Should I choose solid or engineered hardwood?
Both types are made of real wood and are eco-friendly, so it really comes down to where in your home you want to install the floors. Solid wood can only safely be used above ground, meaning basements are a no-go. Any other room, including family rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and powder rooms would work well.
Engineered wood is much more stable, since the planks are constructed using layers of wood, with grains running perpendicular to one another. In short, this means that the floors will not expand and contract with fluctuations in room, temperature, and humidity. They can be fixed to a wood subfloor or adhered to any flat surface.
One important note: solid wood floors can be sanded down and refinished many times but engineered floors cannot.
Which wood species is right for me?
This depends on your taste and your budget! For lighter, airier looks, try ash or maple. For a warm and cozy feel, try a medium tone wood like oak or hickory. For a stately, regal, and refined look, dark woods like walnut or mahogany are your best bet. There is also a variety of imported or exotic wood species that add even more colors to the mix, such as brilliant reds and golds.
Note that every species is rated for hardness and durability, so you can get an idea for how well it will stand up to denting and wear and tear. This may impact your decision, especially if you have an active family or pets.
Why was I told to order extra flooring?
You're likely to need it! As a general rule, plan to order ten percent more than is "needed" for the installation. You'll find that much of the material will need to be cut to fit exact spaces. Once a board is cut, it can't often be used elsewhere because the tongue or groove will have been removed.
Ten percent is, however, just a general number. For rooms with stairs, a bay window, a fireplace, or a closet, you may require even more additional flooring. For a perfectly square or rectangular space, you may need less. Ask your Bay Carpet and Flooring expert for more info.
Will my pets scratch my hardwood floors? Can I prevent it?
This may happen, and you can prevent it. Adding an area rug or two will help, as will regular trimming your pets' nails. Keep in mind that any scratches you see are likely surface-level only, mostly occurring in the floor's finish rather than in the wood itself. You always have the option of refinishing your floors if the scratches become unbearable.