Thoughts on Wood Flooring (and My Favorite Engineered Wood!)

My kids know that if the car makes a sudden U-turn, Mama found a new thrift store or saw an open house sign. :) A few months ago I flipped one of those big U's and walked through this pretty home that was for sale in Mesa's downtown historic district. 

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The house had recently been gut-renovated and was gorgeous in person! The cabinetry and millwork everywhere was especially TOP NOTCH. I wish these photos did them more justice!

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The staging was so much more tame than my style, but it was really pretty and soft. Those bobbin chairs have my hearth though. They were from Home Goods apparently!

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I also fell in love with the floors. So much so that I poked around on the instagram feed of Project Beautify, who had rehabbed the house, and discovered that the floors were from my favorite flooring place Floor & Decor!

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Later that week I went and checked out the product in person. It's called Montpellier and it's an oiled French Oak in almost a 9" wide plank. And it is only $5.49/sq ft! If you've ever shopped for wood flooring before you'll know that price is pretty unreal for the size of those planks!

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Floor & Decor has a great selection of every type of wood flooring - solid (including Timberclick!), engineered, laminate, and everything you need to install the floors yourself if you're a DIYer.

It can be overwhelming to figure out what type of wood flooring is right for your house, but I always ask three questions that usually help narrow down the playing field:

1) Will the flooring be in a kitchen or bathroom? 

How terrified are you about the idea of potentially needing to pull up and repair areas effected by future leaks? If your answer is highly terrified, then you might want to consider a product like Aquaguard (which is a water-resistant laminate).

That said, I put engineered wood in kitchens and baths all the time. Rugs help a lot with day-to-day water spills and if a bigger issue happens, the wood can usually recover if the problem is caught the same day. I always suggest buying 50-100 sq ft of extra wood as a precautionary measure, just in case a few pieces have to be popped up and replaced down the road.

2) Wide or skinny planks?

Planks under 4 or 5" wide are usually only found in solid woods anymore or unfinished engineered wood. Usually wider planks are more expensive, especially in solid wood. Once you're looking beyond that 5" width in solid wood, the prices start to get astronomically higher. If your budget needs to be under $14/sq ft and you are wanting a 7-9" wide plank, you'll definitely need to be looking at pre-finished engineered wood or laminate.

3) Most importantly, what is your existing subfloor? 

Solid wood is a great option if you already have a plywood subfloor (though you'll want to get verification that it is level and does not need to be replaced before laying your beautiful new floors on top!).

And while I love the idea of being able to refinish a solid wood floor five or six times in it's lifetime, I almost always recommend engineered wood, especially in places like Arizona, where most houses are built on concrete slab. Speaking from experience, it can be a very expensive and time-consuming process to add plywood subfloors to a slab foundation. Also it is comforting to know that engineered wood is a more stable product than solid wood, which means the planks are more resistant to changes in humidity and moisture levels.

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Laminate is another great option. Every time I look at the latest offerings, I'm blown away. So many of them look very similar to engineered wood and often they are half the price! Just don't skip on a good underlayment, which helps with the swooshing sound that old school laminate flooring is notorious for.

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Here are a few of my favorite wood flooring picks from Floor & Decor. I usually prefer an ashy undertone to reds and pinks, but I don't usually want anything too bluey-gray either. All of these are gorgeous in person - and super affordable!


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C - Oak Coffee Wirebrushed - $4.99/sq ft
E - Allegheny Oak Laminate - $2.29/sq ft

Do you have any great tips for picking a wood flooring? What type did you chose in the end? I'd love to hear!

A big thanks to Floor& Decor for partnering with us on this series. Read about wood-look tile here and accent tiles here!