General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring Installation

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Flooring Job

Tips to Save Money on Your Next Flooring Job

With the daily cost of living continuing to rise at a record pace, many households are budgeting more cautiously. Maintaining your home is the best way to protect your investment and add to your equity. With that in mind, your floor is something that has a major impact on your property value. So, what steps can you take to save money on your next flooring job?

Get a Few Different Estimates

Many of us are guilty of not familiarizing ourselves with the median cost of a job before hiring someone to do it. You can benefit from detailing your needs in writing and then articulating these needs over the phone or by email to several different companies to get quotes. In addition, you should attempt to find information online about the average cost for the type of job that you need.

Avoid creating a bidding war between several different companies as the process can become complicated. However, companies often have a little bit of wiggle room on pricing. Getting a few different estimates can help you make an informed decision about what company you want to proceed with.

Don’t Simply Pick The Cheapest Option

source: Unsplash

It’s definitely tempting to get your estimates and then immediately gravitate to the cheapest option. Do some digging on the companies that you’re getting quotes from and make sure that they are all highly rated with a proven track record. The last thing you want is a poorly done job that could cause more harm than good, requiring additional costs.

Another risk associated with selecting the cheapest option is low-quality materials, unskilled and/or underpaid installers and questionable work ethics. It’s important to understand the value of what you are paying for and make wise decisions. When your floors aren’t properly installed with quality materials, they aren’t going to last very long.

Use a More Affordable Wood

While we talked about the importance of quality materials, there are lots of types of wood out there that cost less and still last for years to come. Many types of wood look very similar and are of similar thickness but cost less than the original type of wood that it is imitating. It’s something that more people can benefit from exploring. Options like engineered wood, luxury vinyl plank, and plywood look great and don’t break the bank.

Remove Carpet and Move Furniture Yourself

source: Unsplash

If you currently own a carpet, part of a flooring installation job will involve ripping up your carpet in addition to clearing the room of furniture. Since these are things that you can do yourself, you can save some money here.

No, it doesn’t take any special skills to rip up a carpet. Moving your furniture is easiest done with the help of a few friends. You simply need some determination and strength, and time of course. Staples from your carpet can have a frustrating way of sticking around so try to pick them all up to make the job as easy as possible for contractors who later will install your floors. Carpet on your steps is harder to remove and will take a bit longer.

Remove The Existing Floor Yourself

If you do decide to rip up the carpet and clear furniture out of the way, you might as well get rid of the existing floor. The amount of work that this will require is dependent on the state of your home and the size of it. Make sure you watch a DIY guide or two on this first so that you don’t damage anything. To make things easier, a lot of people in this position will rent equipment to help with the process. It depends on what type of floor you originally had. Doing all of this can seriously help with lowering the cost of your next flooring job.

Set a Budget

source: Unsplash

If you set a budget for yourself and stick to it, you can ensure that you don’t spend any more money than you are comfortable with. Sure, it takes a lot of self-discipline, but that’s always a given when it comes to taking steps to save money with anything.

If you aren’t in a rush, you can start by dividing your home into several different zones. Using your budget, schedule a timeline for when you expect each zone to be finished. Start with one at a time so it’s less of an impact on your savings at any given time. Maybe you can learn a thing or two during the completion of each zone to make the next one more affordable.

Other Alternative Materials

Don’t overlook this one. There are actually a lot of alternative materials that you can use to save money on your next flooring job. For example, you can use reclaimed flooring. Some of the best-looking homes out there use reclaimed wood in their floors.

If you’re ordering materials yourself, it’s best to look at websites where the company has a bulk amount of a certain type of wood in stock. Companies always want to move inventory, and if they have an excess amount of a certain type of wood, a cheaper price can often be negotiated.

In addition, a lot of factories sell their lesser-desired wood for a much lower price. These “manufacturer seconds” are perfectly fine most of the time. Just be sure that you order extra product because it’s possible that you might be given some unusable boards.

Final Thoughts

Your next flooring job doesn’t have to break the bank. If you follow the tips in this blog post, you are sure to make some breathing room for yourself. 50% of our floors are sold to contractors or families who will install their own flooring. We love helping DIYers and can assist you throughout the installation process. If you’re in Colorado and are in need of services relating to hardwood floors, we are here for you. You can talk to us about your budget and our team will help find a solution that works for everyone.

Reach out today.

Hardwood Flooring Uncategorized

Anticipated Hardwood Flooring Trends for 2022

As 2021 comes to an end, so too starts a new year. Hopefully we all have some goals in place. Since many people are spending lots of their time indoors, remodeling projects and home sales have skyrocketed. Many people are investing in comfortable living. There are some labor shortages and supply chain challenges, however, the flooring industry is expecting roughly 3-8% in growth for the year even in the face of all the uncertainty in the current global market situation.

With 2022 comes tons of opportunities for new flooring trends. This blog post will cover everything that is anticipated to happen this year in the flooring industry.

Let’s get started.

Bold and Varied Colors

Varied Hardwood

Source: Unsplash

Rustic Textures

What does rustic really mean? It’s actually a pretty broad term that a variety of different designs fall into. In this context, it describes a rough, aged, casual, and natural feel.

Rustic designs used to be a thing in the past but their popularity died down. Now, it’s back again! Rustic textures like wire-brushed, distressed planks, and hand-scraped planks are what we are seeing being used the most.

They have a unique beauty that can be easily appreciated by anyone. What’s cool about distressed planks in particular is that the dents and scrapes point towards a life in the past which adds a lot of personality to the room.

Rustic Hardwood

Source: Pinterest

Engineered Wood

It was popular last year and it will be popular this year, too. The closest thing that you can get to natural and solid hardwood is engineered hardwood. There is actually a very thin hardwood veneer layer that goes on top of the fiberboard or plywood, which is man-made. A great bonus of engineered wood is its durability since it’s technically real wood.

Oftentimes, the veneer is UV-cured which makes the floor more durable and stronger compared to the real thing. Therefore, it’s much less likely to take on any scratches, dings, and dents, even in popular places in your home where it sees the most use. In addition to that, engineered wood has much more resistance to moisture than natural and solid hardwood.

It’s ready when it comes out of the box and it’s very easy for homeowners to install themselves if they choose to do so. It doesn’t require any extra finishing/refinishing. It’s affordable, and best of all, engineered wood looks great with almost anything.

Engineered Wood

Source: Forbes

Bleach or Whitewashed Floors

Bleach and whitewashed floors are extremely popular. They go best in contemporary spaces where a smooth, wide, and light hardwood floor goes perfectly with the theme. Over time, hardwoods naturally will develop a patina and darken when they age, however, with floors that have been whitewashed or bleached, this doesn’t happen.

Lighter wood is known for brightening up spaces while providing a relaxed vibe. The floor appears less occupied and therefore works especially well in a minimalist theme. It complements quiet and subdued spaces while also acting as the backdrop for a more vibrant room.

When bleached or whitewashed, floors lose their color and become truly white. Just don’t use it on red oaks or exotics because the red oaks will retain a light pink and the exotics will just be distorted.

They are stylish and provide a fresh, airy, and light look for modern, coastal, and contemporary themes. The white gives a great touch of color while highlighting the natural beauty and graining of the wood.

Bleached Floors

Source: Pinterest

Matte-Finished Wood Floors

While satin has been a very popular finish throughout the past few years, matte is predicted to rise in popularity this year dramatically. Some people think that matte floors can appear dull or flat, but in reality, it makes your floor look eye-catching and contemporary. It just depends on the quality of the floor that the matte finish is being applied on.

Matte-finished wood floors also appear natural and rustic. They don’t shine and have a realistic color which allows people to see the details of the grain. Matte floors were just featured in Vogue Magazine, which has spiked a serious interest in the concept.

With a matte finish, you get a very durable floor, hiding any wear and tear much better than traditional hardwood or its glossy finished flooring counterpart. Matte-finished hardwood provides a nice camouflage to hide messes and dirt. It’s very forgiving and allows you extra time to finally take out the broom.

Regardless of whether or not there are pets or kids in the house, floors aren’t perfect, but a matte-finish is a great way to go for durability and style. If you’re not into glossy finishes but are on the fence about whether you want to go with a matte finish, a satin finish is the next best thing.

matte finish hardwood floors

Source: Pinterest

Smokey-Toned Wood Floor

A few years ago, the color gray made its mark in homes and offices alike. Now we’re seeing another trendy gray look. Smokey-toned wood floors add some character and drama to traditional solid hardwood. The look is very appealing and unique.

A lot of people like the edgy and rustic look that it offers while it still speaks to the traditional warm undertone that is seen in modern hardwood flooring options. One of the coolest parts about smokey-toned wood floors is that almost any species of wood can go through the process that gives the smokey design.

There is no need for applying stain because the color comes through the process it undergoes, which involves putting the planks in an isolated chamber where ammonia is released in the air, reacting to the wood, and creating the change in color. The dark tone is very pleasing to the eye.

Varied Hardwood

Source: Shaw Flooring

Final Thoughts

We all love our homes and want to make them look their best. Your flooring is one of the first impressions that people entering your home will have, so why not strive to impress? If you’re interested in adding or updating hardwood flooring into your own home in the Denver area, our team at MacDonald Hardwoods is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Hardwood Flooring

Hottest Hardwood Flooring Trends of 2021

Hardwood flooring may not be something you may be used to seeing as “trendy”. A theme for one year is often pretty much the same as the year before and the year after, right?

As it turns out, that’s not the case. Hardwood, in particular, continues to grow in popularity year after year, as cheaper quality flooring of various different types continues to degrade, forcing their owners to start looking for replacement options. More often than not, they will turn to hardwood flooring.

In this article, we will discuss the various leading trends for the year 2021 that people went with.

Buying Hardwood Flooring In General

For a long time, hardwood flooring had fallen out of style as people went with cheaper alternatives, such as notoriously cheap laminate wood and plastic tiles. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time to the buyer, with a rich number of ways to customize these that far exceed what wood is capable of, and the incredibly simple installation, but it came with a hidden cost.

As the years went by, the flooring would take the same wear and tear that any other type would, but much less well. In the case of the laminate flooring, made of nothing more than various cheap materials tightly pressed together, the beautiful design that they had printed onto it would often completely wear down and come off. Those fancy zebra stripes don’t look quite as good when they’re faded, peeling up, and covered in grime.

Water damage would also cause it to badly warp and even snap, with no real repair options besides tearing it all up and replacing it. These days, buyers have begun to rightly conclude that it isn’t worth all the hassle to continually replace it every decade or so.

MacDonald Hardwoods Showroom


Engineered Hardwood

The first big trendsetter continues to be one of the newest ones. Engineered wood has a big appeal for many reasons. Unlike standard wood, it doesn’t have a tendency to warp, split, or crack over time.

Not only is it cheaper than using real wooden planks, it often exceeds the durability of unmodified wood. While it’s made of hardwood on the outside, it uses a special trick to increase the durability, where the wood is hydraulically pressed together under intense pressure, with a layer of veneer added afterward to seal the deal. This layer is built on top of a base of plywood going in opposing directions. Thanks to all this, when the wood does begin to show imperfections and wear down, you can simply sand it down to a new layer, just like regular planks. All this engineering can produce a floor that can be up to twice as strong as natural wood.

More than just cheaper, more durable, or environmentally friendly, engineered hardwood is also much, much easier to care for and maintain than real hardwood. While some do feel that they take away the “warmth” of wood, its benefits tend to outweigh that, at least for most who choose to use engineered hardwood.

Throughout 2021, the options for the different finishes, colors, and materials continued to increase. It continues to see increased use in parts of the house that would normally be forced to use a different material, particularly in kitchens and in bathrooms where moisture damage was typically a concern. Going into 2022, expect to see this trend continue.

Engineered Wood

Source: Forbes

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood sounds as straightforward as it is. It’s just old wood that’s been given new life and purpose. It is often taken from old buildings that were recently torn down or remodeled, like abandoned farmhouses and barns. Sometimes, the wood is actually existing engineered wood that’s been given new layers and treatment.

As of late, this wood has become harder to find through traditional means, so the producers have started using a clever trick, where they use the wood from just about any source they can find. The most popular source these days is to take it from old wine barrels that have fallen into disuse. Don’t worry, your floor won’t be smelling like wine!

This wood tells a story that can’t be easily replicated through artificial means. Each plank is potentially completely different from the other, ensuring that no two rooms with it employed appear the same. Not only are you saving the environment by using them, but you’re also giving your house a look that nobody can hope to match.

Reclaimed Wood

Source: Whole Log Lumber

American-Grown Wood Flooring

There was a period of time when it was just expected that the material used to build your home would come from the same country you’re building it in. As the world became more interconnected and international trade became even cheaper than producing at home, that began to fall away.

Now, there are a growing number of people who go out of their way to buy flooring that they know was created right here in this country. The reasons people would want this are numerous, but among the most popular are there’s a certain expectation of quality coming from American-made goods that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from foreign providers. You also get a sense that you’re supporting your local businesses, which is quickly becoming a big trend of its own.

There is no reason to suggest this trend will be slowing anytime soon. As Americans continue to rediscover their love for their own backyard, we expect this trend to continue to explode in popularity.

American Wood

Source: Superior Flooring

Final Thoughts

2021 was a great year for trends. The pandemic forced many people to be in their homes far more than they had ever been before, which forced them to really take a good look at their surroundings. As a result, we’ve seen more radical changes in the past couple of years than we normally do in a full decade. As we begin to open up again, you can expect that urge for change in the environment to fade somewhat, but the lessons learned aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring In Kitchens – Our Suggestions

[Image source: Unsplash]

Hardwood is one of the most attractive flooring materials you can get. No matter how you look at it, it will almost always add value to your house. In an ideal space, hardwood flooring can last anywhere from fifteen to thirty-five years, depending on how you maintain it. It is easily possible to do even better than that, as long as you invest some time and effort into periodic maintenance. 

There are many misconceptions that have formed over the years about the practicality of using hardwood flooring in a kitchen. In this article, we will be dispelling several of them and then go over our suggestions for what kinds of hardwood you may want to choose from.


Many people feel that they are not allowed to install hardwood in their kitchen. It may seem as if this is a valid sentiment, but these fears are mostly unfounded. Let’s go over the misconceptions one by one.

They Can’t Handle Spills

While it’s true that wood isn’t great for constant spills, it is not anywhere near as bad as many believe. It’s one thing to have a spot that has dried out, that will definitely take more work, but generally speaking, you just need a broom or mop to get everything up. Even a large spill of something super sticky won’t require much more than standard cleaning supplies.

The bottom line is that unless you have a situation like a burst pipe, you won’t need to worry about it. Realistically, the worst-case scenario you’re likely to experience is needing a deep cleansing agent for something that permeated the wood.

They Can’t Handle Lots of Traffic

This myth is particularly ridiculous. It only makes sense in the mind of somebody who believes that there is exactly one type of wood in the whole world. If you use balsa wood as your flooring, it’s probably not going to last very long. The reality is that there are countless types of flooring geared for every situation you can think of, plus many different types of finishes to choose from that will further increase its durability. 

If the kitchen is one that is constantly in use, then all you need to do is choose wood that will stand up to that. There is no kitchen scenario, not even that of a restaurant kitchen, where foot traffic makes it impossible for any type of wood to be good for it.

They Stain Easily

Hardwood flooring isn’t much more stain-resistant than most other types of flooring. Very few materials can boast that they’re practically immune to stains, and just about none can say that they are fully protected. Just as is the case with spills, the best solution is to simply clean as soon as it happens. It holds up just fine as long as you aren’t purposefully leaving the mess around for extended periods of time. Use common sense and you won’t have any problems.

[Image source: Unsplash]

Our Suggestions

Solid Hardwood

Regular solid wood floors are a popular choice for kitchens. Like any wood, they trap in heat more, making it much more comfortable to walk barefoot on them. Not to mention that they give a sense of natural beauty to any kitchen, regardless of whether it’s a contemporary or traditional style. The soft sheen to a properly finished flooring will contrast wonderfully with the shiny surfaces and hard materials throughout the rest of the kitchen. 

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered wood resembles regular solid wood, and in fact, is mostly still made of it. However, it’s put together in such a way, with softwood bound together and the grain of each layer running in different directions, that the strength and resilience of the wood are greatly enhanced. The quality level of the wood can be determined by simply looking at the depth of the top layer. The thicker this layer is, the better it will be in every way.

This wood is perfect for a kitchen environment that expects to have frequent and large spills. The wood is designed to resist solid wood’s natural tendency to expand, contract, and even bend as moisture seeps into it, keeping its shape and saving you potentially thousands on potential repairs and replacements. We have a full article on all the great benefits of engineered wood here.

Reclaimed Hardwood

Reclaimed wood is another option. It can come from either pure solid wood or used engineered wood. In many cases, the wood that is used is salvaged from old torn-down buildings such as abandoned barns and farmhouses. For a kitchen environment, reclaimed engineered wood will be the best choice. 

With the proper finish applied to it, reclaimed engineered wood will give you both a strong flooring that’s highly resistant to wear and tear as well as giving a unique vintage look that is difficult to fake. It’s also good for the environment, as it means that you’re giving the wood a new lease on life as well as reducing by just a bit how many trees need to be cut down.


If you’re desperate and in need of cheap flooring, laminate is an option. It is usually not recommended though for a good number of reasons. The first one being that it just doesn’t look or feel as good as real wood. All it really is are artificial materials compressed tightly together. There’s typically no real wood in it and is usually completely flat with a design printed on it. Naturally, it is the least durable of any flooring. 

Within just a few years of use, the design on it will wear down and start to come off. It’s pretty much impossible to repair cleanly due to the fact that you can’t replace the design on it once it’s gone. Laminate wood also cannot be reused easily due to it, again, being entirely artificial. Once it wears out, there’s not much to do with it besides throwing it all out.

All that bashing aside, there are still a few upsides. For one, you can have any design you want on it. It doesn’t have to look like real wood at all. You could have zebra stripes or a brick pattern on it if you wanted to. You may also find it the easiest to clean due to it usually being completely flat. It’s also very easy to install thanks to the way they’re designed, with many of them having grooves to easily lock together with others. If you’re looking for something that you can install yourself, it could be the easiest option.

If you want to know more, we wrote a full article on laminate flooring here.


As long as you keep a few things in mind like understanding the risks and limitations, hardwood flooring can be a solid option for your kitchen. There is no need to give up on using wood just because of some unfounded worries.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Stairs – A “Rising” Option

hardwood stairs

[Image source: Unsplash]

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at installing a brand new set of hardwood stairs or just renovating stairs that already exist, there’s a lot of information out there to help you make the right decisions on what you need. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know on wooden stairs and everything that goes into it.

What Are Stair Treads?

In short, a tread is simply a long plank of some material with a rounded edge for a front. It is most commonly made from wood, but it could also be composed of metal, plastic, or other materials. Your treads don’t have to be made of the same materials as the risers. In fact, some believe there are stylistic reasons to purposefully mismatch materials to create a particular look. 

There are many different factors to take into consideration when deciding on what style and type of tread you want. For example, not all stair treads are meant to be installed after the initial construction of the staircase, with some only best used during the construction of the house itself. You will want to choose a style that matches the type of house it’s going into. You will quickly learn if you were too hasty in deciding.

For wood treads specifically, there are a few particular choices that are most popular. 

  • Red Oak is the easiest to get ahold of. It has a reddish-brown color to it and is considered strong and heavy. When you think of wood flooring, you’re probably thinking of this type.
  • Knotty Pine is another type of wood that is commonly seen in businesses and some homes. While aesthetically very pleasing, pine is not the strongest material and will require more maintenance over time to maintain good looks.
  • White Oak is one that has become popular in the past few decades. It has a similar strength to its red counterpart but boasts a more modern look with more straight and linear grain to it.

There are, naturally, many more types, but these should be enough to get you started. 

What Are Risers?

Stair risers are the vertical back piece of the steps. They’re the part where you’re stepping onto and putting most of your weight on. In most cases, a staircase in a home will have a riser for each step, but that’s not always true. Some staircases will have an open back and not use risers at all. The size of the stair riser matters a great deal in how safe the stairs are to climb. Risers that are too high can be very dangerous for the inattentive, like children and the elderly, not to mention people simply not looking. 

What Makes Hardwood Stairs Better Than Carpeting?

hardwood staircase

[Image source: Unsplash]

While it’s impossible to claim that hardwood is simply better in every situation, it is typically the better choice. This is because of several reasons. 

First, and most obvious, they tend to look better. They’ll stay that way too for far longer than the lifetime of carpeting. Over time, regardless of how careful you are, after about ten years it will begin to show signs of wear. Eventually, it will need to be torn up and replaced entirely, costing you thousands of dollars and nullifying any savings you would have made over the hardwood.

Speaking of savings, that’s another area that hardwood is better for. The upfront cost will almost always be more expensive than carpeting, but due to the resilience of wood, there’s a good chance that you will never need to replace it entirely within your lifetime. Instead, you may just need to sand it down and revarnish it or some other sort of maintenance. Your wallet will thank you for it.

If you do need to pull up the wood, it probably isn’t because the wood has gone bad. Often, it’s just because you want something different for a change. You can then sell the wood as used and get a good return on your investment. For more on the problems with carpeting over hardwood in general, we have a full article on the subject.

Common Mistakes

You’ve decided that you do want to have hardwood flooring (You won’t regret it!), but you might not be fully aware of a lot of the pitfalls people make when it comes to flooring.

It Will Take More Than One Day

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the work can be done in a single afternoon. Just because you have all the materials does not mean you have all the experience. Budget out at minimum a weekend to ensure that things not only get done on time but get done right the first time. As the old saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” The last thing you want to have happened is the need for redoing everything from scratch due to an avoidable mistake.

It Will Be More Expensive Up-Front, But Worth It

This was mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating. On paper, getting carpeting sounds like the better deal when it comes to price. The reality is that if it isn’t lasting as long, then it’s probably not holding up its value. We have a whole article on the subject here.

Getting the Finish Right Is Easy

With the ability to use MacDonald Hardwoods’ prefinished hardwood flooring, the job is easy. Normally, it can be a little difficult due to extra installation work. But with prefinished hardwood flooring, sanding and staining are done on the wood before it’s in your home. The materials you get are ready to go!

Consider NOT DIYing It

There is a temptation for many of us to try and save the cost of labor and do things ourselves. It’s admirable, but there are a lot of ways things can go wrong. If you are not completely sure of your abilities, you may end up in a situation where you spend more money fixing your mistakes than you would have spent just hiring an expert to do it right the first time.


In the end, you have to decide what will look best for your environment. When treated right, your flooring may even outlast you.  No matter what sort of wood you choose or what style you end up going with though, make sure that you won’t regret it a few years down the line. We at MacDonald Hardwoods are experts at helping YOU determine the perfect wood for your unique home. Reach out through email or give us a call and we will help you make the right decisions.

Hardwood Flooring

How Durable Are Hardwood Floors?

How Durable Are Hardwood Floors?

There are many different types of hardwood flooring, and they all have different levels of general durability. Durability in what specific areas is another question, as there are many metrics to consider. Some are strongest against the everyday wear and tear of foot traffic, while others may scuff more easily but be more resistant against stains. How do you know what kind is best for your situation? 

In this article, we will discuss the different types of hardwood flooring available, compare and contrast the durability differences between them, then wrap up with some advice on how to maximize the life of whatever flooring you choose.

Traditional Solid Wood

hardwood floor

Source: Unsplash

When it comes to hardwood flooring, regular solid wood is likely going to be what comes to mind first. Real wood is going to be the most expensive, but have the best resale value when selling your home. Assuming the wood isn’t badly damaged in some unrepairable way, when it comes time to replace it, you will likely be able to get a good amount of money back for it. Speaking of repairs, it’s also the easiest to repair since it’s real wood all the way through.

Regarding its durability, it’s going to vary wildly between the countless species of wood you can buy. Luckily, the industry has a tool they use to eliminate confusion here. The Janka Hardness scale was specifically created for this reason. This scale tests the hardness of the wood by measuring how much force it takes to embed a .444 inch steel ball halfway through an average-sized plank of the variety in question. The higher the number, the stronger the wood. By using this scale, you can get a good idea of how tough the wood you’re buying is. 

Note that you don’t necessarily want to just go out and buy whatever has the highest number, as maintenance activities like sanding will be much more difficult the higher the value gets. Pick something that’s a good middle ground between strength and repairability.

Laminate Wood

laminate floor

Source: Unsplash

Laminate wood flooring is the cheapest of the three and has the lowest durability. It has a look that resembles real hardwood floors, but it’s typically just a picture that’s been printed onto it. It’s created from high pressure, heat, and binding chemicals. The result of that is turned into very attractive floor coverings. There is a wear layer, image layer, and base layer. This means that in the event of damage, you won’t have any real method of repairing it that isn’t incredibly obvious to the human eye.

That said, it isn’t all downsides. When properly taken care of, it is very easy to clean due to it being completely flat, versus having a beveled edge. Laminate is typically sold in four-foot strips or even as tiles, meaning it can be much easier to transport and install than the 10+ foot lengths that real hardwood typically comes in. It also doesn’t actually need to look like wood. Anything can be printed onto it, so there are plenty of stylish designs that wouldn’t be available for real wood. If you’re looking to install your flooring by yourself, getting laminate wood may be the easiest option for you due it being designed to easily lock together with other planks.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood rests in the middle when it comes to price. It’s usually cheaper than real wood, but it’s more expensive than laminate. It’s also more durable in some ways than real wood due to how it’s made. The exterior is made of layers of real wood that have been pressed together under intense hydraulic pressure with a veneer added afterward. This wear layer is designed such that it eliminates the problems that laminate flooring has with maintenance. It can be sanded down to remove scuffs, just like real hardwood can.

It also has good resale value thanks to it again having layers of real wood on the outside. While laminate isn’t really meant to be reused, engineered wood will usually have plenty of life left in it after being taken out of a building.

Engineered wood usually comes prefinished, with a durable coating put on right at the factory. This means that you typically won’t need to spend time and money doing it yourself and hiring somebody to apply it for you. 

One particularly great thing about engineered wood that makes it stand out is that it can be used in any moisture environment. Regular hardwood flooring and laminate flooring are susceptible to moisture penetration, eventually causing the floor to twist, bulge and swell. For this reason, they may not be a good choice for your kitchen if your dishwasher has a tendency to leak. When this happens, you may have to replace the flooring entirely. Not having to worry about that is just another great way it saves you money down the line.

Finish Is Important

If you want to maximize the durability of whatever floor you choose, you will want to put a good quality finish on it. There are some common mistakes that homeowners make when cleaning their floors which are also important to know about. There are many different types of finish to choose from and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It helps to establish a clear set of guidelines for what you’re looking for. Let’s briefly go over some potential scenarios to help get the ball rolling for you. 

What kind of traffic do you expect to be going through the area on a regular basis? If you expect the floor to be in constant use, you may want to consider an oil-based polyurethane. It offers middle-of-the-road protection for an affordable price.

If this is a home, do you have animals and/or children and expect lots of spills? A water-based polyurethane may be best due to its high moisture resistance. 

Do you really just never want to see scratches ever again? Aluminum oxide offers far and away the strongest protection and lasts for decades before needing any kind of maintenance, but comes with the cost of being the most difficult to reapply. It’s also somewhat infamous for making the floor so strong that it may not even be possible to properly sand it when you need to.

Is this a historic location or do you just want to have a more retro look? Penetrating oil sealer is what homes used for ages before newer finishes were invented. It takes a very long time to dry, and requires touching up every few years, but you wouldn’t be considering it for sheer practicality in the first place.


By now, you should have a good understanding of the different flooring options. The history of hardwood flooring is actually very interesting. Each option has its own unique pros and cons that make them best for different situations. In the end, all flooring needs maintenance, but knowing the timeframe for these things will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, something that is definitely worth the investment. If you still have questions, our experts are here to help – just give us a call or fill out a contact form. here.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Texture

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of hardwood floors? You may think about the color and size of the hardwood planks. However, another critical factor that you’ll need to determine when choosing hardwood flooring for your home is the texture.

In 2021, some of the biggest trends in hardwood flooring textures are hand scraped and wire brushed textures. Both options give a more natural, rustic element to the floors. Textured flooring can also be more durable than smooth hardwood, which makes it a great option for families. There are some key differences, though, between the two. Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of each so you can make the most informed decision.


Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Unlike a lot of hardwood flooring textures nowadays, hand-scraped hardwood flooring is, you guessed it, scraped by hand. This means that no two planks are the same and offer more variation in appearance. Because this style is done by hand, the scraping can range from more subtle scrapes to more dramatic, bigger scrapes. Hand scraping is great for those who want durability because they generally conceal wear and tear better. We recommend hand scraped hardwood flooring for high traffic areas – like kitchens, dining areas and family rooms.


Wire Brushed Hardwood Floors

Wire brushed hardwood flooring is similar to hand scraped hardwood flooring but is generally done by machine. This technique is done by using a wire brush to create long strokes in the wood that brings out the natural grain of the wood. While these two techniques are often mistaken for one another, wire brushed hardwood flooring usually looks more aged and distressed. We love the look of wire brushed texturing on oak hardwood floors in particular because it accentuates the oak’s already naturally occurring features. Like hand scraped, wire brushed hardwood floors will withstand the wear and tear of daily life, and is also a great option if you have children or pets.


Final Thoughts

Regardless of what you choose, textured flooring is a trend that is durable, functional and stylish. One final tip is to make sure that you’re always looking at hardwood floors in person. Sometimes textures can look different online, so you always want to double check you’re getting exactly what you want. For more tips on the most durable types of hardwoods, check out this blog post.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring

If you’re in the process of remodeling or building a house, you’ve likely asked yourself what flooring option will be best for you and your family. If you’ve decided against carpet, you likely now find yourself toying with the idea of laminate vs hardwood flooring. There’s a lot of information out there, so we’ve compiled a complete recap of both options so you can make the best decision for your home. Read on if you’d like to learn more.

Hardwood Flooring vs. Laminate Flooring – What’s the Difference?

First, we should discuss what each flooring option actually is. Hardwood floors are a product manufactured from timber that you install and use as flooring. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of forms – from oak to maple or even hickory hardwoods. You can choose from softwoods or hardwoods and even various designs and thicknesses. Hardwood flooring is generally considered timeless and can last for hundreds of years if maintained properly.

On the other hand, laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic product blended together with a lamination process. It emulates the look of wood and is generally a more budget-friendly option. Laminate is also considered to be highly durable and scratch/stain resistant.

Photos courtesy of

Look and Feel

For the most part, traditional hardwood flooring is going to be more timeless and more attractive. Since laminate flooring is trying to imitate hardwood flooring, it’s hard to beat the real deal. From a distance, most laminate flooring (when installed correctly) can look like real hardwoods, but up close you can generally tell the difference in quality.

Without a doubt, if you’re choosing solely based on appearance, hardwoods are the way to go. However, we know that appearance isn’t the only factor when choosing flooring. Things like durability and cost are also big factors.

Durability – Which Stands the Test of Time?

Have you ever seen a home renovation show where the owners pull up the carpet to reveal beautiful, old hardwood flooring? Most of the time these hardwood floors are very old. When cared for, hardwood flooring can last many lifetimes. The instances where hardwoods get ruined are usually under extreme amounts of distress from events like flooding. For upkeep, we recommend recoating and refinishing periodically, which will ensure your flooring lasts for years to come.

Laminate flooring is also a great option if you’re looking for durability, but in general, it’s not as durable as hardwoods. Laminate flooring is usually good for up to 10 years, but beyond that, you may start to see more wear and tear. Also worth noting is that laminate usually doesn’t do well under extreme pressure – If you drop a heavy enough object laminate has been known to dent.

In terms of maintenance, both options are relatively the same. Both can easily be swept with a broom or cleaned with a mop. In general, most hardwoods these days are sealed with polyurethane varnish which shouldn’t be polished or waxed. Similarly, laminate flooring does not need to be waxed.

Cost and Installation

If you’re looking for easy installation, laminate flooring is the way to go. While hardwoods are usually installed by professionals and take a certain skill set, laminate flooring is much easier to install by yourself. Hardwoods require a lot of sanding and finishing, but laminates simply click together at the edges and don’t need fasteners and glue. Another point to note is that most hardwood flooring companies, like Macdonald Hardwoods, only sell pre-finished hardwoods. The majority of the time, the sanding is done at the mill.

Additionally, if cost is a major factor in your flooring decision, laminate flooring is generally much cheaper than hardwood floors. The average hardwood flooring cost is between $4 to $12 per square foot, with an average cost of about $8 per square foot. This of course depends on the type of hardwood – oak, maple, bamboo and others will all have different costs associated. On the other hand, laminate ranges from around $1 to $3 per square foot.

Overall Thoughts

If you’re on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with laminate flooring. It can give you the same look as traditional hardwoods but for a fraction of the price. However, if you want to invest in your home, nothing beats hardwood floors. The timeless flooring option can last lifetimes if maintained properly and instantly adds value and style to your home. For more tips on choosing hardwood flooring options, check out this blog post.

Hardwood Flooring Home Decor

The History of Hardwood Flooring

When you think of a timeless home, chances are the image in your head will have hardwood floors. Hardwoods have long been favored for their appearance and ability to stand the test of time. Sometimes we take traditional home design aspects for granted, but it wasn’t until the 17th century that hardwood flooring started to gain popularity.

If you’ve ever wondered how and why hardwood flooring came to be, let us walk you through the history of hardwood flooring and hardwood floor trends.

What Was Available Before Hardwood Flooring?

In the early days of human history, our ancestors did not have the luxury of choosing from a wide range of flooring options. Instead, they were limited to materials that were readily available in their local environment. As a result, early floors were often made from dirt, straw, or stone. Over time, however, new materials and technologies began to emerge. Around the same time that hardwood floors were invented, people also began to experiment with other materials such as linoleum, vinyl, and laminate.

While these materials offered some benefits over traditional hardwood floors, they also had their own drawbacks. For example, Vinyl and laminate floors were susceptible to scratching and denting, and linoleum tended to fade over time. As a result, hardwood floors quickly became the preferred choice for many homeowners. Thanks to their beauty, durability, and easy maintenance, hardwood floors remain one of the most popular flooring options on the market today.

The Early Years

The history of hardwood flooring dates back to the early 1600’s French Baroque area. At the time, only wealthy people and French nobility would have adapted this style due to cost and timeliness of the installation. Hardwood flooring was made by hand, where each plank would be scraped, sanded and polished. Examples of this type of early flooring can be seen at Versailles in the traditional Parquet wood flooring style that is still popular today.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Hardwood Flooring in America

Most of the hardwood flooring we imagine today – polished and uniform – weren’t common until the 19th century. In fact, most flooring in early colonial America was made from wide, thick planks that were likely cut from nearby forests with whatever material they could find. Unlike today where you can choose from flooring like bamboo, hickory, oak and more, these people were working with what was right outside their door.

The process for cutting timber into lumber was also extremely lengthy and difficult. A pit saw was most commonly used to do the cutting and required at least two men to get the job done. Because the process was so manual and strenuous, the planks of wood were often different widths and sizes, resulting in uneven flooring or flooring with gaps in it. It was common to lose smaller items like marbles under the gaps in the floors.

As time went on, a new method for laying flooring was created that allowed for a much more uniform look. The long edge of a plank of wood was planed with an “L” profile, allowing it to lock in with adjacent boards. So, when wood inevitability changed shape and size due to weather, gaps could be covered up by the end of the other, adjacent board.

Early Hardwood Flooring Design Trends

Like so many aspects of design, popular hardwood flooring styles have changed drastically over the years. In the 18th century, many people began to paint their flooring as they would their walls and ceilings (staining and varnish wouldn’t become popular until the late 19th century). These decoratively painted wood floors ranged from monochrome to fanciful designs such as diamond or checkerboard patterns, making for a memorable timestamp in the history of hardwood flooring. Because of the low quality of the wood in most of the homes during this time, painting was a relatively easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the look of your home.

Colors in a hand-painted floor were cued by the original jadeite-green glass wall tiles.

Photo: Leslie Tomlin

For a compass rose, paint reproduces the look of inlaid wood species.
Photo: Sandy Agrafiotis

However, if you were a part of the wealthy elite, you might have been able to invest in parquet flooring, similar to the Versailles style mentioned earlier. Parquet comes from the French term “Parquetry”, meaning small compartment. Parquet wood flooring is made by arranging small slats of wood in repeating patterns.

Parquet flooring

Image courtesy of Unsplash

The Industrial Revolution

Along with many other inventions, the Industrial Revolution also brought a more efficient and expedited process to the hardwood flooring world. With new, steam-driven machinery, the production time of flooring decreased significantly. Additionally, flooring became much more uniform and began to look like the polished flooring we think of today.

Around this time, the most popular way to install flooring was known as the “Tongue and Groove” flooring method. Tongue and groove flooring fits together like a puzzle piece, where one part of the flooring is fitted with a protruding “tongue” that fits into a concave “groove.” The most common type of hardwood around this time was narrow, oak floors – much different from the types of flooring we saw in earlier years.

Prior to the industrial revolution, most hardwood floors were made by hand. This meant that they were time-consuming and expensive to produce. However, the industrial revolution led to the development of new machinery that could mass-produce hardwood floors. This made hardwood floors more affordable and accessible to the average consumer. In addition, the industrial revolution also led to the development of new finishes and treatments that helped to improve the durability of hardwood floors.

The industrial revolution also impacted the hardwood flooring industry in terms of its workforce. Prior to the industrial revolution, most hardwood floors were made by skilled craftsmen. However, with the development of new machines, many of these jobs became obsolete. As a result, many workers in the hardwood flooring industry lost their jobs. The industrial revolution thus had a major impact on both the efficiency and workforce of the hardwood flooring industry.

Photo: Superior Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Today

Hardwood flooring has been a favorite among homeowners for centuries, declining only in popularity during World War II when carpeting became more common. The late 19th century saw the polished hardwood floors we know today come to fruition, after many different phases of hardwood flooring.

Hardwood flooring today is put through a more rigorous manufacturing process than ever before, making for an attractive and long-lasting product. In the past, hardwood flooring was reserved for only certain rooms of the house. Nowadays, however, it is not uncommon to see hardwood floors throughout an entire home. Whether you’re looking for classic or contemporary styles, hardwood floors are a great way to add beauty and sophistication to any space.

Engineered hardwood flooring is also a popular option among homeowners, as it is more affordable and accessible than traditional hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood flooring is made of multiple layers of wood, with the top layer being real wood. The cost to install engineered hardwood flooring is much more affordable than ever with convenient prefinished hardwood floor options. This makes it more resistant to moisture and allows it to be installed in areas where traditional hardwood would not be able to go.

Whether you’re renovating a home and deciding on a type of hardwood for your style or simply considering hardwood floors in general, there’s a myriad of hardwood floor trends to choose from. If you’re on the fence, remember that hardwood flooring is a classic and timeless choice. Hardwood floors have stood the test of time for centuries and we don’t anticipate them going away any time soon.

MacDonald Hardwoods has been the go-to engineered hardwood flooring supplier in the surrounding Denver area since 1986. We know everyone has unique needs when it comes to hardwood flooring and we strive to ensure our customers are getting the best possible product for their project.

Get your free quote today!

General Home Improvement Hardwood Flooring

Do Hardwood Floors Increase Home Value?

Every home is different, but most will agree that any type of flooring plays a huge role in the look and function of a house. While you may not pay much attention to it at first, you definitely notice when the flooring is bad. You might not think twice about bamboo hardwood flooring or oak hardwood flooring, but you’d definitely notice shag carpeting circa the 1980s or laminate and vinyl flooring like you had in college.

If you’re considering hardwood floors and wondering whether they’ll be a good investment for your home, we’ve outlined the research and included a few best practices to make sure you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

Are Hardwood Floors Worth the Money?

Because your return on investment depends so much upon the size of your home, your location and the type of flooring you choose, there isn’t a ton of data on the correlation between home value and flooring. In fact, it’s almost impossible to calculate an exact number. However, most research finds that overall, hardwood flooring will increase your home value. While in some places, hardwoods are still considered a “nice to have” for prospective buyers, in a lot of places, hardwood floors have become essential. reports that the average ROI for installing hardwood floors can range anywhere from 70-80%, depending on location and flooring layout. also reports that hardwood floors can increase your home value by 3-5%.

Again, while these numbers may vary from house to house, it’s safe to say that hardwood floors will never decrease the value of your home, while carpeting could.

Why Are Hardwoods So Great, Anyway?

We know that hardwood flooring will increase the value of your home, but what if you’re not looking to sell your home any time soon? One of the benefits of hardwoods and what makes them so appealing to buyers goes far beyond aesthetics.

Yes, in our opinion hardwood floors are timeless and never go out of style. But perhaps the best feature of hardwoods is their durability. Hardwood floors are built to stand the test of time and that is why they remain the king of flooring. If you’re curious about the range of durability in hardwoods, check out our guide here.

Not only are hardwoods durable, but they’re also much easier to clean than carpets. If you have toddlers or pets, you know just how hard removing a stain from carpeting can be.

Final Thoughts

While hardwood flooring costs may be more upfront, it’s safe to say that the overall investment of hardwood flooring is worth it. Whether you’re hoping to sell your home down the line and know that buyers are expecting hardwood floors or looking to put roots down in your home and know hardwoods are more functional, hardwood floors beat the rest every time.

If you’re curious to learn more about the different types of hardwood floorings available, check out our post on the top flooring trends of 2020 or the main differences between solid and engineered hardwood.