Gone (hopefully) are the days of covering over hardwood floors. There are too many stories of homeowners pulling up linoleum and finding decades-old hardwood that should have been the star of the home. If you’re ready to elevate your floors to superstar status, hardwood is now the way to do it. While choosing flooring seems like it should be a fairly straightforward process, there’s a lot to consider. Check it out.
Solid, or Engineered: It used to be that hardwood flooring was one solid piece of wood. It still is, but nowadays many companies are offering an engineered option; planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting. While this is a huge advantage, consider the finish of your wood. Some manufacturers have a top layer so thin that refinishing the floors down the road is not an option.
When to Finish: Your hardwood flooring can come to you prefinished, or you can elect to have it finished after installation. By prefinishing, you see the finish as it will be, and can start considering the rest of your palate. On-Site finishing gives you some more control over the finish and more customization that can be done in the moment. It’s definitely a matter of preference, but something that your contractor can discuss with you!
Wood Types: Oak, Walnut, Hickory, Cherry, Maple, and Ash are all popular hardwood materials in North America. What’s the difference? All have different consistencies with some being slightly softer than others, and then, of course, the colors and hues. When it comes to choosing, consider a wood with a natural colour close to the palate you’re trying to achieve. This will make it less work to augment it if need be.
Grain Pattern and Plank Width: Speak to you contractor about the different ways logs are cut for hardwood flooring. This will help give you an idea of the look that you’re trying ot achieve. At the same time, consider your plank width. Do you want something smaller, or wider? While 4 – 6 inches is roughly the industry standard, with some suppliers offering wider, but remember; not only do wider planks look more expensive, they are more expensive.