Whether you need flooring for a brand new home or just a renovation, hardwood always reigns supreme. With that said, it can be a challenge to pick out the wood you want when there are so many options. To help you choose the best hardwood flooring for your home, take time to consider these options.
Decide between solid or engineered wood construction.
Before you decide anything else, you’ll need to choose between solid and engineered wood. Solid flooring is just that; it’s made of solid wood. This type of wood can only be installed at or above ground level.
Engineered wood, on the other hand, is formed by binding together various particles and fibers of both real and man-made wood along with adhesives and fixatives. It can be installed anywhere in the home. Engineered wood tends to be less expensive than solid wood, but solid wood lasts longer because it can be sanded and refinished many times.
Choose a species and color.
Both your budget and your personal preference will influence what wood species you choose. There are numerous classic hardwoods to choose from, including birch, cherry, oak, maple and ash as well as several exotic species, such as teak and mahogany. Overall, exotic hardwoods will cost more than common hardwoods. But if you’re on a budget, there are many species that are reasonably priced and look gorgeous.
In addition to deciding on a species, you’ll also need to choose a finish. You can buy hardwood pre-finished or unfinished. Pre-finished hardwood will be cheaper and more efficient to install, but you’ll have more color choices if you buy your wood unfinished and have it stained onsite.
Decide on texture and plank width.
Finally, consider the texture and width of your flooring. Floor manufacturers are able to create a variety of textures on most species of wood. A rustic setting might benefit from a worn or brushed texture, for example. Conversely, a formal setting will look better with a smooth, highly finished surface.
In addition to texture, you’ll also need to choose your plank width. Standard plank widths for oak floors, for example, are between 2 1/4 and 3 inches. But modern styles often incorporate broad planks at 5 inches wide or wider. This can better showcase exotic woods and textures. Old fashioned or rustic homes may look nice with thinner planks. You might also consider random plank widths to vary the look.
Hardwood flooring will add beauty and warmth to your home while also increasing its value. To find the most appropriate wood construction for your project and the best species, color, texture and width for your personal style, refer to this buying guide as you shop.