Nowadays the engineered hardwoods on the market are beautiful and varied both in style and price. So much so that it’s hard to know where to begin. I started by asking my friends whose floors I loved what they used and if they were happy with them (it helps here to have friends that are also decorators which is an added bonus or friends with tastes similar to yours.) Next is your budget, be fierce about that and research, research, research the best deal out there.
I ended up choosing a Russian white oak floor from Provenza, Heirloom Collection, the style is called Glasgow. It looks like this. Provenza is a bit pricey, but their Heirloom Collection is the most affordable of what they offer. When re-doing floors look for warranties on the finish, how many times it can be sanded, and how many plies of construction. Ideally you want at least 3 ply, although 5 ply is better even if the layers are thin, of course the price rises accordingly.
I found it at a high end flooring center in town and after getting the price quote from them (way out of our budget) I jumped on the internet and did my homework. I was able to find it for $2.00 cheaper a square foot and when you are looking at almost 1,700 sq ft that can be a big savings. The catch is that the flooring store I am dealing with is in California, a bit scary when you are spending that much money! Research how long they have been in business, what their return policy is, do they sell firsts or seconds (you always want firsts) and how much is shipping. The shipping price pretty much offsets the sales tax when you buy locally (which for us it was around $600).
I decided to look one more time on the Provenza Website and found that they had a section called “Internet Sales.” There was a disclaimer saying all sales done over the internet were not covered under warranty! That sounded strange so I called the company and was told that unfortunately they had experienced counterfeit product being sold inexpensively and therefore had to stop guaranteeing their product in this manner. Thank goodness I had taken my own advice and had continued researching! They were able to direct me to a great source, DeLoreto Interiors on Orange Avenue in Winter Park that had Provenza and so much more! Gabe, the owner was great to deal with so please check him out if you are looking for flooring in the Orlando area : )