Hardwood flooring installation is one of the more essential décor projects for homeowners and in order to create that perfect balance between elegance and personality, you need to know a thing or two about hardwood floors. As you look into the options you will come across solid wood and engineered wood.
- Solid wood is the typical large plank of wood that hasn’t been sliced into pieces
- Engineered hardwood is made up of a veneer layer that is attached to a core of plywood
Incidentally, pre-finished hardwood floors installation is more recommended for concrete subfloors and this highlights another point, the type of construction you use to build your floor ultimately limits the number of options you have vis-à-vis type of wood. But whether you’re working with unprocessed wood or some of the other industry products, you can always learn more about what factors determine the right hardwood floors for your home.
4 questions to ask yourself before installing hardwood floors
- What style is your home?
When selecting the wood, keep in mind the small details such as trim work and door casings, so your new installation doesn’t clash with existing design schemes. There should be a deliberate design between interior color patterns, the walls, and the amount of natural light in the room. If you have large windows and enough light coming in, then you can probably work out an elaborate dark floor scheme, however if the house is slightly dark then a lighter color tone may help brighten the interior.
- How will you stain it?
A stain is used to create rich color impressions on the wood. Both staining and finishing will be essential to creating cool designs on the wood. When working with solid wood, maintenance is easy because the wood has been carefully hand scraped for a lower sheen matte finish and you can always combine different finish elements to create a semigloss look.
Naturally, solid wood lasts longer, although you may be offered more style options with factory-processed hardwood, but you should also keep an eye on the stain. Polyurethane is used to create higher sheens for prefinished hardwood floors and oil finish is used when going for matte finish. Oil finish is good for concealing wear and tear, and it’s more durable.
- Is there a lot of foot traffic?
The amount of abuse your floor will take in the long run influences aesthetics and durability. Things to watch out for are high foot traffic, parties, kids and pets. If you’re looking for tough hardwood floors then red oak is the recommended standard, but you can check other unfinished hardwood floors. When scratches and dents appear, you can draw up different grain patterns with stains and finishes – this can be a way to hide unsightly dents.