Choosing the Correct Wooden Flooring for your Home

Choosing the correct hardwood flooring for your homes

Wooden floors bring warmth and character to the overall décor of the home and making the decision to remodel or install new floors is a big one. Installing wood flooring in your homes is an investment and it is very important to get it right the first time to save time and money. Choosing the correct floors for your homes might be tricky as several factors go into making the finished installation good. But regardless of your aesthetic inclinations and visions, there are some points you can keep in mind to make the correct choice.

  1. Humidity Level: The humidity level should be the first and foremost concern while picking hardwood floors, rooms with high humidity levels like the bathroom or laundry room might not be good for the wood floors. 
  2. Solid vs Engineered: Next, you should consider the type of flooring you require, solid or engineered. If you want to go for the full authentic hardwood floor experience the solid type must be your choice. This type of flooring is joined by tongue and groove along each side of thick solid planks of wood. The benefit of this type is that since the planks are thicker they can be sanded down multiple times for refinishing and last longer. But recently the engineered type of flooring has gained popularity as this type prevents shifting of the floor over time. Multiple layers of composite material and plywood are topped by a thin veneer layer of wood. But this thin layer of wood proves to be a con as it can only be sanded and refinished a few times, therefore, reducing the overall lifetime of the flooring.

  3. Type of Wood: The next thing that you need to choose would be the species of the wood. The functionality of the wood should be placed above the design and colour of the species. Depending on the area of the house that sees more foot traffic the wood would also need to be harder to last longer.
  4. The Pattern: The grain pattern and appearance become the next factor to keep in mind after the species of the wood. The grain pattern and appearance changes with the way wood is cut, and some manufactures may also offer the option of multiple sawing types in one lot to give your floors a unique pattern. 
  5. Width of the Wood: The width of the wood planks are also important, thicker ones usually measure around six to seven inches and the thinner ones are usually two to three inches wide. Wider planks give a more uniform and luxurious look as it leads to fewer seams but the wider the plank the more expensive it becomes. But a con with wider planks is that with time and stretching of the wood the seams can become more visible so keep your budget in mind when making the choice.

  6. The Finish: The next choice that you would have to make would be with regards to finish, while ordering you will get two common options, finished or unfinished. 
    1. Finished hardwood floors would arrive stained with topcoats already applied ready for installation. This option is good because you get to see what the floors would look like from the beginning and how the samples pair with your décor and since most of the work is done already installing prefinished wood floors takes a significantly lesser amount of time.Site finish or unfinished wood floors require the services of a skilled contractor to install the floors as they arrive raw and need staining and topcoat application. It might be argued that site-finished floors have a smoother appearance as the entire floor gets the same stain and topcoat but the con would be that it requires a skilled and trusted contractor to do the job.
    2. A polyurethane or oil finish is the most popular choice, both options have pros and cons. Pros for oil finish would be that it gives the wood a softer and more natural look as it penetrates the surface. But a con for oil finish is that it makes the wood more prone to scruffs and scratches as the oil does not form a protective layer and requires maintenance. Polyurethane creates a hard topcoat over the wood protecting it from wear and tear, but if your wood does get scratched mending it becomes hard and it needs to be removed or covered up with another plank.
    3. You can choose from a clear glossy effect or give your wood floors a more worn out or rustic feel with various types of finishing techniques like distressed, hand-scraped or wire-brushed. And there are many options for stains as well to give your wood more colour and character ranging from light honey blonde to dark charcoal.

The choice is entirely up to but before making an investment always consider all your options and consult a specialist to pick the right one. But if you keep these basic pointers in mind you can choose your wood flooring well enough to last you a lifetime. 

Sources & References

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