Oak is very common, but several other species work nicely in homes, including cherry, bamboo, pine, and other exotic woods.
One of the most important things to consider when finishing a floor is how many coats of polyurethane to apply. Most flooring contractors first sand the floor, apply a coat of wood stain, and then 3 coats of polyurethane. But we recommend applying a fourth coat to add more uniformity and durability while filling in holes in tiny crevices.
By the way, using a stain on the floor is not required. Stains can add a beautiful uniform color, but you may consider not using a stain to allow the wood to show its natural beauty without adding any color. We suggest having your flooring contractor show you samples of different stains, with polyurethane applied (including no stain), on your existing floor so you can select the one you like best.
Wooden planks typically come in widths ranging from 3 to 6 inches wide. Wider planks show more of the natural grain in the wood. However, the wider the planks, the more sensitive they are to high humidity. Be aware that high humidity can cause “cupping”. Of course, most homes have air conditioning, reducing the concern about high humidity and cupping.
Costs vary widely from about $3 to $6 dollars per square foot. The size, number of stairs, floor condition, and wood type are all variables in pricing. As usual, we suggest getting at least 3 proposals from different contractors, and don’t forget to check references.
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