Many modern homes have embraced the beauty of wooden flooring. While carpets were once standard, wooden floors are the latest trend. Wooden flooring tends to be durable and can be used throughout the entirety of your house. Its natural aesthetic can add character and charm to your home.
However, wooden flooring like natural hardwoods can be more of an investment for homeowners than if they installed carpeting or vinyl. Therefore, before you purchase wooden flooring, it is vital to keep the following factors in mind. With some careful planning and consideration, you can choose and install wooden floors that will look beautiful for years to come.
Homeowners will undoubtedly want to consider budget, durability, and aesthetics, but here are a few additional factors to keep in mind.
When you begin your search for wooden flooring, you'll notice two predominant types, solid or engineered. Solid wood, sometimes called hardwood, is, as the name implies, flooring made from a solid piece of wood. This type of flooring is classic and usually considered timeless. It adds value and beauty to a home and can be sanded and refinished to keep up with changing trends.
Unfortunately, solid wood flooring isn't as water-resistant. Moisture and humidity can cause swelling or warping of the boards.
Engineered wood flooring is composed of several layers of wood being fused together. Usually, it has a plywood core and a surface layer of natural hardwood. The process is designed to create super-strong wooden boards with a natural look. It's more water-resistant than solid wood and more affordable too. Keep in mind, though, that engineered wood cannot be refinished as often as hardwood. Though it has a lengthy lifespan, it generally can't outlast solid wood flooring.
After you've decided on hardwood or engineered, it's time to choose what type of wood you would like. There are different varieties, each with its own colors and features. For example, maple and ash tend to be lighter woods that can help brighten a room. Rich woods like walnut or mahogany can add depth and sophistication, while warm wood-like cherry can cozy up your space. The grain pattern, plain-sawn, rift-sawn, and quarter-sawn, may also look different on each wood type.
No longer are planks all cut to the same size. Wider wood planks have become quite popular. The standard width for a wide plank is around seven inches. However, the traditional two to three-inch sections are still an excellent classic choice. Be mindful that wide plank flooring has fewer seams that may become more obvious as boards expand and contract.
When purchasing hardwood flooring, you'll be offered the option of prefinished or site finished. Site finished flooring will be installed in its raw, natural state. Then, a professional must finish the boards afterward. Stain and topcoats are already applied to prefinished flooring before it arrives. This makes installing easier and lets you know what the finished floors will look like ahead of time.
If you want custom floors tailored to suit your tastes, site-finished flooring is the way to go. Additionally, you will achieve a super smooth look because the floors will be sanded after installation and then stained and sealed as one.
Speaking of finish, you'll need to decide between various types of oil or polyurethane. Each one has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to maintenance and appearance. For example, polyurethanes tend to be more durable but can more easily show damages like scratches.
An expert flooring company can walk you through these important decisions, making the process easy, from inspiration to installation!