Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

When you choose the right flooring, you complement your home’s..

Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

When you choose the right flooring, you complement your home’s interior and improve its hardiness. Hardwood flooring provides one of the best choices with a vast selection of options at That means you need to take into consideration a few variables though in making your decision.

First, will you use engineered hardwood or solid hardwood?
Engineered hardwood combines a single hardwood layer with many layers of composite and plywood. Typically, available in widths of three to 10 inches and thicknesses of ⅜- to ¾-inch, this choice performs best in humid or wet environments such as basements and bathrooms. 

Milled from solid wood logs, solid hardwood comes prefinished or unfinished. It uses a tongue and groove method along the short and long edges of the wood, to allow the joining of one piece to another. Typically, available in widths of three to eight inches for planks or 1½-inch- to 2¼-inches for strips with thicknesses ranging from 5/16 to ¾ inches. This choice performs best in dry environments since the wood can contract and expand. Use it on the ground floor or upper floors.

Second, what wood species do you want to use?
You might love the look of unfinished walnut, but its softness means it won’t stand up to as much wear and tear. High traffic areas would benefit from a tough species like maple or hickory. For day-to-day wear and tear, the affordable options of red oak and white oak perform best. Hardier species do exist, such as the exotic wood species Cumaru, Brazilian Cherry, and Brazilian Koa.

Third, choose your wood’s color and grain. You can easily match your flooring to your décor if you’re renovating. 

  • Country-style: Choose any wide plank hardwood of well-defined wood grain with a distressed appearance.
  • Colonial: Choose wide oak or maple planks varying the widths randomly.
  • Traditional: Choose parquet hardwood or planks in 2¼ to 3¼ widths in maple, oak, or walnut.
  • Contemporary: Choose any wood and stain it to your décor. Finishes of dark charcoal, pewter, or whitewash complement any wood.

Fourth, determine whether you want a glossy, hand-scraped, or wire-scraped finish.
The finish decides the overall flooring appearance. A matte, oil-rubbed, or gloss finish each provides a different look as does either of the typical scraping finishes.

Fifth, do you want pre-finished or unfinished floors?

Unfinished floors get sanded and finished after installation while pre-finished floors receive its finishing in a factory. Unfinished floors require about three coats of sealant while pre-finished ones require about eight coats of sealant. Unfinished goes in with a more consistent seal with less dirt penetrating flooring seams.

Hardwood provides a versatile flooring choice that complements any decor. You have a plethora of options available and all locally available.

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