Hardwood Sales and Installation
We sell and install quality hardwood floors. We offer a wide selection of hardwood floors for your choosing. We can bring samples of commonly chosen hardwood floors to your home. If you are looking for flooring that is very specific, higher-end, or harder to find, we can also help you find other types of hardwood flooring through the showroom with which we work. We also sell and install laminate and vinyl. If you have any questions, please take a look at the FAQs section. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a FREE estimate, contact us at 703-481-1261.
Points to Consider When Choosing Quality Hardwood Floors
*NOTE: The diagrams and illustrations below were custom designed for The Tu's Group, Inc. by Cool 7 design, LLC and may NOT be used without express written permission and payment to The Tu's Group, Inc. and Cool 7 design, LLC for any use, commercial or otherwise.
2 1/4" is the standard width. 3 1/4" is considered wide/wider. Other widths are luxurious and much wider. Narrower widths are called strips. Wider widths are called planks. The wider the plank is, the more the cost is for raw material. However, better grades of narrower widths may still be better quality than lower grades of wider widths.
Some knots in hardwood are unavoidable due the the natural qualities of the wood. When possible, aim for fewer knots. This is an example of a bird's eye.
When possible, fewer knots are preferrable. Higher quality wood will have fewer knots, but will also cost more for raw material and sometimes labor.
Large knots such as this represent lower quality wood and should be avoided or reduced when possible. Extremely large knots also indicate poor installation labor, because it takes more work and effort to trim off or hand select and sort through pieces with knots. Some knots in the wood are natural, and unavoidable.
Solid hardwood is made from one contiguous piece of wood. Engineered hardwood is made from multiple thinner layers.
Many bevels are micro- ones, but other bevel types are available. The bevels shown are exaggerated to depict differences.
When possible, hardwood should look organized in long strips or planks that appear similar to long bricks. The appearance of hardwood is less attractive when the ends of the hardwood strips or planks are too close to each other from row to row. This issue indicates lower quality installation labor. Strips that are too short also indicate lower quality installation labor. If the finished hardwood installation has many extremely short strips, the installer probably used discounted second-hand wood that were scraps from previous installations. Extremely discounted wood is often very short if this is the case, but many discount companies will not reveal this difference until it is too late for the homeowner to ask for reparations. Due to the varying lengths of hardwood, some variation from an organized "longer brick" look will always occur, but quality installers try to reduce the number of these.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between prefinished and unfinished hardwood flooring?
The prefinished hardwood floor is end matched with a tight micro-beveled edge and has coats of finish. The unfinished floor comes end matched with a square edge and must be finished on site.
What is engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring looks like solid wood from the top, but it is made up of several layers with only the top layer as hardwood.
What are strips? What are planks?
Strip flooring is 2 ¼ inches to 3 inches wide. Plank flooring is usually wider than 3 inches.
How do I acclimate my hardwood floor?
Let the flooring acclimate for 5-7 days, with boxes opened and laid flat in the room where the flooring is to be installed. If you are in an area with high humidity, you may need to install some humidity controls like a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Can we install hardwood flooring in the basement?
No. It is highly recommended that you do not install hardwood flooring below grade. However, it is possible to install laminate flooring or engineered hardwood floors in these situations.
Do I need a moisture barrier if it is above grade?
Yes. We recommend using a vapor barrier of 15-lb felt paper. This vapor barrier should be laid between the hardwood flooring and the wood subfloor to prevent any moisture from getting to the floor.
How do I do a basic check of a concrete floor for moisture?
Pull the plastic cup up after 24-48 hours. If there is moisture on it or the floor is discolored, you have a problem.
What is floating installation?
Floating installation includes strips of flooring that either snap together or are glued to each other as they are installed. Instead of being nailed to the floor, they sit on foam padding. Base molding around the edges holds down the floor.
What is the best way to clean my hardwood floor?
The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop, and/or vacuum the floors regularly. Hardwood floors also clean easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. You should avoid excessive moisture. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a spill.
How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling, or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.
How do I handle stubborn soil spots?
For stubborn soil spots, apply the manufacturer's recommended cleaner to a soft cloth and scrub the desired area. Repeat if necessary. Do not use wax based cleaners except when manufacturer-recommended.
Can I apply a wax finish to my prefinished floors?
No. You should almost never apply wax finish to your prefinished floors unless manufacturer-recommended.
How can I better protect my hardwood floors from early finish wear?
Avoid spike heels and furniture glides. Sweep or vacuum your floor regularly. Remove spills promptly. Use area rugs on high traffic pathways and pivot areas. Install proper protectors on the "feet" of furniture.
Can I install hardwood flooring in the bathroom?
No. Hardwood floors are not covered by warranty if installed in a bathroom. Moisture can cause damage to hardwood flooring.
The floor beneath my rug is lighter than the exposed floor. What can I do?
It is normal for hardwood floors that are exposed to sunlight to darken over time. To eliminate the obvious tone differences, it is best to rotate rugs and furniture so that the flooring gets an equal amount of sun exposure. Any differences in light exposure will eventually fade away.
What is the difference between Select and Better, Mill Run and Rustic grades?
Wood is sorted and sold in different grades. The grade names and criteria depend on the species. There is a big difference in appearance between the highest and the lowest grades. There is also a big difference in price. For example, in oak flooring, the grades from the highest to lowest are Clear, Select, No. 1 Common, and No. 2 Common. You get what you pay for.
Your home deserves the best care it can get, and you can rest assured that it will with The Tu's Group, Inc. Our specialists are carefully trained and certified by the best organizations in the industry. The following are certifications obtained by The Tu's Group, Inc. Owner and President, Peter Tu.
- CFI (Certified Floorcovering Installer)
- Bruce Hardwood Floors
- Hardwood Flooring Installation School
- ABR Products, Inc.
- Wood Restoration/Preservation Specialist
Our Service Areas
The Tu's Group, Inc. provides services in the following areas: Northern Virginia, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA, Fairfax County VA, Arlington County VA, Sterling VA, Ashburn VA, Vienna VA, Great Falls VA, McLean VA, Reston VA, Herndon VA, Fairfax VA.