project around the house.

Mike
 
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Old 09-01-15, 07:30 PM
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Nail down???

Give us some more that we can assist moving forward.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 11:25 PM
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Sorry for the lack of details. Floor will be nail down. Plank width is going to be no less than 4". I'm tending to like the wider planks myself but my wife seems to prefer the narrower planks so 4" would be the compromise, preference would be 5 1/2". Installation is above grade, over 3/4" plywood that to my knowledge has no mold or water damage but I guess we'll find out for sure when we strip up the old floor and carpet. Haven't decided on underlayment as yet.

Best looking floor I've seen so far in Indusparquet 3/4" Brazilian Cherry, and while their Teak, Mahogany, Walnut, and Rosewood look amazing a couple of those are simply out of my price range. Still, the Brazilian Cherry should give you some idea of what I"m after.

Finally, I could be talked into getting an unfinished floor and doing an oil finish but I doubt my wife would go for it. I prefer a matte or satin finish but so far she's shown the most interest in smooth finish, prefinished products with fairly high gloss.

So, let me have it...

Thanks again,
Mike
 
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Old 09-02-15, 04:58 AM
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While I think a site finished floor is the best, no way would I consider an unfinished floor in an occupied home! Too much dust from the sanding process!!!! IMO a prefinished floor is the only way to go in an occupied home. Plus the factory finish is often tougher than any site applied finish.
 
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Old 09-02-15, 06:19 AM
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3/4" ply is good, make sure you screw it down first, now is the time to take care of squeaks and pops. Use exterior deck screws at least 2" long. Report back if more than one layer of ply is installed. Have you already purchased a nailer for the installation?

Other things to consider are the length of the planks. Are they random length or all the same size. If you are going with a solid 3/4" plank, they most likely are random length. If an engineered floor, you can get all the same length. However, all the same length will can tend to look like a herring bone pattern in a large room. Lay the floor out in advance (racking) and make sure you don't have any joints too close together. Offset everything by at least 6 inches.

Be prepared for a whole mess of smaller pieces and cherish the longer ones. Strategically place the shorter ones together under/behind furniture or in closets. Have a oscillating tool with a metal blade handy for the errant board that is too narrow relative to the others and you have to remove it after you have nailed it down. Often you don't catch it until you go to set the next row and notice a gap. The tool allows you to cut the nails without prying the board up.

Here is a thread that discusses a lot of tips that will help you to a smooth installation. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/so...hrow-away.html
 
 

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