Top Questions to Ask When Buying Wood Flooring

  1.  Which type of wood floor is right for me, solid or engineered?
  2.  Which wood species is right for me? 
  3.  Is a factory-finished floor or a site-finished floor better for me? 
  4.  My room is 400 square feet, but we’re being told to order 450 square feet of flooring. Is this really necessary?
  5.  Ive seen many different sheens, some shiny and some not.  Which is better? 
  6.  Is there anything I can do to prevent my floors from being scratched by pets? 
  7.  How do I keep my floors looking new? 
  8.  How long after I order my floors will it take before they are installed? 
  9.  I’ve seen instances where wood floors fade over time.  Is there anything I can do to prevent this? 
  10.  Installation is so expensive.  Why can’t I just do it myself? 

1. Which type of wood floor is right for me, solid or engineered?

You have to ask yourself, where will we be installing the floors?

Both solid and engineered wood floors are made using real wood, so both are environmentally friendly. 

Solid wood flooring: 

A solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from 3/4” to 5/16”. Solid wood can be used in any room that is above grade (above ground). One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times

  • Solid wood floors are ideal in family/living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and even kitchens and powder rooms.
  • About the only place you can’t use solid wood flooring is in the basement, but there’s a solution for that area too. 

Engineered wood floors: 

Real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers.  The layers that you can’t see can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in perpendicular directions, which makes it very dimensionally stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. 

  • Engineered floors can be nailed or stapled to a wood sub floor, or glued down to a wood or concrete sub floor.
  • This makes engineered wood floors ideal for slab and basement installations, but they can be used in any room above, on or below grade.
  • While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.


2. Which wood species is right for me? 

When choosing which species of wood is right for you and your home, you have to think about a few variables: style, budget and personal preference.

At Woodchuck we have more than 50 domestic and imported species of wood flooring that are available for you to achieve a very unique look. Check out our Gallery for more photos to get some ideas!

How do you want the look of your home to be?

  • Do you want your room to appear more open and airy?
  • Do you wish for your home to appear more warm and cozy?
  • Would you rather have a stately and refined look for your home?

How will your floors be used?

  • Are you retired and living alone?
  • Do you have a busy family with young children and pets?

Ask the pros at Woodchuck these questions and more to hear our answers!


3. Is a factory-finished floor or a site-finished floor better for me?

Each method has its own benefits and advantages, and choosing the right method will depend on the level of customization you want to achieve, and your personal preference.  

Job site-finished

A Job site-finished is one that is applied on the job site, in the room where the flooring is being installed. You will have unlimited possibilities for customizing the final appearance of your flooring. This method is especially recommended if you are trying to match an existing site finished flooring and are refinishing the entire area. 

Factory Finished 

Long before the floors reach your home, the finish will be applied so no waiting on the floors to dry. You will be able to find many choices in our showroom of pre-finished flooring, but you wont be able to achieve the same level of customization as you would with on site finish. Pre-finished flooring also only require installation, no sanding, staining and finishing; creating less time spent drying and less overall job site mess 

The beauty of a site finished floor is difficult to match, let Woodchuck and our 33 years experience help you with your next flooring adventure!


4. My room is 400 square feet, but we’re being told to order 450 square feet of flooring. Is this really necessary?

As a general rule, you should plan to order 10% more flooring than in needed for installation. Much of the material will be cut to fit the exact space, and once the boards are cut, they likely cannot be used elsewhere in the room.


5.  I've seen many different sheens, some shiny and some not.  Which is better? 

There are 4 levels of hardwood floor finish sheens: Matte, Satin, Semi-gloss, Glossy (from least shiny to most shiny)

The sheen measures how shiny or glossy your floor’s finish is. Different people have different preferences. The glossier you go, the more light reflects off the floors. This in turn, shows more dirt/dust as well as imperfections in the floor.


  • 25% luster
  • Offer the least shine, and will reflect the least light.

Satin - Most popular!

  • 40% luster
  • Satin finish has some sheen, but doesn't look too flossy. We suggest this for the more classic and contemporary feel. 
  • Satin will show scratches, imperfections and dust less
  • Easy to clean and maintain, very practical.


  • 55% luster
  • Offer some shine, and will reflect some light. 
  • Glossy
  • 70% luster
  • typically seen on gym floors and bowling alleys
  • With many exotic hardwood flooring, we too see the glossy look being used
  • Shows the most dust, dent and footprints

Generally speaking, the less sheen, the less you will notice small scratches and other wear that is normal with wood floors. All sheens will offer the same protection for your floor, so it truly is a matter of which look you like best.


6. Is there anything I can do to prevent my floors from being scratched by our pets? 

There are several things you can do to minimize scratching from pets. 

A few suggestions:

  • Back door mats - since pets go in and out of the back door, be sure to include a mat there. This will help minimize the amount of dirt tracked in
  • Area rugs, Carpet runners - We personally have long hallways in our house, and our family dog doesn't realize how fast she comes flying down the hallway, and will end up trying to slow down by sliding across the floors into the couch. By placing a carpet runner, this stopped our dog from scratches the floors. Area rugs also come in hand why you have areas with high foot traffic, or chairs
  • Trim your dogs nails regularly


7. How do I keep my floors looking new?

Hardwood Flooring may last a lifetime if cared for properly, but it is important to understand that with any wood flooring, there will be color fading experienced.

Remember, hardwood floors are natural and like all natural things that experience change over time, wood floors will experience subtle color changes as they age.

The experts at Woodchuck Flooring have a few helpful tips to share to reduce the amount of fading that will occur in your wood floors:


Every three to four months, consider moving your rugs around, changing up your furniture placement, etc. 


The sun is no friend to wood floors. It makes sense that if you can keep sunlight off your floor it won’t fade as much. Drapes, curtains, shutters or blinds are some of the best defenses against fading hardwood floors.


Finished composed of oil will gradually amber over time and give a slight yellow tent to the flooring. In comparison, water-based finishes reduce color change over time because they remain clear.


8. Installation is so expensive.  Why can’t I just do it myself?

Installing wood floors is a lot more complicated than painting your walls or replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets.

First of all, you will be spending several thousand dollars on material alone, so if you damage it, it’s not as easy as buying another $30 gallon of paint or $200 of hardware and starting over again. Plus, wood flooring requires special tools that you will likely have to rent and will have little experience using.

More importantly, however, you will need to make sure the room you’re working in is flat, that the subfloor material will work for wood flooring, and that no moisture issues are present that will damage the wood long-term. Testing for moisture requires special tools as well, and you must test both the subfloor and the flooring to ensure a successful installation.

In addition, you will need to know how to center the room, how much space should be left for expansion gaps, how to work around obstructions like closets, fireplaces, bay windows, staircases, and cabinets, and if you make cutting mistakes, you may end up running short on your material and not have enough to finish the job.

In some cases, you may not be able to exactly match the lot, much like running short of paint sometimes results in a slight color difference when mixing a new gallon.

The bottom line is that installing wood floors is not recommended as a DIY project.  In the long run, you will save money and time by using a professional.