When it comes to hardwood floors, there is a wide variety of woods, finishes, and colors available on the market today. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when searching for the perfect flooring for your home.
When evaluating your options, you should consider the benefits that wood material brings to your home. Hardwood floors are convenient and durable, but most of all, they add warmth and character to the room. Not all types of wood are created equal, so you’ll do well to consider the following things:
Type of wood: In general, there are two types of wood: solid and engineered hardwood. The latter is formed by milling solid logs and consists of grooves and tongues along the short and long edges. The solid type comes in prefinished and unfinished options, planks or strips of varying thickness. As for engineered hardwood, it is made up of a few layers of plywood and composite, with a layer of solid hardwood on top. The main difference comes in the composition of the floor. Solid wood is likely to expand/contract with different humidity levels, meaning it is best installed on the ground floor. On the other hand, engineered floors are more stable and therefore can be installed on all levels.
Wood Species – Hardwood floors can be made from many different types of wood. The main thing to consider is durability. Some woods are harder and withstand daily wear and tear better than others. Red oak is one of the most popular options, for example; however, maple and walnut are more durable. The harder the wood, the better it will be to install in high-traffic areas of your home.
Appearance, Grain Color, and Grain – Due to the variety of wood species these floors are found in, you can easily select a color to match your decor. For example, if your home leans toward the country style, wide plank flooring and sharp grains with a distressed look are perhaps the best options. As for the contemporary setting, you can use any wood, depending on the stain and finish. Lime, pewter and charcoal finishes have the potential to transform wood species into a grand masterpiece.
Finish: The finish plays a key role in the appearance of the floor. You’ll find that the same species of wood looks quite different with a clear gloss and wire brush finish. The effect is due to the different levels of brightness and techniques used. Please note that hardwood floors come prefinished or unfinished. The former has the finish applied in a controlled factory environment, while the unfinished floor is done on site.
Installation: All types of hardwood are installed by nailing, gluing, or stapling planks to a subfloor. While it is true that you can do this on your own; It is best to consider professional help, to minimize the risk of errors.
Now that you know more about hardwood floors, you can easily choose the best one for you.