6 Key Aspects to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Flooring
There is no comparison to the coziness and warmth that hardwood floors bring to any space, which is why so many people choose to have it installed and automatically upgrade their homes. Hardwood flooring can last for decades and can easily adapt to many styles and colors that you may choose for decorating your home. If it doesn’t quite seem like what you wanted, it can always be re-stained and re-finished to give it a new and fresh look, which makes it so versatile and, thusly, greatly craved.
Wood flooring has many different options, price ranges and styles, however, it can be more or less divided into that made with solid wood and that with engineered wood. Solid-wood flooring is what you might directly think of when it comes to hardwood floors, and is basically made of solid, chunky planks of wood. Engineered-wood flooring consists of several layers of wood stuck together, with a top layer made out of a many types of solid-wood veneers to choose from. It can sometimes be cheaper than solid wood, but high-end engineered wood can be of equal endurance, quality and pricing. It is known that this layering method helps floors keep their original shape, color and condition for longer periods of time.
What is going to be most defining for the future of your hardwood floors will be the moment you decide which is the right one for you. It takes more than just picking out a kind and a color. These aspects should ultimately be decided upon by carefully defining these 6 elements to consider for you to get exactly what you want and what you need for your space.
The very first aspect to consider is what kind of budget you will be working with to start reviewing your options. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get less costly options for solid-wood flooring, like a generic oak option for example, and it doesn’t mean either that if you choose engineered wood you will get low-quality ‘fake’ wood. Determine your expense limitations and do your research in order to find a product with good price-performance ratio to fit your needs.
A greatly determining factor for deciding which kind of flooring you should get will be where it will be placed. Whether the room is over, below or at ground level (above, below or on grade, as it is referred to) should have an influence on your decision for solid- or engineered- wood flooring. Solid wood is not recommended for below grade rooms, like basements, where water filtrations and higher moisture levels can ruin the floor.
- Living Habits
What kind of activities you do in the room and how much wear the floor will have to endure are essential points to take into account. If you are dealing with high-traffic areas or there are pets living in your home, you might want to consider harder wood, like a Brazilian walnut, or maybe you feel like the area is not used too often, so it would be okay with a red or white oak. You can also play around with different grain and stain options that can better help camouflage dents and scratches
The kind of subfloor you currently have will be a crucial factor as well. The most common types are concrete slab and plywood. For concrete slab floors, your options narrow down to those with engineered wood since solid wood cannot be nailed to concrete. There are many styles and types of wood veneers that will surely satisfy your needs. Plywood floors can welcome both types of flooring and make it very easy to install the wood planks. Plywood covers can be used over concrete and particleboard floors to make it possible to install solid-wood flooring if you are willing to incur in the added costs.
- Style and Home Décor
The kind of style you have chosen for your home decoration should also be something to consider when choosing hardwood flooring. The color and species of wood you choose should complement or match that of cabinets, other furniture and door frames. It should be in tune with the overall style of the room, whether more traditional, for which you could choose a darker hickory, or a more modern style, which could benefit from natural-colored maple or a gray-stained oak.
Essential factors that will contribute to the durability of your flooring and the maintenance habits you will need to keep it will greatly be determined by the stain and finish you get. You can choose darker stains to easily camouflage defects, or get a mate finish instead of a glossy one to hide dents and scratches. What will also be essential is for you to ask your contractor on guidelines for cleaning the specific kind of floor you got. Regular cleaning with a dry mop and vacuuming will keep your floors in good shape, and remember to always use only products specifically made for hardwood floors.
Most importantly, make sure you choose a contractor that has good references and that is readily available to answer your questions. If you do your homework ahead of time, there is no need for you to worry about your choice and you can be free to admire those gorgeous new wood floors.