Hardwood flooring can be a beautiful addition to any home. In addition to the warmth and charm that a hardwood floor brings into a home, many homeowners are finding the health benefits far outweigh any cost associated with the installation. Hardwood flooring has come a long way over the years, and the selection and variety of flooring is vast. Any homeowner considering installing hardwood flooring should be aware that not all hardwood flooring is the same, and what may be ideal in one home, may not be ideal in another. The type of flooring that will work best in your home depends on a variety of factors like whether or not there are any small children or pets in the home. Another consideration may be the area you live in. For instance, an area with lots of humidity and sand would require a different type of flooring than another area where there is little humidity and no sand. Here are some things to consider when choosing a hardwood floor.
If you live in an area where there is a lot of humidity, you may want to consider installing an engineered wood floor verses a traditional hardwood floor. The reasoning behind this is that traditional wood flooring expands and contracts as the humidity in the home increases and decreases. Engineered wood flooring is made of composite material, layers of plywood and the top layer is actual hardwood. Because engineered wood flooring is multi-ply constructed it is more stable and suitable for areas like bathrooms and basements where moisture is more prevalent. This type of flooring is also suitable in homes where there are small children and pets.
You should also consider the type of wood you are looking to install in your home. There are many different of varieties of wood used to construct wood flooring, however you need to be cognizant of the fact that some woods are harder and more durable than others. White and red oak are two of the most common types of wood used for wood flooring in homes, however, Maple and Hickory are harder wood varieties. The hardest of the woods includes exotic wood varieties like Brazilian, Brazilian Koa, Cherry and Cumaru. If you are looking to install a hardwood floor in a high traffic area of your home, you should consider one of the harder woods for your project.
When you are selecting the type of hardwood flooring to install, you should consider the style and décor currently in your home. For instance, flooring with well-defined wood grains wide planks and distressed appearances do well in Country styled homes. Random plank, wide width flooring works well in Colonial styled homes. Maple, Oak, Walnut and banquet flooring in widths of 2-1/4 inches to 3-1/4 inches works well with traditionally styled interiors. Contemporary styled homes can easily be transformed by virtually any species of wood depending on how it is finished. For instance, dark charcoal, whitewash and pewter finishes are very popular among contemporary homeowners.
Finally, when considering the type of wood flooring to install in your home, you will want to be certain that you think about the level of care and maintenance that you will be able to commit to. For instance, floors that are finished in a clear high to mid gloss will require more upkeep and maintenance to keep them looking their best. Low gloss and matte finishes tend to do better in homes where there is a lower commitment to maintenance. Hand scraped, wire brushed and distressed finishes are also good choices for high traffic homes with owners who are unable to commit to a stringent maintenance program.