Choices for Hardwood Flooring

Jim Williams
Posted in:
Buying Guides

Choosing the right hardwood flooring type is important to the longevity and beauty of your household. If you're the type of homeowner who thinks, "wood is wood," then you're likely to have flooring problems in the future - so read on.

The rooms you plan to install them in will affect your hardwood flooring choices. We suggest you rate each room according to the following criteria:

Level - Is the space above, below, or on ground level? The level of the floor will affect the humidity in a room. When you're above and on ground level, humidity tends to be average, but humidity tends to fluctuate below ground level. Engineered hardwood is more suitable to use below ground levels, because these are known to adapt rather well to changes in humidity.

Traffic - How often do people pass through the room? The family room and the kitchen should be considered heavy traffic areas, so your hardwood flooring choices must be adequate to meet the demand. Also, the finishing method done to the hardwood must also be able to cope with the constant abuse it is bound to receive. Prefinished hardwood would probably be more suitable for these environments, since most prefinished hardwood products are finished with aluminum oxide urethane, which can withstand hazards such as spills and wear. This type would also do well for a children's room.

Use - What will you use this room for? If you're planning to put hardwood in your main bathroom, we suggest you don't, since the constant moisture will destroy the hardwood floor after a few years. However, for guest bathrooms, which are rarely used, hardwood floors may be considered. For your bedroom or workplace, the hardwood flooring types you might want to consider are either unfinished hardwood or prefinished hardwood with a dark color, for a more formal or traditional atmosphere.

Aura - What statement should your room give? Some parts of the house should be naturally beautiful and make a statement to impress your family and friends. The dining room and the living room are perfect examples of these types of rooms. Out of all possible hardwood flooring choices, unfinished hardwood would do well. You may then choose the finishing style and color of your choice, to best complement the room. Having a friend, or even a professional interior designer assisting in that choice can make the decision simpler for you.

Before you consider buying anything, it is better to look around and compare your possible choices. If the price seems to good to be true, then the wood quality is probably substandard. Buying more expensive hardwood with better quality will, in the long run save you more money than buying inexpensive, low-quality hardwood.

Some builders tend to choose the floors that worked for them in the past without taking into account your tastes, while some designers tend to consider only the aesthetic aspects of the wood and forgo the physical ones. If you're planning to put your hardwood floor choices in the hands of someone else, it is best to choose a professional wood floor contractor.