What Type of Hardwood Flooring Should I Get?
There are a variety of hardwood floors available in the market, that’s why when purchasing hardwood flooring it's good to know your preferences, to help you make such an important decision. The choice you make will affect not only the look, but also the feel of your home. It could hugely complement your home, being a significant investment in the potential value of your house.
When deciding which hardwood floor is better for you, you need to take into account several factors such as; the type of the room it is intended for, maintenance and longevity of the particular floor, price, comfort and style. Knowing what you want and what you should expect from buying a hardwood floor will help you make the right choice.
So if you are wondering "what type of hardwood flooring should I get?", let's take a closer look at how to buy wood flooring just right for you.
Area in Question
A hardwood floor is a classic that works great with any interior style. The wood has unique properties of thermal insulation and sound absorption, a pleasant warm surface and an excellent appearance. The performance characteristics of different wood types may differ, as can the color. While some species can easily withstand jumping and falling, others can be damaged by simple heeled shoes. Also, hardwood floors are least suitable for moist rooms, e.g. bathrooms and kitchens. So it is important to select the right type of flooring, taking into account the needs and requirements of the area in question.
Wood Flooring Options
Everyone loves a wood floor and everyone has their own taste and opinion when it comes to purchasing hardwood flooring. There are more and more new types of hardwood flooring appearing at the local stores and it’s very difficult to figure out what type of flooring you should get. Let us introduce you to the two most popular options, and their pros and cons.
Solid Wood Floors are made out of a solid piece of wood with no other layers involved. It is a natural, durable material.
- Solid wood can be refinished. Because it’s made of solid wood all the way through, it can be sanded and restained multiple times. If you take care of a solid wood floor properly, it can last a lifetime.
- It’s 100% versatile! You have plenty of options to choose from when giving preference to solid wood flooring. You can choose from the wood species, the layout pattern, and even the way it’s finished.
- It just feels good under your feet. The warmth and comfort a solid wood floor provides could also be achieved with engineered floor options. But it's perfect for individuals who want to have the real thing in their home.
- Solid wood floors are very susceptible to moisture and humidity. A big increase in humidity can affect wood floors badly and even damage them. That’s why it’s not the best option for wood flooring to be installed in places with humidity, moisture or high changes in temperature such as: kitchens, bathrooms, basements, etc.
- Because solid wood flooring planks are completely made of solid natural wood, they are considered more “high-quality” than engineered planks are, so purchasing solid hardwood flooring could cost more.
- Solid wood flooring is very sensitive and demands a lot of care. Humidity or temperature rise can easily affect the state of your solid wood floors. It requires a lot of attention and care before and after installation.
Engineered Wood Floors consist of a piece of wood that has multiple layers, with the topmost layer being made of a real wood veneer.
- Engineered wood is less affected by changes in temperature and humidity than solid wood flooring due to its construction.
- Engineered wood can be used where solid wood can’t because it is less sensitive to environmental changes.
- Engineered wood flooring is a more cost effective option since only a top veneer layer is made of natural solid wood. So if you’re up for some exotic hardwood floors, engineered wood floors would be a cheaper option.
- Engineered wood is not waterproofed, it does react better to humidity and temperature changes, and is more suitable for kitchens than solid wood floor, but you have to keep in mind that it's not 100% waterproof.
- Engineered wood flooring can’t be refinished multiple times. It could easily be scratched or dented, as well as a solid wood floor, but it can be sanded only once or not even, because of the way it is constructed.
- Sometimes engineered wood flooring could become very pricy, because of the expensive species of wood used for top layer.
Wood Flooring Types (Wood Species)
A wood’s species refers to the type of tree it comes from.There are several different species of wood to choose from when deciding which type of wood floor you want to install. How your floor will look and feel is largely determined by its species. And it's totally up to you to go with classic durable oak or maple or try more exotic options like mahogany and teak or even bamboo (which is surprisingly as hard as oak).
Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring
Once you have made your decision about whether to get solid or engineered wood floors, you must decide if you should get prefinished or unfinished floors. To decide what will work best in your home, let’s look at the key points of these two options.
- You can walk on your new prefinished floors immediately.
- Factory-applied finishes are nearly flawless.
- Prefinished floors have fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which could affect your health.
- Installation of prefinished flooring can be easy and be done in one go.
- Unfinished floors will suit more when the space is under construction or undergoing a large renovation.
- Starting with unfinished flooring offers a greater choice of finishes.
- It’s easier to match the new flooring with existing flooring in your home.
So what should you choose? Perhaps you would like to achieve an individual unique style by experimenting with on site-finishing — for one or all of the reasons above. Or you might decide to choose a hassle free, prefinished option when buying hardwood floor.
So How to Buy the Right Wood Flooring?
So by describing all of this we were trying to say that the best hardwood floors are entirely up to you. The best hardwood floor is the one you like the most.
Everyone has their own needs and possibilities when it comes to what type of hardwood flooring they should get. The best wood flooring types are simply the ones that work best for you!
The only thing that is left is to find a top-rated flooring store near you so they can help you find the perfect type of flooring.