Hardwood flooring is always graceful and elegant in any interior. Starting from residential spaces to commercial areas, the demand for hardwood flooring has never reduced. People are still installing hardwood flooring despite knowing its maintenance hassle. It is just an option that is always safe and the best.
But hardwood flooring has a variety of categories. Starting from the diverse wood species to the color types, you just get a handful of options to choose from. Now when it comes to choosing an option, people often get confused. Which one is better? Which color should I choose? And similar questions pop up immediately.
To solve such confusion, I am here with my note on choosing hardwood flooring. After several years of experience in the hardwood flooring industry, I am here with the best tips to choose the best hardwood flooring. So all you have to do is to stay with me and take note of the tips!
8 Tips To Choose Hardwood Flooring: Choose The Best:
My tips to choose hardwood flooring is not only about the type of wood or style you should choose. Besides the grade and quality of hardwood flooring, there are a number of points you should keep in mind. Besides deciding the hardwood flooring design, analyzing the installation process, maintenance, and suitability of the particular flooring is important too.
Therefore, in this section, you are going to get a bunch of tips that are diverse and help you a lot in choosing the right hardwood flooring for your home or office.
Tip 1: Think Of The Hardwood Flooring Style You Want
Okay, so let’s start with the basic consideration, the look, and style of the hardwood flooring. Though hardwood flooring has an exclusive aesthetic value, it has to match the interior and your taste. Not all hardwood can blend with a definite style of home or office.
Thus to style the hardwood flooring with a particular interior, you need to consider a few factors. Scrutinizing these factors can help you understand which style you should pick up:
- Color: The color of the flooring is the basic thing to think of. If you want a contrast, use a dark hardwood floor with white walls or vice versa. If you want to keep it plain and simple, you can match whitewashed flooring to white walls.
So choose a shade from the hardwood color palette first. You can opt to paint the floor as well. Also, determine the grade by the color.
- Texture And Finish: A variety of hardwood textures are available in the market. Some are smooth and others are rough and tough. Usually, smooth textures are for indoors. But distressed ones are for outdoors, bathroom, hallways, basements, etc.
The texture also depends on the finishing. Choose between several finish options like prefinished, unfinished, reclaimed, engineered, etc.
- Width Of The Plank: Narrow planks are used in spacious rooms while wide planks are for small areas. This creates an illusion and the width decides the beauty of an interior.
For a sleek and contemporary vibe, narrow planks are used. On the other hand, classic homes have wide planks. You are free to choose depending on your taste.
Tip 2: Choose According To The Installation Area
The same hardwood can’t be used in the bathroom as well as in the living room. The hardwood choice has to be different for different spaces in an interior. So first, map out in which spaces in a house or interior you are going to install the hardwood flooring. In fact, the styling would also depend on where you are installing the hardwood.
For instance, you may like warm blonde hardwood flooring for the living room flooring. But for the bathroom and kitchen, you can choose dark brown hardwood flooring. Similarly, in the hallway or stairs, you can choose a honey-caramel shade.
Also, the width of the planks in the bathroom should be wider than the width of the planks in the living room. Therefore, all the other decisions are depending on where the installation is taking place.
Besides this, you would also need to match the hardwood flooring of one room to the other. For example, you are renovating the flooring of the dining space. Hence, you have to match it to the kitchen. This is how you should think of the area of installation before choosing the hardwood.
Tip 3: Select The Flooring That Is Compatible With The Subfloor
The subfloor is something that you won’t think of changing. Therefore, you need to choose the hardwood flooring according to the subfloor you have. It affects the preparation part, choice of hardwood, and the installation method.
For example, you can install almost any type of hardwood on a plywood subfloor. But on a concrete subfloor, you need a lot of preparation. The subfloor has to be smooth and flat. Also, engineered hardwood planks are usually installed on concrete subfloors. Solid hardwoods are not generally installed. Besides that, it also determines whether you should glue, nail, or float the hardwood planks.
Another factor that comes along the subfloor is the height of the planks. If the subfloor is thick, the planks should be thin to match the level of the door. Similarly, a sleek subfloor needs to have thick hardwood planks to create a level.
Tip 4: Decide On An Approximate Budget
Though you may need to change the budget a bit, you should still think of a general budget. We all have a target to spend a certain amount on hardwood flooring. You need to know yours too.
Thankfully, hardwood flooring is available in different price ranges. Consequently, you must decide how much you can and want to spend on the flooring. This will make things easier as you can search for the options accordingly. Also, to decide on the budget, you should research a bit about the current prices.
Now there are some other related factors too. Here are some considerations while thinking of the budget:
- The Additional Costs: Remember that while deciding on the budget, you should not only count on the price of the flooring. In addition to that, you have to think of the installation cost, delivery cost, maintenance cost, etc. Add up all the costs and then think of a suitable option.
- Keep It Flexible: Note that the price may fluctuate. It can go up or down. Remember, always add up some extra after calculating an approximate cost. Later, you may need to spend more or even less than you have targeted.
- Resale Value: If you have any intention to resale the house or space, you should set a budget that can be compensated while selling the space. Choose the hardwood that adds value to the house if you have any plan to resale.
Keep these three points in mind while deciding on a budget.
Tip 5: Don’t Compromise With The Quality
Generally, no hardwood flooring is bad. It is just that they are different in so many ways and their durability varies a little. But the quality of hardwood flooring is never too bad if you are buying from an authentic shop.
Don’t get fooled! Don’t get excited to see the drastic price drop in a particular hardwood flooring shop. Because the chances are that the planks are defective. If you buy a defective one, you will get bad service. Thus studying the market before deciding on the budget is necessary.
Learn well about the grades, thickness, and quality of hardwood flooring first. Then research the price range for each category of hardwood flooring. Only then can you handpick the best quality product no matter what your budget is. Just grab the best material within the budget. However, don’t go for the cheapest options like bamboo. They are fragile and not long-lasting.
While buying online, you should be careful. A lot of frauds are there and selling low-quality products is a common thing in online shopping. As you are not able to see the planks practically, you should only buy from trusted brands. Otherwise, it is very risky to choose the right one online.
See, you can’t just afford to compromise with the quality because the investment is huge! So stay careful!
Tip 6: Choose Carefully In Case You Have Pets And Kids
Scratches of cats, the litter of dogs, and impacts by kids on the flooring are some common scenarios if you have pets and kids at home. When this is the case, your choice of hardwood flooring has to be precise.
My tip for this situation is to use light-colored flooring. Though stains are more visible on white or gray flooring, it would also help you clean the spills and stains immediately. Similarly, minor scratches and bruises can be covered well with the light shade. Also, hand-scraped and distressed floorings are the best if you have a lot of pets in your house. They not only hide the scratches but also are durable and long-lasting.
Satin finish with hard grains is the best kind of hardwood flooring for space with kids and pets. They show the damages less, are easy to clean and maintain, and are durable enough to bear the impacts and stains.
Tip 7: Choose The Finish Of The Hardwood Cautiously
The finishing of the flooring matters a lot not only for the look but to determine the durability as well. Generally, the hardwood planks can be finished in the factory (prefinished) or finished after installation (unfinished).
To help you understand it better, here is a chart mentioning the advantages of prefinished and unfinished hardwood planks:
|Prefinished Hardwood||Unfinished Hardwood|
|Can be installed easily and quickly||Flat seams that blend well with the seams of the other planks|
|No hassle of finishing on the spot||Better moisture resistance|
|Durable due to the factory finish||Can be finished several times|
|Less messy, dirt, and odor||Gives a raw and uniform look|
Basically, prefinished hardwood is suitable for the main areas of the house like the living room, dining room, bedroom, etc. where a polished look is expected. The unfinished hardwood suits better in kitchens, hallways, basements, etc. where moisture resistance is an important factor to consider.
Tip 8: Some Extra Considerations
Besides all these factors and tips, there are some more factors that you may like to consider. Here is a list of such factors:
- Heat Resistance: Not all hardwood floorings are capable of bearing heat. For example, oak has excellent heat resistance but softer woods are not compatible with it.
- Radiant Heat: Radiant heat on the floor limits your choices. As all hardwoods are not compatible with radiant heat, you have to limit your choices.
- Noise Cancellation: If you require noise-canceling properties in the hardwood flooring, choose a cork subfloor. This would make the vibe more calming.
- Water Resistance: For kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, you have to choose hardwoods that function well in wet conditions. However, sealing and polishing are musts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing Hardwood Flooring:
Which Hardwood Flooring Is The Best?
While all hardwood flooring has its own beauty and qualities, oak wood remains the winner of all time. It is not only durable and long-lasting but also offers a variety of color and design options.
Besides oak flooring, other high-quality hardwood floorings are maple, ebony, and cherry flooring. These have excellent aesthetic value with longevity.
Is Lighter Hardwood Better Than Darker Ones?
The color shade of the flooring completely depends on your choice. But the warm tone of light colors has always enthralled people the most. Besides, scratches and scrapes are less noticeable in warm light-colored hardwood floors. Especially houses with pets and kids should go for light hardwood flooring. Yes, in so many ways, lighter hardwood is preferred over darker ones.
Which Hardwood Color Is Best For Resale?
If you are thinking of selling your house and making it accordingly, you have to think of other choices too. Generally, the intense dark shade of hardwood has a greater value than lighter shades of hardwood.
As dark hardwood floors are rare, their resale value is high. Therefore, go for darker shades if you are considering the resale value of the flooring.
Which Hardwood Flooring Is The Most Durable?
When it comes to the durability of the flooring, engineered hardwood has to be the best choice. This is because engineered woods are reinforced with a layer of particleboard or plywood beneath the sheet of hardwood.
This layer makes the hardwood plank stronger and durable. They don’t break or crack easily on impact. Also, the solid hardwood layer protects the surface of the planks.
What Is The Cost Of 1000 sq. ft Hardwood Flooring?
As the budget is a huge concern, you must know the basics of it. Ideally, you are supposed to spend between $6000 to $10,500 to install hardwood flooring in a 1000 sq. ft area. The price may go up and down depending on the type of wood, installation procedure, etc.
How Long Does Hardwood Flooring Last?
If you consider the longevity of hardwood flooring, the time would fluctuate between 10 to 25 years. The longevity completely depends on how properly you maintain it, seal and polish it, and refinish the flooring. If you manage to keep it clean and polished, it can easily sustain for more than 25 years.
I have proposed the best tips for choosing hardwood flooring that I have learned from experience. Now that you have this information, I believe you can sort out the issue by yourself.
Just think of these considerations and tips, and select the best hardwood flooring.