We all love the charm of hardwood floors but choosing the right option can be a bit overwhelming. With so many options available, picking the right one for your home is certainly a confusing task. The choice of your floor depends on various factors such as your lifestyle, location of your home, weather conditions, home décor, and personal taste.
As you might already know, hardwood flooring is a great investment. The durability, ease of maintenance, and classic appearance of this material make it the right choice for almost every home. When it comes to picking the right type of hardwood flooring, there are numerous things that can influence your decision. You need to choose between solid or engineered hardwood, as well as consider the benefits of different hardwood species. Moreover, you need to evaluate the thickness of the planks that can influence their resistance to shocks, sound absorption, and floor solidity.
So, if you’re a wood-floor newbie who is confused between different species or the warm and light tones, here are some tips for you to make a wise decision. In this post, you will find some useful tips to pick the right type of hardwood floors that will compliment your home.
- Types of Hardwood Floor
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a hardwood floor is the type. There are basically two types of hardwood — solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Selecting between these two options usually depends on the location of your home and foot traffic floors will receive.
Solid wood is thick, solid planks of wood where each board is made of a single plank of solid wood. Since solid wood is ¾ of an inch thick, it can be sanded down and refinished several times. This makes solid wood a good option for areas that are likely to suffer dents and scratches. Moreover, this type of hardwood also offers the flexibility to change up the stain color. However, on the downside, solid hardwood is porous which makes it vulnerable to expanding and warping over time. This means solid hardwood may not be the ideal option for humid and moist regions.
The second type is engineered hardwood which is basically manufactured wood of 4mm thickness. This natural wood is comprised of five to seven layers of man-made plywood in the middle of each plank. Unlike solid wood, this type is more suitable for moist areas like basements and laundry rooms because it doesn’t easily expand or warp. Also, as compared to solid hardwood, this one is more affordable, ranging from $3 to $10 per square foot. But here also there are some drawbacks such as the risk of sanding down some engineered hardwood floors many times.
- Type of Species
Next, you need to choose between the different species such as Hickory, Cherry, Maple, Red Oak, Ash, White Oak, Birch, and Black Walnut. The choice of species depends on factors like durability, style, and cost. If you have pets and want a highly durable floor, consider Hickory, Maple, and Oak that can take a lot of foot traffic. For those who want a luxurious look, softer hardwoods like Ash, Birch, Black Walnut, and Cherry are the best option. These give a classy look but are expensive as compared to other options.
- Type of Finish
When it comes to finishing, there are two main types of finishes are oil and polyurethane. For homes that see high foot traffic and have pets, polyurethane is the right option because it is resistant to damage. Oil, on the other hand, gives a matte look and is more suited for fewer foot traffic zones. Besides finishes, you also need to pick grain pattern and color according to your personal preferences.