How to Choose the Right Hardwood Flooring for Your Home

Wood floors can add a timeless, classic appeal to any home. They pair well with almost any decor theme, and are more likely to complement your furniture than many other flooring options. Wood floors also offer a natural look that can help open up a space and provide an airier feel to your rooms. While they can be more expensive upfront than some other flooring types, the durability and longevity of hardwood floors make them a smart investment.

Wood carries a certain elegance that can elevate the look of any room, and is a great choice for large spaces where you want to create a sense of drama. Unlike tile or carpet, hardwood floors will not warp or buckle, and they can be easily refinished to restore their beauty and extend their lifespan.

When deciding whether hardwood is right for your home, the most important factor to consider is your lifestyle. Do you have children or pets? Will you be moving furniture around often? If so, consider using a sturdy engineered wood floor with a plywood base. These floors can be refinished several times over the years, and are able to stand up to heavy traffic.

Choosing the right species and look is also essential. hardwood flooring are available in a variety of grains and colors, and some species are harder than others. Red and white oak are the most common domestic hardwoods, but Hickory and Maple (harder than oak) are also popular choices. Exotic species are typically made from unique woods from other parts of the world, and can feature bold, eye-catching grain patterns.

Once you’ve chosen a color and look, there are different stain treatments to choose from. Stains are used to highlight the natural appearance of your hardwoods, and they can offer a variety of warm and earthy shades, or bolder hues that add a contemporary twist.

You can also choose a wide plank or narrow plank hardwood, which affects the overall look of your floor. Wider planks can offer a more traditional look, but they can also be more difficult to maintain because of the number of seams.

While wood floors are durable, they still need to be properly cared for to keep them looking their best. Regular sweeping and dust mopping is essential, as dirt can grind into the finish and scratch your floors. Be sure to use a dust mop with a soft, microfiber pad, and don’t use an oil-based cleaner or you could damage the surface of your wood floors.

The most effective way to protect your investment is to hire a professional for installation. It takes a lot of knowledge and precision to install a beautiful hardwood floor, and it’s worth the peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your floor will be installed correctly. If you are going the DIY route, consider a prefinished solid or engineered hardwood product that features a click-and-lock system that floats over a subfloor, and avoid installing it in high humidity areas where moisture can go through and cause swelling and warping.