Important Questions to Ask When Shopping For Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is perhaps the most beautiful and popular flooring material available today. Although it is quite expensive, many homeowners still prefer installing hardwood. Aside from being so durable and long lasting, hardwood floors also add value and sophistication to any room. Here are a few questions you should ask when shopping for hardwood flooring.

With its unparalleled natural beauty, hardwood flooring will certainly make your home look more elegant, valuable, and welcoming. No wonder why a lot of homeowners choose it over the other types of flooring materials despite its high cost. However, to make the most out of your investment, you need to be sure that you have chosen the right type of hardwood flooring material. Here are a few important questions commonly asked by homeowners before buying and installing hardwood flooring.

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I have kids and pets at home, can I still use hardwood flooring?

Although hardwood flooring is more susceptible to scratches, dents, and stains caused by pets or kids as compared to other resilient materials like tile flooring, it does not mean that you shouldn’t install it in your home. There are various ways to at least minimize scratches, dents, and stains on your flooring. You can use scatter rugs at the doors or have your pet’s nails trimmed on a regular basis.
Which wood type is ideal for my home?

The best type of wood for your home depends on your own personal preferences and the wood availability in your area. If you are not certain about which wood to choose, you can check on the stores’ gallery on their website. Most of the common wood options, though, are the mahogany, maple, ash, oak, hickory, cedar, pine, and walnut.

Can I do the installation myself?

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Ottawa hardwood flooring installations can be really expensive. That is why many homeowners are tempted to do the installation themselves in order to cut the cost. However, many of these homeowners end up spending more for the already expensive material.

Hardwood flooring installation is not as easy as replacing or building your own kitchen cabinet or as straightforward as painting the walls. It is far more complicated than that. Committing just a simple mistake in the installation process can ruin everything. It takes a professional installer to do the job properly. With that being said, you are discouraged to do the installation by yourself unless you are a pro hardwood flooring installer.

Where should I install the hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is available in two primary kinds- the engineered wood and the solid wood. The type of hardwood material to choose greatly depends on where you are going to install it.

If you are going to install the wood flooring in your living room, bedroom, dining room, powder room, kitchen, or any above ground or above grade rooms, your best choice is to pick solid wood flooring. Solid hardwood flooring is made of authentic and 100% hardwood from bottom to top. The best thing about solid wood is that you can sand and refinish it a couple of times all throughout its life.

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If you are planning to use the wood flooring in moist places like your basement, slab, or other below grade or below ground rooms, pick the engineered wood. This type of hardwood is also made from pure wood but it has been manufactured using a number of veeners to create a multi-layered wood flooring material. You can also install the engineered wood in other areas in your home including in your family room, bedroom, dining room, powder room, and kitchen.

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Simple Hardwood Refinishing Steps For DIYers

Refinishing a hardwood floor is not easy. However, this does not mean you can’t do the project yourself. Hardwood refinishing is quite a do-it-yourself project. You just need to make sure that you have the right tools, materials, and equipment to use and that you know the 4 basic steps of hardwood refinishing.

Hardwood refinishing is quite a difficult project to do by yourself. If it wasn’t so hard, then why would hardwood flooring stores in Ottawa offer floor sanders for rent? However, having all these refinishing tools readily available for rent does not always mean that you will just instantly decide to do the project yourself. Refinishing a hardwood floor is not easy. Aside from the fact that you should at least know how to operate the sanders, you also need to have enough skills and knowledge about refinishing. For this project to be completed perfectly, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort. You also need to have a lot of patience.

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Materials, Tools, and Equipment

Before you start, you must prepare these tools and materials first:

  • Orbital Sander with different sanding disks (60, 80, 100 and 240-grit discs)
  • Edging Sander with grit disks (60, 80, 100 and 240-grit discs)
  • Masking Tape
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • High-Quality Brushes
  • Porous Sponges
  • Rags and Tack Cloth
  • Protective Gear such as vinyl gloves, dust masks, boiler suit, socks, and goggles
  • Polyurethane Sealant (Varnish)
  • Oil-Based Stain Color
  • Paint Trays
  • Foam Rollers
  • Stick to be used for stirring the sealant
  • Plastic Tarps or Acetate Plastic

4 Basic Hardwood Refinishing Steps

The process of refinishing an Ottawa hardwood flooring typically includes the following 4 basic steps:

  • Preparing the room and cleaning the hardwood floor.
  • Sanding the floor to remove the old finish.
  • Sweeping away the dust.
  • Applying the finish.

Preparing the room and cleaning the hardwood floor

Remove all removable things like fixtures, rugs, decorative items, appliances, and furniture from the room. Cover those that are immovable including the electric sockets. Seal off the room by attaching a plastic cover on the doors and vents to make sure that the dust and debris that will be produced during sanding won’t spread out to the other parts of the house.

Sanding the floor to remove the old finish

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Before sanding the floor, you need to remove the carpet first if there is any and clean the floor. Also check the floor for exposed nails, tacks, and carpet staples. Make sure that there is no single sharp object on the surface of the floor to avoid destroying the sander’s sandpaper.

As soon as you are done sweeping and mopping the floor, you can start sanding right away to remove the old finish. You can rent either a drum sander or orbital sander from the nearest discount flooring store in Ottawa or perhaps opt for the traditional electric hand sander.

Sweeping away the dust and debris

Sanding produces a large volume of dust and debris. Sweep the floor to remove the dust. You can also use the vacuum for this process. You may need to do this process a couple of times to make sure that the floor is thoroughly clean before applying the first coat of the floor finish. Also, open the window to remove small particles and residue in the air and to ventilate the room.

Applying the finish

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It is now time to apply the first coat of your chosen floor finish. If you will be applying an oil-based urethane, use a natural bristle brush. If it is a water-based urethane, use a synthetic brush. Follow the instructions on the label or container of the flooring finish. In most cases, you need to apply at least two coats to achieve the looks you want.

And you are done. Leave the floor overnight or let it stand for around 24 hours to allow it to thoroughly dry before you enter the room and return the items back to their place.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Laminate Flooring

Laminate is one of the most popular flooring options used by many homeowners today. Laminate flooring is known as a budget-friendly alternative to tiles and hardwood. Before shopping, you will need to know the major advantages and disadvantages of installing laminate flooring.

If you are currently using vinyl sheet flooring and you want to upgrade the aesthetics of your floor but do not have the budget for something more elegant like tile or hardwood, the best option you have is to install laminate flooring. But before you go to the nearest flooring store in Ottawa, it pays to know the major advantages and disadvantages of installing laminate flooring.

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Beauty and Appearance

Advantages: Laminate flooring is available in various colors, designs, textures, and styles. You can easily find some designs that mimic the texture and beauty of tiles, stones, hardwoods, and other natural materials. It is likewise more visually appealing as compared to vinyl sheet flooring.

Unlike the solid hardwood flooring, laminate flooring does not come with imperfect pieces, which usually need to be re-engineered before installing. Every board of laminate flooring is defect-free and has consistent appearance and quality.

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Disadvantages: Although laminate flooring can imitate the beauty of the other more expensive flooring options especially when viewed from a distance, it does not exactly look and feel the same when you get a bit closer to it.

Durability

Advantages: Laminate flooring is manufactured with a durable surface, which is highly impervious to scratches and dents. It is also naturally resistant to stains. That is why it is considered as a good choice for those who have pets or children at home.

Cleaning and Maintenance

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Advantages: Cleaning stains and maintaining the beauty of the laminate flooring Ottawa is quite simple. You can regularly remove the dirt, dust, and other loose particles with the help of a vacuum cleaner (without the beater bar and with suction only), a soft bristle broom, or a dust mop. It does not even require waxing.

If you need to clean stains, you just have to slightly wet a microfiber mop, cotton, or terry cloth with the recommended laminate cleaner and then perform slightly damp cleaning. For stubborn stains, you can use acetone-based fingernail polish remover.

Disadvantages: One of the major disadvantages of laminate flooring is that you cannot sand and refinish it when it starts to wear down. If your flooring gets heavily grooved, scratched, or worn, you will need to have it replaced. Another downfall of laminate flooring is that you cannot have it exposed to excessive amounts of water.

Installation

Advantages: Installing Ottawa laminate flooring is fast and easy and it can be a DIY project. You do not have to hire a professional to do the installation. Each of the planks of the laminate is made of soft particleboard. This makes it possible for you to easily cut it with the help of a utility knife or a hand saw.

Installing the laminate flooring depends on the style and design you choose. For older styles and designs, you would need to glue pieces together while modern types of laminate flooring are more convenient to use. There are some types that feature a fold-lock or click-lock design that allows you to join the planks together like puzzle pieces without gluing them to each other.

Disadvantages: You need to be gentle in joining planks together. If you exert more than required force in securing the boards into place, you may end up curling their top wear layer, which can have a negative effect on their ability to resist moisture.

These are just among the major advantages and disadvantages of installing laminate flooring.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing: What You Need To Know Before Starting The Project?

Hardwood refinishing can be your next do-it-yourself project. However, this process is not just sanding your floor and applying a few coats of varnish anytime you like. There are still a lot of things that you need to take into consideration before starting the project like the type of finish to use, and the materials you need.

Hardwood refinishing is quite a do-it-yourself project. If you disagree with that statement, then why would the hardwood refinishing stores in Ottawa offer floor sanders for rent? However, having all these refinishing tools readily available for rent does not always mean that you will just instantly decide to do the project yourself. Here are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you start refinishing your floor.

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Things You Typically Need For Hardwood Refinishing

Before you start, you must prepare these tools and materials first:

  • Orbital Sander with different sanding disks (60, 80, 100 and 240-grit discs)
  • Edging Sander with grit disks (60, 80, 100 and 240-grit discs)
  • Masking Tape
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • High-Quality Brushes
  • Porous Sponges
  • Rags and Tack Cloth
  • Protective Gear such as vinyl gloves, dust masks, boiler suit, socks, and goggles
  • Polyurethane Sealant (Varnish)
  • Oil-Based Stain Color
  • Paint Trays
  • Foam Rollers
  • Stick to be used for stirring the sealant
  • Plastic Tarps or Acetate Plastic

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Will you hire a contractor or do the hardwood refinishing yourself?

Although the project can be done by yourself, you can not just carry out a hardwood refinishing job without proper planning. Refinishing a hardwood floor is certainly not easy. Aside from the fact that you should at least know how to operate the sanders, you would also need to have enough skills and knowledge about refinishing. For this project to be completed perfectly, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort. You also need to have a lot of patience. If you think you have what it takes to refinish a hardwood floor, you can do the project yourself. Otherwise, contact a professional contractor to do the project for you.

Where will you stay during the hardwood floor refinishing project?

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Another thing that you need to think about is the type of finish you will use. There are three main types of finish to choose from: the polyurethane, penetrating sealer, and varnish. Polyurethane can either be water or oil based. It is more suited for high-traffic and high-moisture areas. The penetrating sealer provides a natural looking finish and good flooring protection. If you want a matte-glossy finish, use varnish. Although it also darkens over time, it takes a longer time to darken as compared to polyurethane and penetrating sealer.

A DIY Guide To Refinishing Hardwood Floors Yourself

Covering your wood flooring with either carpet or vinyl for a long period of time can ruin its beauty and can make it look old and dull. Unless you love stepping on uneven surfaces or perhaps you find stained and scratched hardwood flooring very attractive, you would want to renew and refinish it.

Hardwood is undeniably the most expensive, luxurious, and beautiful flooring option available in the market today. In the last few years, many homeowners try to go with the then latest flooring trends which included using vinyl and carpet. But with hardwood getting back to the limelight again, it would be great if you check the current status of your hardwood flooring and refinish it first before you keep them on display.

Here is the overview of how you can do the hardwood refinishing by yourself.

Step 1: Preparing the room

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Sanding can be really dusty. Prepare the room by transferring all the movable furniture to the other room. For those heavy enough or those that cannot be transferred, you can cover them with either plastic tarps or acetate plastic. Also, seal the appliance sockets and other small areas or gaps where dust will likely settle down with a masking tape. Also, hang an acetate plastic cellophane on the doors to ensure that the dust will not enter the other rooms.

Step 2: Sanding

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Before sanding the hardwood, be sure that you already know how to use the sanding tools. Sanding tools are not created equal. It is best to ask the hardwood refinishing Ottawa rental shop for a precise instruction about how to properly use the sanding tools. Be careful not to miss any area of the floor when sanding. In between sanding gaps, scrape out or vacuum the dust. Once you are already done with the sanding task, vacuum all the visible dust and then wipe the floor with a slightly damp rag or tack cloth.

Step 3: Staining

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Before staining, make it sure that you already have completely removed the old finish and the floor is thoroughly cleaned and smoothly sanded. Applying stain should be done as quickly, as methodically, and as carefully as possible. If you are not confident enough with your speed, we recommend that you use a stain that takes a longer time to dry like the oil-based ones. Start off with a thin layer first. You can either use a porous sponge, rags, brushes, or foam rollers when applying the stain. Let the first coat dry completely first before you move to the next step.

Step 4: Sealing

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The last step is to seal the hardwood floor with a polyurethane sealant to protect it from scratches, scuffs, and water damage. Evenly apply at least three coats of sealant. In most cases, you will need to spend at least a day when sealing the floor. You need to wait for no less than an hour to have the first coat dry. Once completely dry, slightly sand the floor with the use of a very fine sanding disc. Vacuum the dust and then apply the second coat. After an hour, sand the floor once again. Be sure everything is even and clean before applying the third coat.

And now you are done. But do not walk on your newly refinished floor yet. Let your hardwood floor dry for at least 48 hours first before you enter the room once again and enjoy the fruit of your hard work.

Choosing the Best Tile Flooring Material for Every Space

The floor is one of the most visible and largest parts of the house. How your floor looks like will greatly affect your interior home design’s overall appearance. This is why you should carefully think about the type of flooring material that is most suitable for your home.

Among the most commonly used and the most versatile flooring materials available today are the tiles. Because they are available in various sizes, designs, cuts, colors, textures, and styles, you can always find the right tiles for every space in your house. However, since your options are quite extensive, picking the best one can be a bit challenging. Here are a few tips that you can use when choosing the right tile flooring for your home. These tips are also applicable to other buildings or spaces other than your home.

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Choose the type that best suit your current interior design

If you are planning to install tile flooring on an already existing house, be sure to pick the one that will blend well with your home’s current interior design. If you will install tile flooring in a new house, it should also go with the new home’s design. For instance, you cannot use dark orange and large tiles in a small space with walls painted in dark green, right? Before heading to the showroom, be sure to have a list of possible tile flooring options that you think will best fit the interior design of your home.

Determine the areas where you will install the tiles

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Tile flooring materials come in different types, styles, textures, and designs. Each of these types has its own pros and cons, and each of them also has its own purpose. Before you buy a tile, be sure to know first where you will install it. For instance, the tiles that are intended for your living room may not be the best choice for your bathroom or kitchen. You just can’t install textured bathroom tiles on your kitchen sink or on your living areas because that can make your kitchen or living space look like your bathroom.

Set your budget

Your budget plays a very important role in choosing the right tiles. You should choose something that fits your budget but never sacrifice the quality and appearance of the product. Be realistic in setting your budget. It should include important items like materials, tiles, and labor or installation costs.

How about its maintenance?

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When picking a tile flooring material, consider the one that needs less maintenance. If you want something that can easily be maintained, go buy a porcelain or ceramic tile. For a natural looking bathroom or kitchen floor, you can pick natural stone tiles. They look great and they are also very sturdy. However, natural stone tiles can be quite expensive as well.

Pick the one that is comfortable enough

Another factor that you need to take into consideration is the comfort that the tile flooring material provides. Choose the one that makes you feel comfortable. If you were to choose a tile for your bathroom, for example, pick the one that does not become slippery when wet.

Always keep in mind that no matter how excellently designed your interior setting is if you have chosen the wrong flooring material or perhaps your floor looks dull, your home will still not appear to be as great as it can be. Take the above-mentioned tips into consideration when shopping for tile flooring materials and you will surely find the best one for every space in your home.

Facts You Probably Don’t Know Yet About Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is the first choice when it comes to more affordable flooring options. It is very versatile, beautiful, resilient, and durable. It is likewise the best alternative to other more expensive materials like tiles and hardwood. Here is some other information that you may want to know about vinyl flooring.

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Do you want to give your floor a makeover but your budget does not allow you to install another hardwood or tile flooring? Well, worry no more because there are other materials you can use to achieve the aesthetics of the floor you want at a more budget-friendly way. One of these affordable flooring options is vinyl.

What is vinyl flooring?

Vinyl is a modern flooring option that is made from a combination of plasticizers and polyvinyl chloride. This type of flooring material is known to be very versatile, resilient, durable and more affordable as compared to other flooring options. It is available in various designs, patterns, and colors. You can easily install it in your laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, and entryway.

What to ask when choosing vinyl flooring?

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Before you finally purchase the vinyl flooring material that you want to install in your home, it is helpful to know the type, design, and color that would best suit your visual preference and lifestyle. It is also equally important to know the following:

  • The type of flooring surface you want.
  • The best style and design that will best complement your home decor.
  • The area where you will install the vinyl flooring.
  • Do you prefer modern or traditional aesthetics ?

Color and Patterns

Color and patterns are applied to vinyl flooring in two major ways: printed and inlaid.

Printed vinyl means exactly the same as its name. With printed vinyl, a color or pattern is printed directly on the flooring sheets.  Because of its beauty and flexibility, printed vinyl is considered as the first flooring choice for homes. There is some printed vinyl that is designed to look like other flooring materials like hardwood, and tiles.

With Inlaid vinyl, the color granules are being embedded into the flooring sheet. This is done  in order to come up with a richer finish and a deeper look.

Types

Vinyl flooring is available in three types: sheet, tile, and plank.

Vinyl sheets are usually prepared in rolls. They are available in 6 and 12 feet wide and are usually sold by meter or by roll. They are well fitted in areas with high moisture content like your kitchens and bathroom. You can install them seamlessly and easily. You do not have to hire a professional to install them.

Tile vinyl is specially made to exact 12 inches or 18 inches dimensions. It is also manufactured with uniform thickness. If you want the one that is easiest to install, go for self-adhesive vinyl tiles.

Vinyl plank looks more like hardwood planks. It is commonly made with a width of 4 or 6 inches and a length of 3 or 4 feet. Although it looks like authentic hardwood planks, it is a lot less costly, and easier to maintain and install.

Best Flooring Options To Bring Nature Into Your Home

Living in the city can be really stressful. There is nothing more relaxing than living in a home with the touch, smell, and sight of nature. Check these four flooring ideas to know how you can bring nature to your home.

When you are stressed, your best escape is to get a dose of fresh air and tranquility that only mother nature can give. But, with the busy schedule you have, you can no longer afford to have an out of town vacation. If you can’t find time to see and experience the soothing benefits of nature, why not bring it to your home instead?

Here are the top four flooring ideas to stay connected to the outdoors while living in a modern and urban environment.

Bamboo flooring

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Bamboo is one of the types of wood that are used as a flooring material. Although the bamboo tree is considered as a grass type plant, it shares the same characteristics as hardwood.  Not only that it is cheaper, it is also easier to maintain than hardwood. Bamboo flooring is  easy to maintain and is also durable. When used as a flooring material, it can make your home look natural. It creates a feeling of walking in the forest. It comes in various colors, sizes, and grains so it’s sure you have a wide range of options to choose from.

Cork flooring

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Cork is a new player in the flooring world. Long were the days when the cork was used only as a pin board on walls and as a bottle cover of your favorite. Now, cork has made more sophisticated. In fact, it has been used as a great material for floors.  Installing cork flooring will give your home a unique and warm texture which can make you feel closer to mother nature.

Wood flooring

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Hardwood has been popularly used flooring material. Hardwood comes in various types, cuts, and color. Using hardwood for your flooring will not only make your home look expensive, it can as well give a natural wood ambiance. Be careful not to use hardwood in your basement or on floors that are extremely exposed to water or humidity.

You can leave your hardwood unfinished so it will give an authentic feel. However, if you want it to last longer and to look more stunning, you can polish it with any finishing material you want. You can choose from rich, red-toned cherry to silvery Scandinavian pine. Check with the local flooring stores in Ottawa to know which hardwood type is available.

 Stone flooring

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Beautiful and natural stone flooring never goes out of style. Although famously used on bathroom floors, stones can also be installed anywhere in your house. Like other flooring materials, it also comes in different types, cuts, kinds, and colors. For rustic classic effect, you can go for the slate. Other great options are granite, limestone, marble, and the crystallized travertine.

Major Advantages and Disadvantages of Ottawa Hardwood Flooring

There is currently a wide selection of woods available in the United States that you can use for your Ottawa flooring needs. Depending on your preference, you can choose a kind of wood that can give your room a rustic and natural appeal or perhaps an elegant and sophisticated look.

A beautiful wooden floor can certainly make up a room with character. With the many types of woods for flooring Ottawa to choose from, it is vital to know how each wood type will look if you install it on your home. You also have to know how much you will be spending for the entire floor area and how much maintenance work does a certain type of hardwood wood need. To help you decide whether or not you will use hardwood home flooring, here are some of its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage 1: Naturally Beautiful
The top advantage and perhaps the main reason why a lot of homeowners choose hardwood for their floor is that it is naturally stunning. It has the ability to make any room look more elegant. If you are refurbishing your house because you are considering to sell it, installing a hardwood flooring Ottawa can add up to its value and can make it look more appealing and durable in the eyes of the buyers.

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Advantage 2: Sturdy and Durable
Hardwood, if compared to other flooring materials like for instance the Ottawa laminate flooring, is proven more durable and sturdy. It can last for generations and can retain its beauty for long years.

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Advantage 3: Low Maintenance
Hardwood flooring generally requires low maintenance. If the finish is already worn out, you can easily refinish it even for a couple of times. Depending on wear and on the refinishing product you use, each finish can last for no less than 15 years.

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Advantage 4: Variety of Options
There are a variety of wood options to choose from. Depending on how you want your room or house to look like, you can choose different types, cuts, finish, and styles of woods for your Ottawa hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood perfect for about any design schemes including rustic, contemporary, country, and traditional.
Disadvantage 1: Not for Humid Areas

There are merely three major disadvantages of hardwood Ottawa flooring. One is that it can’t be installed in damp and below grade areas like your garage, laundry room, and bathroom because it can easily absorb warp, moisture, buckle, and crack.

Disadvantage 2: Labor Intensive
Hardwood installation is labor intensive and would require a skilled professional to install it properly.

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Disadvantage 3: Expensive
Hardwood offered by different Ottawa flooring companies are generally expensive. If you want to go for an exotic type of wood like sakura, koa, or Brazillian cherrywood, you will need to extend your budget as they can be extremely expensive. However, if you want economical types of woods, you can choose ash, maple, oak or hickory.