Over the years, I have helped countless clients find the perfect luxury condo here in downtown Boston. And these clients usually run the gamut – some know exactly what they want and others aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for in a new condo. But one thing is for sure: hardwood floors are – and always have been – in high demand, perhaps because of their natural beauty, timeless appeal and their ability to look gorgeous in traditional to the most modern homes.
One thing that buyers are usually not aware of is that all hardwood floors are not created equal. In fact, some floors that appear to be wood actually are not! Understanding the differences between various types of wood floors can be a tremendous help in making sure you choose a condo that fits your specific needs and expectations… or ensure that you’re in the know when planning for a renovation.
- Solid hardwood flooring is made of one piece of wood with tongue and groove sides. These floors come both unfinished (sanded and coated upon installation) and pre-finished (sanded and coated prior to site arrival) varieties. Solid hardwood floors are popular because they can be re-coated or refinished multiple times during the life of the flooring and offer a breadth of stain colors. Dents, scratches and nicks don’t mean that you need a whole new floor!
Engineered hardwood flooring has increased in popularity thanks to its rich beauty and versatility. This type of flooring is made from three or more thin sheets of wood laminated together to form a single plank. The manufacturing process makes engineered wood floors less susceptible to shrinkage and expansion with changes in temperature and humidity. The variety of plank sizes, colors, and wood species to choose from is endless, too. The finish on engineered floors will scratch just as much as solid hardwood; however, they can generally be abraded, or lightly sanded, and recoated. Only those with the thickest veneers, though, can be fully sanded down and refinished, and even then, perhaps only once or twice.
- Laminate flooring offers the look of hardwood floors at a much more reasonable price. Many homeowners cite their durability as another benefit as they are topped with a durable melamine plastic coating. Laminates, however, cannot be restored and don’t hold the resale value of hardwood solid hardwood or engineered flooring.
When evaluating condos, it’s important to understand what type of flooring is installed or whether there is hardwood flooring under carpets so you can plan accordingly.
Are hardwood floors a “must-have” as you search for a new condo? Contact me and we can tour some that feature beautiful hardwood floors and so much more!