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January 8, 2008

Not All Hardwood Floors in Philadelphia Condominiums and Lofts Are Created Equal

Filed under: Of Interest to Buyers — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:04 am
This lovely Philadelphia condo has hard wood floors throughout….

How many times have we heard a Philadelphia realtor bark those words at a buyer during an open house, or say an advertisement in the real estate section of the Inquirer? I like to think of hardwood floors as being in three classes or categories. Each class can be defined by cost, look, and wear.

The first class is what I call the faux class. These floors really have the look and feel of a laminate, but are often incorrectly called hardwood floors by the mistaken masses. The name most often associated with these floors is Pergo. Often times called a floating floor, this surface often has a bit of a hollow sound when you walk. Easy to identify, I discover most buyers, even young first time Philadelphia condo buyers recognize a Pergo floor when they see one. Durable, inexpensive, and easy to install, the benefits do suit a specific type/price range of Center City condominiums.

The second class is the roughly 2 ¼ inch- 4” wide planks sold in either unfinished, or in an array of finishes baked on at the manufacturing plant. Newer construction Philadelphia condominiums abound in these floors. From bamboo to Brazilian cherry, and dozens of hues of oak, this flooring surface is popular in many Center City condos because they tend to be a bit more expensive than faux hardwood floors, and can be re-sanded, sometimes more than once, over the years. Rarely, would  one have to remove these hardwood floors to improve their look. They simply would refinish. In my experience, oak is the most durable. I have seen many a bamboo floor with puncture marks from high heels, etc.

Lastly, original 200 year old random width pine floors, with varying widths of 2”-14” – the latter being in the oldest of Philadelphia real estate attics and such, finish what I believe to be the three most relevant categories of Philadelphia condo flooring.  As the name and description above imply, these floors are the most expensive and rare. Seen in many old Philadelphia townhomes, these floors, with their glowing orange hue, and rough patterns of unevenness, are generally only seen in old lofts throughout Old City and Society Hill condos. You can’t buy these floors, outside of some who salvages old homes for a living. Softer in nature than the store bought oak, and generally about an inch thick in nature, make these floors the Grande Dame of Center City condominium flooring!

And you can check them out for yourself right inside some of my new listings.  Just give me a call at 215.521.1523 or send me an email at and we can set up an appointment.  I hope to hear from you soon!  

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106


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530 Walnut Street, Suite 480
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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