Before You Buy

Before you purchase hardwood, know this.

Hardwood Flooring in a Dining Room

Nothing motivates people to learn about something than when they have to invest a sizeable sum to purchase it. Buying hardwood flooring is no exception. It pays, today and tomorrow, to know not only the basics but some of the specifics. Hardwood flooring is both beautiful and durable. It is a lifetime investment that increases both the value and aesthetics of your home. In the journey to finding the right flooring for your home, understanding things like hardwood characteristics, traits and quirks can be invaluable.

The different hallmarks of hardwoods.

Each species of wood has its own unique characteristics. Color is determined by what part of the tree the wood originally comes from. The grain pattern is determined by the species and how the wood is cut. Natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected. Similar to natural stone, these variations create the beautiful and unique look of a wood floor. They make your floor close to one of a kind.

Hardwood flooring characteristics.

Hardwood floors are hydroscopic. Wood floors will expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes, causing hairline cracks, slight height variations or both. Hardwood does not expand or contract equally in all directions. This is not considered a defect but a natural result of nature. It should also be noted that the wider the flooring, the larger the expected gaps will be. So, in dry climates, you may want to consider the use of a whole house humidifier to help minimize shrinkage and hairline cracking. They key is to keep the humidity in the home between 35% and 65% year round. Hardwood flooring is photosensitive. All hardwood floors will fade, darken or change shades over time. Exposure to sunlight will greatly increase this process. Window treatments are recommended as well as rotating area rugs and furniture regularly to allow floors to age evenly from UV exposure. Hardwood floors will dent and scratch. It is important to choose the correct wood for your application in order to minimize denting and scratching issues, keeping in mind that ALL wood floors will dent and scratch. 

Here are the facts about subfloors.

No subfloors are perfectly level. You may also hear hollow sounds where your subfloor’s surface dips and ridges. This does not affect the integrity or installation of the hardwood. Hollow sounds are normal and are not considered a product or installation defect. 

Pre-finished hardwood pre-buying notes.

A work of natural art, the elegance of a pre-finished hardwood floor adds beauty and value to any home, easy care and durability to any lifestyle. Each species of wood has its own unique characteristics and the conditions of nature that the wood matured in make each floor exceptional and individual. Hardwood flooring is not intended to look like a table top. Flooring is manufactured from a lower grade of wood than that which is used for furniture. Pre-finished hardwood floors are sanded, screened and stained in highly efficient manufacturing plants. Several coats of urethane or aluminum oxide are sprayed on the boards and then they are UV dried for a very durable finish. Pre-finished floors may be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty.


Hudsonville • p: 616-662-0140
6450 28th Ave, Ste J
Hudsonville, MI 49426
M 10a-8p T-F 10a-5:30p S 9a-1p

Our Hudsonville location has earned a Mohawk ColorCenter Elite dealer of the year designation for flooring. Exclusive benefits include special product offerings, discount flooring, enhanced warranties and more. As a ColorCenter Elite store we offer a premier and comprehensive selection of Mohawk flooring options in carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, and vinyl.


Grand Rapids • p: 616-363-3513
5282 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
M 10a-8p T-F 10a-5:30p S 9a-1p

Tucked behind our main showroom, the DeGraaf Interiors Grand Rapids location hosts our Premium Discount Outlet. The experienced DeGraaf Interiors staff can help you build a custom look from the ground up; or, find the perfect discount flooring, countertops, tiles, and other textiles to give your space the look and feel you’ve always wanted. Make your vision a reality at DeGraaf Interiors in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Cascade • p: 616-264-3424
1144 E Paris Ave SE #1A
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
M 10a-8p T-F 10a-5:30p S 9a-1p

DeGraaf’s Cascade location is the first Shaw Design Center in West Michigan. This designation offers a renowned Shaw Star Assurance warranty program, a broad collection of Shaw products, including carpeting, laminate, and hardwood flooring, and a full team of associates ready to offer specialized expertise to your project.

Come see the wide collection of flooring, countertops, tile & stones, hardwood, laminates and carpet at a store near you. DeGraaf Interiors: Providing a one-stop shopping experience for selection, quality and value.