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A Brief Guide On Choosing Hardwood Floors

We can all agree that a flooring choice is one of the most critical factors and decisions you should make as a homeowner. Therefore, when you are undertaking a renovation project, you should decide the best flooring option based on a style you wish to create.

Of course, you can find numerous options on the market, from terrazzo to carpet, while the one option is standard for most homeowners. Yes, we are talking about hardwood, but you should know that you could find a wide array of options available on the market.

Since each option comes with specific characteristics and features, you should avoid choosing solely based on color. It is vital to understand the numerous factors that will affect its performance, aesthetics, and durability.

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How to Choose Hardwood Flooring

1.   Engineered or Solid Option

You can generally find this type of flooring in solid timber or thick planks, depending on your preferences.

However, you can also find other options, including engineered hardwood that features planks from thinner layers of hardwood bonded to different layers that will prevent contraction and expansion cycles that tend to happen to traditional options.

It is vital to remember that wood tends to move in three different directions: longitudinal, radial, and tangential. When you choose an engineered product, you can rest assured because it features opposing forces that will restrict the natural movement that happens with it.

If you wish to place it in apartments with concrete subfloors or basements, engineered flooring is the best option for your particular needs.

Even though solid wood is something you can install by using a few plywood layers, generally, it can interfere with heights by reducing ceiling heights and affecting doors you have.

Instead of implementing an option over existing concrete, you can find engineered possibilities that you can glue directly to it by using a soundproofing mat beneath it. You can also install it over radiant heat, making it a unique solution for all needs and preferences.

However, you should know that some engineered options feature thin top layers, which means that you will not refinish and sand them in the future.

On the other hand, high-end products will feature thick layers to get as much wood as you would get it from a solid traditional board.

That way, you will get a more durable option because you will be able to refinish it after a while.

Even though this particular type comes with numerous benefits for homeowners, people still prefer solid wood instead because it is quieter and can feel its warmth.

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2.   Site Finish or Prefinished Options

You can also find the ones that feature a raw face that you should finish by finding a professional contractor who can deal with it along the way. A professional can easily apply topcoat and stain, which is an important consideration.

The best thing about the prefinished option is that you will know precisely what you are getting, which means that you can customize design elements and color palette based on your preferences.

You can add elements that will include wall coverings, textiles, and other forms of cabinetry.

Of course, compared with other options, it is challenging to install it, but you do not need to apply sealant or color the same way as other options. The main idea is to choose a site finish, which means that you should rely on the contractor to do it properly based on the experience.

Besides, you will get the exact level of customization that will appeal to both designers and homeowners. At the same time, you will have additional control over sheen and stain, which means that the final product will feel smoother than other options.

Even though it features a small detail compared with other options, you will still be able to make a huge difference along the way.

3.   Determine a Finish Type

It is vital to remember that you can find various finishing options and products available on the market that will provide you peace of mind and additional protection. We are talking about UV-cured urethane finishes, oil-like hybrids, and polyurethanes as well.

However, most of them tend to fall into two options that you can choose, including polyurethane or oil finishes.

Generally, the oil will penetrate the wood, which will create a natural, matte, and soft feel and appearance.

The main idea is that you will make it impervious to damage and stains because the oil will create a thick topcoat. That way, it will be more durable and resilient when it comes to wear and tear, making it a perfect solution for people with children.

Even though these finishes tend to scratch much more straightforward than others, you should know that they tend to be less noticeable. Simultaneously, they are simple to handle when it comes to maintenance, which makes it a perfect solution for a large household.

Using polyurethane, you will need to recoat and replace the entire floor, which is something you need to remember. If you choose a soft oil finish, you will ensure simple maintenance compared with other options.

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However, the more polyurethane you add, the less often you will have to maintain it, but you will have to replace the entire thing afterward.

4.   Wood Types

When it comes to hardwood, you should know that oak is the most popular option in the US because it takes stains much better than other types and is highly durable. At the same time, it features an appealing natural perspective that will increase your home’s aesthetical appeal.

Another option you can choose includes walnut, which appears softer, but comes with deeper colors. It is excellent for rooms with dark finishes. Generally, you will get both warmer and richer tones, which is something you need to remember.