Custom hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to your home’s presence and appeal. As long as they are done correctly by skilled professionals, custom hardwood floors are savvy investments for your home. Hardwood floors have a timeless charm that can be felt immediately upon walking into a home. A custom hardwood floor is truly a functional piece of art in your home.
But what goes into installing a custom hardwood floor in your home? What has to happen in order to make sure your flooring dream is what you envisioned? How does a skilled hardwood floor installation crew listen to your needs/desires and translate them into reality?
These are great questions. In this blog, we will be covering some of the most frequently asked questions we hear as Boston hardwood floor installation experts. And we will provide you with straightforward answers and insights.
How Do Hardwood Flooring Experts Get Involved?
A hardwood flooring professional can start as early as the architectural design phase of a project. The flooring experts will be included in the early stages of floor plans. For new builds or complete renovations, a project architect or construction firm will bring in the flooring professional at this stage.
This is done when the project is large and requires months upon months of planning and preparation to complete. The flooring team will get a clear idea of what the client’s needs are and what materials must be sourced for such a large project.
A different onboarding scenario: let’s say we have some homeowners who are just tired of their existing flooring. It’s scratched, damaged, and a visual eyesore. The homeowners want to install custom hardwood floors that they can be proud of for years to come. A hardwood flooring professional is brought in by the homeowners themselves to assess the needs of the home. This is the case when the owners want new floors, not hardwood floor refinishing services.
In other cases, an interior designer will bring in a hardwood flooring company to advise. They help conceptualize what flooring is needed for a complete home renovation. The professional will work with the interior designer to come up with the best flooring solutions and match the renovation design schemes.
Regardless of how the hardwood flooring professionals get brought onto the project, it’s the discovery phase that translates the client’s dream floors from conceptual into practical.
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What is The Discovery Process?
Custom hardwood floor installation doesn’t happen by going to Home Depot, picking out some nice-looking wood, and calling it a day. No, to be successful on the project, the hardwood flooring team must first enter into a discovery process with the client.
It’s the job of a hardwood flooring professional to listen to the client’s needs and desired outcome. Then they will source real-world solutions for the project. There are three main components to the discovery process: understanding the practical usage, envisioning the aesthetics, then presenting solutions.
Understanding The Client’s Practical Needs
Design choices are where the flooring professional starts with the discovery meeting. But a vital step to selecting new flooring solutions is understanding how the floor will be used. All custom wood floors serve a practical purpose.
But, there are varying levels of wear and tear that a floor will withstand in its lifetime. Some choices of wood and finish treatments are better than others, depending on the amount of floor traffic in the home.
For example, if you had a home with 3 young children and a 60lb dog running around, we would not recommend a walnut or pine flooring. These types of wood are very soft; they would not hold up under this family dynamic. However, in this situation, a white-oak floor would be ideal due to the fact that it is very hard and durable. Adding a light brown stain to the floor would help hide minor scratches from the dog’s nails and it is easier to keep clean in regards to dog fur and kid mishaps.
Understanding the daily usage of the floor gives the flooring professional parameters to work within. There’s no point in recommending flooring that will not match and not withstand the living conditions of the home.
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Envisioning The Desired Design Aesthetics
With this in mind, the hardwood flooring professional will sit down with the clients and the design teams involved in the project. This is when the flooring professional will listen to what the client wants, even if they cannot articulate it well.
If the client says “I want dark flooring in the master bedroom,” it’s up to the flooring professional to interpret what that means. They must consider the design era the home was built in. They must have a clear idea of the design scheme of the house.
Once the design objective is understood, the flooring expert will note design choices. This will include species, width of flooring, color, finish/urethanes and level of sheen the client is looking for.
Presenting Solutions to Custom Hardwood Floors
The final stage of the discovery process is when the flooring professional presents the recommended solutions. If the intake conversations went successfully, then the flooring professionals will have a precise idea of what the client wants.
The flooring solutions must match their design choices and also meet the practical needs of the home.
A flooring sample or samples are custom crafted and sent to the client’s home. The client can see, in part, what the flooring will look like, feel like, and how it will fit into their home.
We also offer private appointments to visit our showroom at our Acton location. This is an opportunity to look at our ability to achieve custom colors. After visiting our showroom, we encourage bringing home a sample panel to see if this custom color is a match for the client and their home. After that, it’s up to the client to choose their favorite custom hardwood floor option!
To learn more about the custom hardwood floors and what the best options are for your flooring needs, please reach out!