Hardwood flooring is still the gold standard of surfaces for most homeowners. It is both classic and durable and hardwood floors can be refinished over and over again to look and feel perfect. They can add to any home’s appearance and value. But they are not cheap to purchase or install and they do have a few downsides. They are not appropriate for any area where they could be exposed to water like bathrooms or laundry rooms and any pets would have to have their nails clipped so as not to gouge or dent the flooring. You will also need an under-layer if you are installing hardwood floor to cushion the floor and to limit noise.
But hardwood floors are still the choice of discerning home owners who love the many benefits and beauty of this type of flooring. They bring character and warmth to any room and add to the basic enjoyment of your home. There are many choices when it comes to hardwood flooring. Here are some of them so that you can compare and decide the perfect hardwood floor for your home.
Solid or Engineered Wood
There are two types of hardwood that you can choose from. Solid hardwood flooring is milled from solid logs or one piece of wood. It joined with a traditional tongue and groove along both the long and short edges. Solid hardwood is very durable and can last for almost forever. It can be sanded and refinished any time. Because it is a natural material it cannot be installed below grade or in damp places due to its susceptibility to temperature and humidity changes and it must be nailed or stapled to a wooden subfloor.
Engineered hardwood flooring has multiple layers of plywood and composite material with a layer of hardwood on top. Its flexibility allows it to be installed anywhere in the house and it is perfect for basements where dampness might be an issue. It can also be installed over concrete and can float and doesn’t have to affixed to the subfloor.
Hard Wood or Soft Wood
Some hardwoods are harder and more durable than others. Many in North America prefer the Red Oak as their preferred hardwood choice for just that reason. But some other woods like Hickory and Maple are even harder. Some of the hardest available hardwoods are Brazilian Cherry, Brazilian Koa and Cumaru. For any household with pets it is best to have the hardest wood flooring available. They will withstand the wear and tear much better than softer wood products. Those softer wood products like pine will tend to show dents and scratches much more easily.
That’s why most choose the steady and durable Red Oak as their hardwood flooring. It is easy to maintain and can be refinished and sanded any time to take care of the minor bruises of everyday living.
Blond or Black Wood
Hardwood flooring comes in range of hues from blond to black, depending on species and finish. Many prefer the classic blond look in their hardwood flooring while others like the striking appearance of exotic woods like mahogany and Brazilian cherry. In some ways, it depends on the style, layout and overall décor of the home. For older style homes, many people like the light colouring of Red Oak while those with country-style interiors prefer wide plank floors with highly defined wood grains and a distressed appearance. You can use almost any kind or colour of hardwood and they can be stained or finished to the appropriate condition. That might mean adding pewter, dark charcoal or whitewash finishes for the look and feel that you would like in your home.