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Best hardwood flooring in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Want to add warmth and beauty to any room in your home or business?
You can achieve just that with hardwood floors from Carpet Source USA. Nothing compares to the authentic beauty and ease of cleaning of real wood floors; they can also make any room seem welcome and attractive.

What can we offer if you want new help with your new hardwood flooring Albuquerque?
Carpet Source USA offers a full selection of mainstream floors, and rustic, as well some the most exciting or trendy, with affordable prices in any design, style or color you want. With many hundreds of locally owned stores in our network, we use our significant buying power to your advantage. See for yourself when you visit a nearby Carpet Source USA, to start the process of creating a whole new look in your home.

It’s Perfect for Any Room in the House

The latest designs and qualities never go out of style and, better yet, never need updating, no matter what your choice of style. With an abundance of character and an elegant look for the most basic room in the house, you are destined to find what you are looking to accomplish.

From Oak to gleaming Acacia or Maple floors, solid or engineered types, or you can find any species of wood you want in styles that include:
  • Strip Flooring adds a traditional look while making space seem large. Strip flooring comes in strips that range from 1″ to 2.5″ and in thicknesses of 5/16″ to 3/4″.
  • Plank Flooring: With wider strips-from 3″ to 8″-plank flooring is noted for its earthy appeal and complements a room décor with antiques or historical items.
  • Handscraped Flooring is trending today, handscraped flooring offers an appealingly timeless feeling enhanced by the excellent urethane finishes popular today.
  • Wire Brushed Floors: As charming a style as any but with a quieter application of the look of distress and enhanced appeal with innovations in urethane finishes.

Installation is Available from Carpet Source USA.
The floors from Carpet Source USA invite warmth and elegance with a natural feel into any room of your house, including the home office. Nothing compares to the ease of cleaning and the unique, physical beauty of wood.

In addition to our all-star team of sales professionals, we also offer installation from experienced and trained professional installers. At Carpet Source USA, our flooring installation technicians can deliver and install any selection of flooring to complement any room in your home or business.

Satisfaction Guaranteed with Your New Hardwood Floors Albuquerque from Carpet Source USA
The Carpet Source USA Assurance Guarantee means if you are not satisfied with your new floor, we will make it right for you. We confirm that promise to you when you choose your quality product and enjoy the excellent service we provide. You can’t go wrong when you opt for Carpet Source USA!

Find the look of your dreams, with a guaranteed satisfaction that can’t be beaten.

Call Carpet Source USA store today at 505-856-6268 and let our consultants help you find the ideal flooring for your home or business.

Look below and read some of the most common questions and consider your “Consumer Awareness Guide”:

Intro To How New Floors Are Made & Why It’s Relevant To You:
Let’s start with Solid Wood Floors. When most people think of wood floors, the image below isn’t exactly what they think of, right? In my opinion, the thought of an image like the one below the does occur, I’ll explain why. The image below depicts what’s known as the “The Real Thing,” it’s the Coca-Cola mantra; no offense to all you Pepsi drinkers.

Engineered products are looked at as the imitation, the less expensive product and also a lesser product. So most people, when they first inquire about our floors, they often have this sort of thought on their minds.
In my 24+ years in the industry, I’ve visited a 3/4″ solid wood floor plant several times. You know what section they start with at during a three-quarter solid wood plant tour when we industry insiders go? Usually, they start in the yard where we see a lot of four-quarter lumber (or 4/4” and/or 1” thick), in most cases, and at most mills, they’re going to buy four-quarter lumber.

In this section, I’m, going to describe my opinion on why solid planks may not be your best option, especially if you live in Albuquerque.

The image below is a piece of four-quarter lumber. If you were ever to visit a plant, they’re going to have football field upon football field of this product stacked up out there, air-drying. A key point I’ll explain later is it costs a lot of money, ties up a lot of working capital. I’ll tell below why that’s important to you the consumer.
 
 
How Green” is it to use Solid vs. Engineered?
Why do you think they use four-quarter lumber? Four-quarter lumber is the industry standard. They also make four-quarter, six-quarter (1-1/2”), eight-quarter (2” lumber). To explain solid floors here, Four-quarter is 90% of what’s made by the majority of the mills. The main reason they make it four-quarter is for the drying process. The thicker you make it, the harder and longer it takes to dry it, which adds a lot of cost and overhead to the finished product and can price the wood floor out of reach for a lot of consumers. So if you look at the furniture industry, they use three-quarter (3/4”). If you look at your tabletop, it’s usually three-quarter. Your bed components are typically three-quarter. It’s pretty much what everybody uses because you’re going to eventually end up with a three-quarter product simply for efficiency use.
 
Okay, you see these lines on this piece of wood in the image above? What are those? Those are saw marks, and what kind of saw do you think that was that cut this board? This was cut with a band saw, that’s why the teeth are going down, as it feeds through it leaves teeth marks.

Now, I bring this up because we have a lot of people worried about the environment now. And we have a lot of clients ask if using wood floors is “green” when we come out to their home or office to consult and provide a quote.

Interestingly enough, they want it to be green; once they find out it costs more than laminate flooring, they’re not as concerned.

With four-quarter lumber, you’re going to end up with a three-quarter inch piece of wood.

So, when they saw it out of the woods, how much stock drift do you think was left? How thick do you think a blade has to be to cut a piece of wood that thick on edge? Not too skinny, huh, actually it’s pretty hefty. The blade will have to be at least 1/4” of an inch. So you’re going to start with about 1-1/2” of wood to get down to those final three-quarters of an inch of flooring to get installed in a house. How environmentally friendly do you think that is? You’re wasting a lot of wood, turning close 50% of the wood into sawdust.

So, getting back to our story, the mills buy four-quarter lumber. A lot of them will buy what they call KD, which is kiln-dried already, so it’s already dried down to the proper moisture content. So when you cut the tree down, you’re at about 25-30% moisture content. You have to get it down so it’ll live in a house comfortably without too much movement. So they usually will put it in the yard with little pieces of wood in between each layer called stickers, to let the air circulate, to let it air-dry for a while.

Once it sits out there for a few months, then what do you think they do with it? Put it into a kiln. What’s a kiln? It’s a big oven, but it’s not a dry oven. It’s an oven you can inject steam into to control the drying process more exactly, because if you dry it too fast with just plain old heat, what’s going to happen to it? It cracks. Customers don’t like cracks. If you dry it too fast, it’s going to crack; it’s going to honeycomb and do all kinds of bad things. So you have to dry it down slowly enough, so it doesn’t crack, and you also don’t want it to get stresses built up.

If done improperly, you can have what’s called case hardening, or reverse case hardening, where you try to saw it and…you ever try to use a table saw, and it just bites the blade real fast? That’s case hardened; it wasn’t dried properly. So if it was case hardened, as soon as you cut in there it wants to tighten right back up again; that’s very bad to run through a plant. Conversely, reverse case hardening is where you cut it, and it just explodes open. So it’s very important, the drying process.

The number one and most important thing when it comes to making floors is you have to dry it just right. So when we buy material, we buy it from a manufacturer that dries their wood because they have better quality controls over it, rather than one that’s buying it from a lot of different sources where one batch could be great, the next batch may not be.

A lot of the cost of the end product reflects the drying process, as well as the fact I mentioned above with the 50% waste. If you look at a lot of the mills like Hallmark, Shaw, etc., they dry very slowly, very meticulously. That’s why the product costs a lot more. It’s not only because of the grading or wood species, and it’s because of the way they handle the wood all the way through the process.

Let’s Look At The Advantages of Solid Wood:
  • What are the benefits of three-quarter solid?
  • You can sand it later; it is refinish-able.
  • You can change the color, fix dog dings and scratches.
  • It is customizable for patterns; you can sand and finish it on site and order it unfinished.
  • Structural stability.

Structural stability is the advantage I see. First of all, why did they start making wood floors like this in the first place? It was a structural component of every house. When they built houses a long time ago, they’d use one by six or one by eight fir pine planks across the joists. You’d walk on them; it would bounce up and down. You go to an old house; you still see them at a 45-degree angle across there. You had to use a three-quarter wood on top. As building code, it got delivered with your framing package. So it was a structural component. It was never meant to be a floor covering.

So today, do you need it? Do you go over a lot of one by six or one by eight shiplap siding? No.
What do you go over? Typically plywood, 3/4” plywood and 3/4” OSB. Do you need this to make it feel or seem solid? No. Does the 3/4“ height plus 3/4” subflooring make it easier to make transitions up to your vinyl and your LVT or carpets? No. How about Ceramic? You don’t need that much height, do you?

So why do people still buy a solid plank Sometimes it’s Allergies or Tradition, and I’ll tell you, a lot of it is lack of education. If you look at people in the flooring industry, almost all of us go with engineered products in our own homes because we know the pitfalls of solid, and we know what engineered can do for us. So, solid is not going to go away tomorrow, obviously, but if you look, every year, 3/4” solid declines a little bit, engineered products gain a little bit more market share. And it depends on where you live, and what you like.

If you go down South to Florida, it’s almost all engineered, the same with New Mexico. Why would that be? Climate cost or Moisture or homes built on Slab?They’re on slabs. They don’t have pier and beam construction; they’re on slabs. Have you ever tried to use a power nailer on a cement slab? You got to hit the thing hard. So, that doesn’t work, and they have to glue down because of the construction. It’s very well accepted in places where the majority of homes are on a slab, and not really as accepted where it’s mostly pier and beam.

So why is it when somebody from Chicago, for example, and move here to Albuquerque, they automatically get an affinity towards the solid wood? They won’t, if we educate you as the consumer to use the engineered, in most cases you’ll probably use the engineered, and 20 years from now, I think you’ll see a big shift in solid wood toward engineered wood.

Will the engineered wood floor dent quicker than the solid wood floor?
The answer is no. Depending upon the construction that you use, most engineered wood floors have better indentation resistance than solids. We’ll talk about that right now.

What’s engineered flooring?
Plywood. That’s a bad word. It sounds cheap. But it is, it’s plywood with a desirable wood veneer. What benefits does using plywood have? Dimensional stability. A consumer buying solid wood can get into a fix because first of all with solids, where can you use these in the house? Above grade only. On or above grade. What does that mean? You can’t put in the basement, not that we have a ton of them in Albuquerque, yet we have our fair share.
How about if I have a walkout basement? You can’t put it in a walkout either. Well, if you look at the soil line, say you have a big hill next door, and your first floor and you look out your window and you say, big hill, you’re below grade, you can’t use this. Why can’t you use it below grade?

Too much moisture. It’s not going to be stable enough to use below grade. Can you glue the new floor down on a slab? You can if you’re careful. I’ve tried it, not an easy installation and it costs a lot more. As people wanted to put wood below grade into basements, they had to figure out a new solution.

So, the invention was engineered flooring, which this image above is a good example of, a simple engineered floor. What makes engineered dimensionally stable? Cross-ply construction. Let’s back up a minute. How do you get those plies? Lamination, not to be mistaken for laminate flooring. How do you make them? Well, I’ve been to an engineered wood floor plant, and they are fantastic to visit. First of all, to make an engineered product cost a whole lot more than making a solid product. It takes a lot more equipment; it takes a lot more machinery, a lot more time, a lot more effort. So, it’s not a cheaper alternative; it’s a very highly engineered alternative.

First of all, with most of the engineered wood, there are two ways that you can make it:
1) You can slice it or saw it.
2) You can rotary peel it.

I’d say 90 percent of the floor sold today are rotary peeled. What rotary peeled is this, you take a log…just for a moment, imagine a log. You put it on a lathe, then you spin it fast, and as you’re spinning it, a knife blade comes into it, and the veneer peels off, it’s a phenomenal thing to see, especially at those speeds.

What took mother nature 100 years to grow, the lathe will peel in 20 seconds, just rips it right off.

So taking into consideration to the proper use of the raw materials, how efficient do you think this is? How much waste do you think you have? Very minimal. Rotary peeled is the most effective use of the raw material. There’s not a cleaner way to make it, and there’s less waste than any other type of process, so you utilize the raw material well, and some mills use 100% of the scrap to power the entire plant.
This is pieces of the engineered wood flooring material. What do you notice about it? It’s cupped. Why would that be? Well, because the natural shape is coming back, after all, trees have lived in a circle their whole life. Now, they’re being peeled off the log, and they want to roll back up again, kind of like rigor mortis. So, when you look at an engineered product, do you want a thick face or a thinner face? What’s better, thicker or thinner?

Thinner. Why? Less fighting or resistance as far as to get back to that rounded cup shape. Take A look at the image below. If I bend a piece of wood veneer, what do you think would happen? It’s stressing it, so there’s actually little cracks forming underneath that looks like triangles. Because it was flat, and the more I bend it, if the bottom’s getting bigger, you get these little triangles opening up. Those are called lathe checks. You ever heard of that term? Cracks caused by a lathe, the actual bottom of the crack gets bigger, the top doesn’t, you get these little checks forming within this image below.
So, if this veneer above were really thick, like a quarter inch thick and I bent it, what you think you’d hear? A crack, right? Well, there are some products on the marketplace that actually did that. The mills tried to make super thick faced rotary peeled engineered, and they had a nightmare with checking issues, so they took it off the market.
As you take that super thick face, and you start to bend it. How does that look on a floor when you do it? This image below is a piece of 9 plies with a Cherry face on it, look at the face held it up to some lights, and what you see on here? A little bit of grain and cracking. You can see it, you can feel it, especially in the darker colors, you’ll also be able to see some really deep cracks. Those are called lathe checks, and again, the thicker you make it, as you open it up, the bottom gets much bigger and causes these fractures that are triangular shaped. So, the deeper you sand it, the wider they’re going to get.

So, if I have a rotary peeled super thick face, are you going to be able to refinish it a lot of times? Once you start sanding it, those cracks will get ever wider, and wider, and wider.

Is that considered a flaw? No. It’s an inherent product. A lot of people like that more rustic look, they’re fine with it, but personally, I wouldn’t like it too much.

Disadvantages of Engineered Floors:

What are some disadvantages of engineered flooring? We talked about the advantages: it’s dimensionally stable. It sometimes is softer, then again, if you look at the core material, it doesn’t have to be wood. If you have a piece of engineered flooring made out of high-density fiberboard, you put HDF as the core, and it’s going to be far more indentation-resistant than the solid planks by far.

When you use HDF, the thinner you make that top veneer, the more indentation resistance you have because the HDF is harder than any wood species you’re going to use on the face. These new HDF cores are a lot more moisture resistant than plywood too. They have a lower absorption and expansion rate than plywoods, and they mill a lot cleaner for a glue-less, locking joints. They eliminate the need for plywoods, you don’t have that furry-ness on the cross-band that you have with plywood, and they’re very, very cost effective. So, we see using HDF as a big growing trend in engineered products as well.

What about the longevity as far as refinishing? What I see a lot more of these days then re-coats or sanding’s, is people just ripping the wood floor out. They want something entirely different than the same product in a different color. They want a different species, a different width, and they want something more exciting. So I mean in my own house, I went over the top of my old floors because it was more economical and cleaner than trying to go through the mess of sanding them on site.

With today’s new finishes, the big question that comes up all the time too is, “How many times can I refinish it?” A lot of the times the customer’s not talking about actually sanding it down. They’re talking about just making it look fresh which is a buff and coat, you just slightly abrade it, putting the urethane on top, and makes it look nice and newer. You still see the deep gouges and scratches, the only thing to get those out is a board replacement, or to go sanding the entire floor.

With an engineered floor, you might get one cut on the sanding belt with it, that’s about all you’re going to get out of ’em. You’re not going to sand ’em two or three times. And these floating floors, I can’t see anybody sanding a floating floor. Too much vibration is going on. You’re not going to get a good clean cut. So these would just basically buff, and coat floors or some people replace them if they’re at the end of their lifecycle. Engineered can be more disposable, yet since they’re made out of recycled goods, it’s not an entirely bad thing.

So any other disadvantages of engineered flooring you can think of? How about it’s not thick enough for consumers to be convinced it’s as good as solid wood floors. You see people out there trying to make 3/4” engineered flooring. What’s the advantage to 3/4” engineered? Does it add a lot of value to the product? None, it adds a lot of costs, and when people look at an engineered product, no matter how thick it is, it’s still not solid, so they haven’t gotten rid of that stigma within engineered floors. They’re trying to market it as an option. So, I don’t see that 3/4” engineered wood being a viable long-term alternative either. As far as engineered wood, 3/8” is the standard, you see some 1/2” and 5/8”, but it’s all about that top surface relative to what you’re paying for on the finished product.

And is it going to have the sanding’s available that a three-quarter solid wood will? No. But in a lot of cases, you can replace your engineered wood floor a lot cheaper than you can buy the solid equivalent and sand it twice. You could do two of these engineered floors for the same price as one total sand and the original solid wood purchase, especially in Albuquerque where you have extra cost with the majority of homes on a slab.

You’ve seen all the marketing too with the new finishes out here, the scratch resistant ones, they have the pads you can buff on ’em, and it doesn’t scratch ’em… Will they scratch? Oh yeah, they’ll scratch. They’re abrasion resistant, and they’re not scratch resistant. You get a dog’s nail across there, and it’s going to scratch any product that’s out there today.

Important Fact: What temperature do you think a home is comfortable and what do you usually keep your thermostat at?
Do you keep it around 68º to 70º? If you look at the chart below, follow the 70º across to 35% humidity, and that leads to 6.9% moisture content in the wood in the house. Most people are comfortable at 70º between 35 and 55% relative humidity.

So again, 70º at 35% humidity is 6.9 expected moisture content of wood, up to 55% room humidity is about 10% humidity expected moisture content of the wood. So basically, 7 to 10% is where you’re comfortable. If you go below that, your lips start to crack, and your throat dries out, you get nosebleeds, you’re not comfortable. Since most manufacturers make for the entire country, they try to hit that range of 7 to 10, because that’s where most homes are going to be kept throughout the year.

So we’re going to dry this down, 7 to 10%. What’s the next step?
Planning would likely be the next step. Now, your better quality plants will pre-plane it, so they’re going to plane this rough wood down to a uniform thickness before they try to mill it. Your more commodity mills are not. They’re just going to rip it into the proper width and send it through the machine. That’s another place where, you know, there’s a reason some pieces of wood cost $5/sf, and some cost $9/sf. There are extra steps in the process to make it a better-finished product.

If you look at a Mullican or a Bruce, one of the commodity mills, they’re not going to pre-plane in most cases, and they’re going for an output. Good quality, good price. If you look at a Shaw, Mohawk, Hallmark, etc., they’re going to pre-plane everything to make sure that they don’t bite off too much on the next level to make everything tighter tolerances.

So either they’re going to pre-plane it, or they’re going to rip it into blanks. For a 2-1/4” piece, you’re just going to cut it into blanks that are 2-1/2” wide to allow a quarter inch for the tongue. And then you run it through a molding machine, and it turns the blank into a piece of flooring.

This is the simplest manufacturing process, very, very simple. Not a lot of barriers to entry doesn’t cost a lot to get into the wood business if you’re just going to make solid flooring. You can buy your wood already dry; you don’t need kilns. All you really need is a molding machine and an end matcher unless you want to make a superior product, and then you’ll want your own drying process, your own kilns. Rather than using a flooring machine, you’ll use a molding machine. So you can add as much cost as you want to the program, but that, again, as you’re selecting wood, be aware that a $4.50 wood floor is not the same as a $7 wood floor. There’s a lot more that goes into making an expensive piece of wood because of the process that it goes through.

Now, why does everybody want 3/4” solid wood? So they can sand it forever? If so, how many times can you sand this? Just down to the tongue. You can’t sand the whole thing. Then why do they make it so thick if I can’t use it? It feels better, right? Heft in hand is the term we use in the business.

You can only sand down to the tongue. In fact, if you look closely, there’s a little nail pocket above the tongue, it’s about 1/32 of an inch. So, all you can sand down to is just above that nail pocket, or else you’re going to see shiny little highlights called nails sticking up. As a homeowner or business owner, I don’t think you’ll like shiny little highlights.
So out of this whole 3/4” piece of wood, how much usable product do we have on here?

Less than 1/4”, about 3/16” actually. So, going back to what we talked about at the beginning, we start with a 4/4” ( or 1”) piece of lumber which already has about 1/2” of an inch soft curve, so you figure about an inch and a half total. You get down to 3/16” usable product. Not too good, is it?

The other thing I neglected to mention, what kind of yields do you think you get when I buy a truckload of 4/4” lumber? How much do you think gets turned into real flooring that the mill can sell? The average number is about 51%. You get a little over half of that truckload of lumber you buy goes out the other end of the plant in flooring. What happens to the other half? They make sawdust out of it, and it’s sold off to other manufacturers for farm bedding, fuel pellets, and mulch, etc. That’s pretty poor use of the resource, don’t you think? So, long-term, it’s going to be a challenge for people to keep making 3/4” flooring when people become concerned about the longevity and the use of the resource. Now you should get the big picture on what the differences are between engineered and solid floors.

Where to go from here

For additional free help and advice to help you find the best flooring – whether carpets, hardwood floors, tiles or laminates – at the best price, call 505-856-6268 or contact Carpet Source USA today.