Hardwood flooring is durable, clean, safe, natural, low maintenance, and visually lovely. It is also a sustainable and renewable choice for your home. It doesn’t matter if your decor is modern, contemporary, rustic, or traditional because the timeless beauty of a room filled with the warm glow of wood is undeniable.
Hardwood Flooring Choices
When it comes to wood flooring choices, there are several wood types that are unsurpassed in beauty and value.
1. Oak Flooring
Most hardwood floors in the United States are traditionally made with oak flooring. It remains an eye-catching choice that is affordable. Unlike many kinds of wood, it is a hardwood so highly resistant to scratches, dents, and scuffs, that makes it perfect for high traffic areas such as stairs or entryways. Oak also readily absorbs stain so you can easily change the wood’s overall appearance. The two most common types of oak flooring are red oak and white oak.
2. Hickory Flooring
Hickory is a very hard type of wood with a unique grain pattern. Hickory is extremely resistant to wear and tear so it is fantastic in high-traffic areas of the home. Because hickory hardwoods are so durable, their cost is a bit higher than it’s popular counterparts but they tend to last an extremely long time in high-traffic homes.
3. Maple Flooring
The light coloration of maple flooring brightens a room considerably. Maple flooring will also take on a more yellowish shade over time and with exposure to sunlight. Many people consider it more modern than other, more traditional, wood choices. The wood is extremely hard, harder than even oak, which makes it exceptionally durable. There are numerous types of maple. Each type has a different hardness level and color. Some absorb stains in a blotchy fashion, and others create a greyish shading that many people find make a great statement.
4. Birch Flooring
Birch wood has light yellow and dark redish colors throughout that contrast and make for visually interesting hardwood floors. Birch flooring is extremely durable and cost effective. It is possible to stain birch flooring, but since the wood has contrasting threads of color throughout, you may not get your desired effect.
5. Walnut Flooring
Walnut flooring boasts a rich brown color and gives a sophisticated look that is hard to miss. This is a softer hardwood flooring option and the cost is more than oak, but less than hickory. One thing to note about walnut flooring is that, since it is a softer wood, it isn’t ideal for areas of the home that see a large amount of traffic. Walnut makes up for this lack of durability with its distinguished appearance and comfort.
After You Choose a Wood Type
After you have chosen what species of wood you want you need to make a couple more decisions.
Do You Want Solid or Engineered Hardwood?
Solid hardwood flooring is the most expensive option. It comes in ⅝ and ¾ thick planks. It is engineered to last. The flooring can be sanded and refinished many times.
Engineered hardwood flooring is only a thin veneer of real wood that has been glued to several layers of wood such as plywood. It can usually only be sanded and refinished one or two times in its lifetime. It is an affordable option for someone on a budget.
Are You Interested in Unfinished or Finished Hardwood Flooring?
Unfinished hardwood flooring lets you choose a stain that will compliment your wall color and decor. You can use it to add to a room or replace damaged existing flooring. The flooring is not stained until after installation which means that when it is finally stained the stain will seep into the cracks of the wood to seal the seams of the boards. This helps create waterproof surfaces that are highly desirable in rooms such as a kitchen where water or beverages are often spilled.
Prefinished hardwood flooring is already sanded and sealed. You simply lay the flooring, and it is immediately ready to be walked on. It is an ideal flooring option for someone who wants a quick flooring installation and does not desire the extended steps of sanding and staining the flooring after it is already laid.
Historically, hardwood has been a common flooring choice that is favored for its durability. The wood’s appearance creates an unparalleled ambiance in any room. You can choose from a wide array of wood choices to fit your own individualized sense of style.