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The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread

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Sep 17, 2003
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I am in the process of building a new house. The basic flooring, in actual plan, is lino and carpet. If I upgrade to hardwood, will cost me around $10.00 psft as my builder told me. Is this nominal? Could I ask my builder to not to install lino and I will do the flooring (another contractor?), do the builder normally do this and give me some credit for lino. How much the difference in cost in lino and hardwood?
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Feb 7, 2005
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patrob wrote:
Aug 7th, 2008 8:15 pm
There is no way I would go with a 6" solid plank. Can you imagine the capping in humidity & shrinkage? The max I would go with a solid plank is 4". If you want wide planks go with engineered wood. And $4 sq. ft. for rustic (3rd grade) is not that cheap for that brand.

Do you have a pic of the floors with the top nails showing?
Aw crap. I didn't see your reply yesterday so I ended up buying this: 5 1/4 maple in a natural finish.

I didn't know the wood stability was a bigger issue with the wider pieces but now that you mention it, it makes sense. I understand the shrinkage but what is "capping"? Is this the main reason to stay way from wider boards like this?

It's not installed yet so do you think it's worth returning it and getting narrower boards or can it be successfully installed? It's going into a 10 X 13 room and not the entire floor if that makes any difference.

I'll post some pictures of my old floors that are nailed (sometimes screwed) through the top when I get home tonight.

Thanks again for your advice.
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tetris wrote:
Aug 8th, 2008 1:50 am
I am in the process of building a new house. The basic flooring, in actual plan, is lino and carpet. If I upgrade to hardwood, will cost me around $10.00 psft as my builder told me. Is this nominal? Could I ask my builder to not to install lino and I will do the flooring (another contractor?), do the builder normally do this and give me some credit for lino. How much the difference in cost in lino and hardwood?
That's actually a decent price the builder is quoting you for hardwood. Not sure of actual cost of lino but just ask the builder not to install it & see what they say. Some builders will close a house with bare sub-floors, some will not.
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johnsmithy wrote:
Aug 8th, 2008 3:11 pm
Aw crap. I didn't see your reply yesterday so I ended up buying this: 5 1/4 maple in a natural finish.

I didn't know the wood stability was a bigger issue with the wider pieces but now that you mention it, it makes sense. I understand the shrinkage but what is "capping"? Is this the main reason to stay way from wider boards like this?

It's not installed yet so do you think it's worth returning it and getting narrower boards or can it be successfully installed? It's going into a 10 X 13 room and not the entire floor if that makes any difference.

I'll post some pictures of my old floors that are nailed (sometimes screwed) through the top when I get home tonight.

Thanks again for your advice.
You can still install it, you will be fine since the area is not too big. I meant to say cupping not capping. The 5 1/4" might show more cupping especially in maple. Here is a little pic that shows "cupping", pic #2 www.woodfloorsonline.com/techtalk/images/cupcrown.gif

Plus I doubt a place like that will take back returns without any re-stocking fees.
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patrob wrote:
Aug 8th, 2008 8:21 pm
You can still install it, you will be fine since the area is not too big. I meant to say cupping not capping. The 5 1/4" might show more cupping especially in maple. Here is a little pic that shows "cupping", pic #2 www.woodfloorsonline.com/techtalk/images/cupcrown.gif

Plus I doubt a place like that will take back returns without any re-stocking fees.
Great, I really didn't want to drive all that lumber back ;)

Here's a picture of my existing hardwood (oak strips I think) that are nailed through the top. Is there any hope of repair? Looks like some of them have the tongue and/or grooves broken off as well.

I also found a hole in the floor that exposes a bit of the subfloor and it looks like there's joist, some type of thick hardwood flooring, the oak strips, then a 1/4" ply. There doesn't seem to be any ply on top of the joists! Is this unusual for a 100 year old house?

I'd like to rip it out to the joist and re-do the subfloor but I can't afford the time (my sister arrives in 2 weeks and the room has to be finished by then!). I'm planning shooting some screws through all of the subfloor layers into the joist then install the 5 1/4" maple right on top of the existing layers of subfloor. I know you probably don't approve of this but how bad is this plan?

Thanks!
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patrob wrote:
Aug 8th, 2008 8:11 pm
That's actually a decent price the builder is quoting you for hardwood. Not sure of actual cost of lino but just ask the builder not to install it & see what they say. Some builders will close a house with bare sub-floors, some will not.
Patrob, This $10.00 SFT for hardwood floor upgrade is in addition to the lino price which has already been included in the original basic home plan price. Do you think is it still good price for upgrade and wouldn't be significant savings if done by a local contractor and get a credit from builder (if got the credit) for not installing of lino. Whats the better hardwood in terms of durability, size (width like 3", 5" or 6" and less wear and tear.
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johnsmithy wrote:
Aug 8th, 2008 11:43 pm
Great, I really didn't want to drive all that lumber back ;)

Here's a picture of my existing hardwood (oak strips I think) that are nailed through the top. Is there any hope of repair? Looks like some of them have the tongue and/or grooves broken off as well.

I also found a hole in the floor that exposes a bit of the subfloor and it looks like there's joist, some type of thick hardwood flooring, the oak strips, then a 1/4" ply. There doesn't seem to be any ply on top of the joists! Is this unusual for a 100 year old house?

I'd like to rip it out to the joist and re-do the subfloor but I can't afford the time (my sister arrives in 2 weeks and the room has to be finished by then!). I'm planning shooting some screws through all of the subfloor layers into the joist then install the 5 1/4" maple right on top of the existing layers of subfloor. I know you probably don't approve of this but how bad is this plan?

Thanks!
There is no hope of salvaging those floors, looks like there is just too much damage to it. Old houses had boards either regular or tongue & groove as the sub-floor. You can re-fasten the sub-floor but don't screw it too close or you will split the joists.
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tetris wrote:
Aug 9th, 2008 1:59 pm
Patrob, This $10.00 SFT for hardwood floor upgrade is in addition to the lino price which has already been included in the original basic home plan price. Do you think is it still good price for upgrade and wouldn't be significant savings if done by a local contractor and get a credit from builder (if got the credit) for not installing of lino. Whats the better hardwood in terms of durability, size (width like 3", 5" or 6" and less wear and tear.
Why don't you call a couple of hardwood stores & get some quotes, then compare the price with the builders. For ex: here in GTA you have standard carpets when you buy a house & the builders charge on average around $12-16 sq. ft. And most times they never credit you for the carpet you already paid for. That's just how it is, so technically you are actually paying much more for that hardwood. I always tell people to get the hardwood installed after closing, you'll save yourself some money & you can re-use those carpets perhaps in the basement :idea:

From solid hardwoods 3 1/4" is the most common in the nicer size & stability. 5" & up is a bit too wide for solid, in that size or above, engineered is recommended. The durability of finish is the same for every size.
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Apr 2, 2008
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Hi Patrob,
Thanks for the thread, it's been great. It's been great to have such honest and upfront information.

I have a few quick hardwood floor questions for you. We're thinking of a medium-dark Oak with as little grain as possible. I've got a young family, so durability and hiding scratches are pretty important. I think I want engineered because of the better structural warranty and stability.

1) Have you heard of Dansk, Columbia and/or Trillium flooring? If so, what do you think of them as compared to Mirage flooring?
2) We really like some of the Mirage flooring, especially since some come in low gloss, but they seemed so much more expensive than other brands. I'm in Winnipeg, so I don't know if it compares to Ontario pricing. Should it possible to get solid 3 1/4" Mirage Oak for a lot less than $8/ft2?
3) If I remove and replace baseboard after installation, do I avoid the need for quarter-round?

Thanks in advance...
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Dec 12, 2005
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So after having Mirage engineered hardwood installed in our basement by the contractor finishing our basement, I discovered there are 3 leftover boxes (each with about 25 sq. ft). Unfortunately the contractor had unwrapped all the boxes prior to installation instead of saving a few boxes unopened (for this very same reason of excess) :evil: .

The wood is still in the boxes, but the wrapping is gone.

I don't suppose the wood is returnable at this stage. I guess the only option is to try and sell it at a steep discount?
Shojin wrote:I like to quote myself.
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mdesjardine wrote:
Aug 11th, 2008 8:57 pm
Hi Patrob,
Thanks for the thread, it's been great. It's been great to have such honest and upfront information.

I have a few quick hardwood floor questions for you. We're thinking of a medium-dark Oak with as little grain as possible. I've got a young family, so durability and hiding scratches are pretty important. I think I want engineered because of the better structural warranty and stability.

1) Have you heard of Dansk, Columbia and/or Trillium flooring? If so, what do you think of them as compared to Mirage flooring?
2) We really like some of the Mirage flooring, especially since some come in low gloss, but they seemed so much more expensive than other brands. I'm in Winnipeg, so I don't know if it compares to Ontario pricing. Should it possible to get solid 3 1/4" Mirage Oak for a lot less than $8/ft2?
3) If I remove and replace baseboard after installation, do I avoid the need for quarter-round?

Thanks in advance...
Oak with as little grain as possible? That's impossible :D

No, I am not familiar with those companies, except for Mirage. Did you consider Vintage, they do have dealers in Winnipeg. The prices for both of those brands here in GTA are between $5 - $7 on average. You are correct about engineered.

The quarter round dilemma depends on how straight your floors will be after installation & how straight your baseboard is & who will install it. If your installer will shave the bottom to contour to the floor, then you're ok. But you can substitute quarter rounds with shoe molds or door stop, which have a nicer profile & doesn't stick out as much as a reg. quarter round. If your baseboards are painted, stick with painted quarter round, not stained.
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Shojin wrote:
Aug 11th, 2008 9:15 pm
So after having Mirage engineered hardwood installed in our basement by the contractor finishing our basement, I discovered there are 3 leftover boxes (each with about 25 sq. ft). Unfortunately the contractor had unwrapped all the boxes prior to installation instead of saving a few boxes unopened (for this very same reason of excess) :evil: .

The wood is still in the boxes, but the wrapping is gone.

I don't suppose the wood is returnable at this stage. I guess the only option is to try and sell it at a steep discount?
About 75 sq. ft., how old was his measuring tape (must have been very stretched) :lol: It's a good idea to keep a couple of pieces for any repairs, etc... How about if you buy a box or two & do an extra room upstairs, instead of selling it at a deep discount, plus it will be hard to sell just 3 boxes.
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Feb 27, 2007
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Hi Patrob,

I have checked a vintage dealer in Ottawa to ask about a quote. He did actually give me a decent price for Vintage, but also mentioned a new builder that has been in the market for more than a year...The manufacturer name is Artc and he said that the quality is pretty good and since it hasn't been in the market that long, the price is about $1.50 cheaper for the same kind compared to Mirage or Vintage...Did you any feedback on this? have you heard about this company?

Thanks in advance,

Alex76
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Jul 1, 2008
4 posts
London, Ontario
Hi Patrob,


Thanks for the reply. I've been shopping around and found a few deals that seem pretty good, but I don't know about quality, etc. I've listed them below, if you could let me know what you think is the best in terms of colour/quality of the species, stains, or if you have heard of any/all of the manufacturers that would be helpful also. I am ideally looking for something without too much variation between boards in terms of the colour...I would have gone with the Torlys Summit Beech Wenge, but the price point is just too high, about $5.99/sq. ft. at its cheapest...

1) Jatoba "Deep Brown" by Continental Designs (? who this company is), 3mm veneer top with tongue and groove joint design for $4.59/sq. ft

2) Quickstep Majestic Oak Espresso for $4.09/sq. ft

I've also seen some really cheap stuff on this website called Build Direct out of Vancouver, the samples look okay when I ordered them but mostly they are 3" planks. The colour I liked was the White Oak Burberry from Dreya (another unknown manufacturer?). Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Faizal

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