One way you can trim your budget is to buy the wood flooring yourself, pick it up and bring it home so that the installation company only needs to install the flooring. If you want intricate details such as borders or inlaid patterns, you can expect to pay more. Keep the layout simple and you can save $1 to $2 per square foot in extra installation costs. Other ways to keep costs down include:
The natural process of things will tend to close gaps as the weather and humidity changes. As a rule, if the gap is less than the thickness of a dime, your flooring is normal and there’s nothing to worry about. If your gaps are more persistent, you might need to call in a professional to tighten up your hardwood floor so that they cease to be a problem.

My advice is to bring in a professional to make sure the floors can be refinished (i.e. if there is still enough room/if you didn’t permanently damage the wood), and if so, have them refinish them rather than replace them – that will be much less expensive. I don’t know where you live and the going rates, but in our area, it’s prob. the price is prob. $1-2 lower…but that may be par for your area. Call in 2-3 people to see. I would check Angie’s List (angieslist.com) for some good local people in your area. Denver Hardwood Floor Install
Floor connection system: There are a wide range of connection systems, as most of them are mill-specific manufacturing techniques. The general principle is to have grooves on all four sides of the plank with a separate, unconnected, piece that is inserted into the grooves of two planks to join them. The piece used for the connection can be made from wood, rubber, or plastic. This installation system allows for different materials (i.e. wood and metal) to be installed together if they have the same connection system. Denver Hardwood Floor Install
– If you want to change the width of the wood or the direction of the hardwood, the only way to do this is to get a new floor. The standard in home is oak 2 ¼” strip. Now, it’s more stylish and more common to get wider planks such as 3 ¼” or 4”or 5” planks. These look more modern and importantly make the room look larger. Another design trick to make the rooms look larger is to lay the planks on a diagonal – that way, it carries your eye along the longest length of the room. Or, you can even get fancy and add borders or do a herringbone pattern. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Local Retailers: Local home improvement stores often carry a number of engineered wood flooring products in stock. Additionally, local flooring stores can provide samples that let you see how the color and style of the engineered floor will look in your home. Either option may offer you an on-site estimate to give you a better idea about what your project could cost. Hardwood Floor

Choose your replacement hardwood flooring. You don't have to replace your old floor with the exact same wood or flooring type that you just removed! You can glue your new hardwood flooring into place if you like. You can also install nail-down, floating (or locking) hardwood flooring as a replacement. The choice is up to you and what your budget allows. Denver Hardwood Floor
Like anything, whether you refinish your hardwood floors or replace them depends on your personal circumstances. If you are about to move into a new home, refinishing your hardwood floors is much easier vs. if you already live there. Clearly the cost to refinish the floors Is much less expensive than replacing them (For perspective, to replace them may cost 3-5 times as much).
Solid wood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. The timber is cut to the desired dimensions and either packed unfinished for a site-finished installation or finished at the factory. The moisture content at time of manufacturing is carefully controlled to ensure the product does not warp during transport and storage. Denver Hardwood Floor
Floating installation: A floating installation is where the flooring is laid down in a glueless manner on top of a layer of underlay. The individual planks are locked together, and are not glued or nailed down to the subfloor. By doing this the floor is floating above the underlay, and can be laid on top of existing tile or marble, without the risk of damaging the subflooring.
Oak has always been a popular choice for hardwood flooring. The color is visually appealing, looks inviting, and has many advantages. You’ll find the wood easier to clean, and it easily blends in with furniture and home interior designs you already have. Plus, oak is a good investment if you’re considering selling your house in the future, since the wood can last for many years.
Michael – The exotic woods are a bit more challenging to work with stain wise because they are naturally darker and redder. Yes, you can refinish them and make them darker and browner. But, you will still have some underlying red tones. So, you may need to go darker than what you’re thinking to drown out the red more. Definitely test colors. Most likely, dark walnut will come out the darkest. Use duraseal…it’s a better stain, dries faster and is a bit darker than minwax.

Another common hardwood floor malady is the development of gaps between planks. The most common causes of gaps between the boards is Mother Nature. Wood shrinks as it dries out, and it expands when it gets wet and humid. That regular expansion and contraction over time is the most common cause of gaps, and is the main reason why most gaps are seasonal in nature. Perhaps your best plan of action is to exercise patience. Hardwood Floor
It is difficult to compare solid wood flooring to engineered wood flooring due to the wide range of quality in both product categories, particularly engineered. Solid wood has some limitations. Recommended maximum widths and lengths are typically 5" / 127mm wide and 7' / 2100mm long. Solid hardwood is also more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) with increased plank size. Solid wood cannot be used with underfloor radiant heating.[5] However extra care is necessary with the planning and installation of the heating system and the wood flooring, such as limiting the temperature to 85 °F (29 °C), avoid sharp temperature fluctuations, utilizing an outdoor thermostat to anticipate heating demands, and monitoring the moisture content for the subfloor before installation.
My advice is to bring in a professional to make sure the floors can be refinished (i.e. if there is still enough room/if you didn’t permanently damage the wood), and if so, have them refinish them rather than replace them – that will be much less expensive. I don’t know where you live and the going rates, but in our area, it’s prob. the price is prob. $1-2 lower…but that may be par for your area. Call in 2-3 people to see. I would check Angie’s List (angieslist.com) for some good local people in your area. Denver Hardwood Flooring

Glue down engineered hardwood, alternatively. If you don't want to nail down the boards, you do have the option of using adhesive to put engineered hardwood in place. It's a good choice, but won't last as long or be as sturdy as nailed down hardwood. The procedure is very similar to the nail-down process. Follow the adhesive manufacturer's instructions for installation and drying times.[11] Denver Hardwood Flooring
Cut a new length of flooring to fit snugly into the space of the old board. It doesn't matter what kind of saw you use to repair your hardwood floors; just make sure the cuts are perfectly square. After trimming the board to length, turn it upside down and use a chisel to chop off the lower lip of the grooved edge (photo 5). That allows it to fit over the protruding tongue of the adjacent floorboard. Test-fit the new piece. If it's slightly lower than the surrounding floorboards, shim it up with strips of kraft paper. Then remove the board and spread carpenter's glue on the tongues and grooves of the new and old pieces. Slip the new board into place (photo 6), protect it with a scrap-wood block and tap it down with a hammer. Cover the board with wax paper, then hold it down overnight with heavy books or weights. An alternative to gluing: Simply face-nail the board with 6d finishing nails. Bore pilot holes at a slight angle, then drive in the nails. Tap them below the surface with a nailset (photo 7) and fill the holes with wood putty. Lightly sand the entire board smooth, but be careful not to remove too much finish from surrounding boards. After finding a matching stain color by experimenting on scraps of flooring, stain the boards to match the original floor. Let dry overnight, then apply two coats of clear polyurethane varnish. If the old floor is unstained, just apply the polyurethane.
Generally, hardwood floors need to be buffed every 3–5 years. The process usually takes about one day. Buffing refers to the process of using a stand up floor buffer. The floor is abraded with 180 grit screen on the buffer. This allows for the new coat of finish to mechanically adhere to the floor. This process works with great results as long as the floor hasn't had any waxes or synthetic cleaners.
It is difficult to compare solid wood flooring to engineered wood flooring due to the wide range of quality in both product categories, particularly engineered. Solid wood has some limitations. Recommended maximum widths and lengths are typically 5" / 127mm wide and 7' / 2100mm long. Solid hardwood is also more prone to "gapping" (excessive space between planks), "crowning" (convex curving upwards when humidity increases) and "cupping" (a concave or "dished" appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) with increased plank size. Solid wood cannot be used with underfloor radiant heating.[5] However extra care is necessary with the planning and installation of the heating system and the wood flooring, such as limiting the temperature to 85 °F (29 °C), avoid sharp temperature fluctuations, utilizing an outdoor thermostat to anticipate heating demands, and monitoring the moisture content for the subfloor before installation. Denver Hardwood Floor
Refinishing can actually take much more time than fully replacing a wood floor. Refinishing is a messy, meticulous process than can take approximately four to five days, during which the floor surface must remain completely untouched. The process requires sanders, edgers, buffers, scrapers, brushes, base coat sealers, topcoat sealers, putty knives and sometimes paint. Replacement, on the other hand, can be done in considerably less time using only lumber, a couple of saws, measuring tape, a flat bar, a chalk line and a nail gun.
Lowe’s has what you need to bring value-adding beauty to your home with hardwood flooring. There are plenty of species to choose from, including acacia wood flooring, walnut flooring, maple flooring, hickory hardwood flooring and cherry wood flooring. Depending on your budget and room’s traffic level, you’ll be sure to find a style to suit your needs. Hardwood Floor
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