VITALS

Is it right for you?
DIY-friendly installation; most boards come prefinished. Big selection of wood species and surface treatments. Suitable for basements, where solid wood often isn't.

What's it cost?
About 20 percent more than unfinished solid boards, but you recoup that cost and then some on installation, staining, and sealing. Figure $3 to $14 per square foot.

Does it hold up?
Warranties on the finish range from 10 to 30 years under "normal wear." That means one or two dogs per household, not 10. Most companies provide lifetime warranties against veneer delamination.

How to care for it?
Mop with a microfiber cloth and wood floor cleaner to remove the dirt that scratches the finish and shortens the floor's life.

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