Choosing hardwood flooring to suit your family is more complicated than it may seem.
From color to pattern to species, the options you have can be a little overwhelming. There are a few things you can do to make the process less stressful and make the right choice.
We’ll go over what you need to think about when choosing hardwood flooring to make your next home decision a little easier.
Choosing Hardwood Flooring
The first thing to consider when you’re planning your flooring is the level at which the floor will be. You typically want to avoid installing solid hardwood below ground level because it is porous and can absorb moisture. Below ground or “below grade” you will need engineered flooring.
While you can sand and refinish hardwood floors many times, the same is not true for getting the moisture out of the boards. Make sure your installer has a good plan for installation based on National Wood Flooring Association guidelines. Beyond that, though, the next thing to think of is species.
Choosing a Species
The species decision is one of style and budget. There are over 50 options to choose from, so it’s important to have an idea before you start to look. For a more spacious, open feeling, consider starting with White Oak.
For a cozier feeling, you should consider going with something a little bit darker. White White Oak can be stained to a range of colors, Black Walnut is a unique option that is naturally dark.
Medium tones are great for living rooms and bedrooms as they provide a comforting feel. As you get darker in color, the wood gives off more of a professional and distinguished feeling. Mahogany and walnut are two species that have that stately feel.
There are many options in each of those light categories, so you have the freedom personalize your choice. The next thing to think about is functionality.
Durability and Hardness
There is something called the Janka scale that rates the tendency of each species to break down, dent, and wear. The higher the number on the Janka scale, the more likely that wood is to last.
Higher numbers are best for families with small children and animals because those floors will see a lot of potentially harmful traffic. At the same time, harder woods are often more expensive. If you don’t think your floors are going to see too much action, you could save money by buying a softer wood.
Once you make these decisions, you can move forward with the installation. One of the final decisions you’ll make, though, is how to finish the floor. You can choose to have the wood factory finished or finished on-site.
Finishing on site gives you more options. You can personalize the finish and make decisions based on future maintenance, appearance, and feel. Factory finishes, however, are cheaper but more likely to be standardized.
Looking for New Flooring?
Choosing hardwood flooring can be a difficult process. Sometimes you need a little assistance to get the ball rolling.
If you have any questions about hardwood flooring, contact us and we’d be happy to help.