The decision has been made then to whether get a hardwood flooring or not. Making a decision whether to have hardwood floors or not is as easy as saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a closed question. However, picking the right wood for your home is not. You have to consider that there are a lot of factors that you have to go through before the right wood will be chosen. In this regard, here are the different questions you need to answer so you can pick the right hardwood for your home.
Question #1: Where will it be installed?
You have to decide which floor or storey of your house you want your hardwood installed. If you are planning to have your hardwood installed in your basement, then your floor will be installed below grade. If you are going to install it on the ground floor, then you are installing it on grade. If you are installing on your second floor, or any floor above the ground, then you are installing it above grade. Determining which grade you are installing will also determine the type of hardwood you need to install. As an example, basement hardwood flooring would need an engineered wood. Thus, answering this question will help determine which type of floor is best for your home project.
Question #2: What is your sub-floor material?
There are three most common sub-floors for hardwood flooring. These are concrete, plywood, and particleboard. If you have concrete sub-floor, then your option is limited to engineered wood. However, if you want to flex your hardwood options, you can always install plywood on top of your concrete floor. With a plywood sub-floor, it would be easier for you to nail any type of hardwood material on it. This will expand your hardwood material options. If you have an old house with particleboard flooring, you may want to have it replaced with plywood. Particleboard floorings are not as thick as plywood. It may be easy to nail something on it, but it is not a durable material to be nailing something on. Thus, it is recommended to have a plywood on top of it before you start nailing hardwood flooring material on it.
Question #3: What do you do on a daily basis?
When buying hardwood flooring materials for your home, you should also consider the amount of abuse, wear and tear, that your floor will go through on a daily basis. Do you have pets? Do you have small kids? Do you like hosting large parties now and then? Or, do you travel a lot? Houses that hosts a lot of parties and that go through high amount of foot traffic is recommended to have woods that are really hard. A red oak hardwood floor is a good example of this material. You also should consider how durable and dent-resistant the wood would be, especially if you have heavy furniture around.
Question #4: Do you have a traditional home? Or a modern home?
If you have a modern house, it is recommended that you have a natural maple colored hardwood flooring. If you want to maintain the clean aesthetic of your home, then you should go for a gray-stained oak wood or woods. This will surely keep everything in harmony from top to bottom. For traditional homes, you can opt for something like hickory. This allows blending of dark and light colors, which will give you the feel of a wood cabin. You can also opt for a board with natural wood knots as it goes well with traditional and antique furniture. However, you should not limit yourself from what is recommended here. You can always mix and match, and see which color goes best with the furniture that you have at home.
Question #5: Which is most important to you: cost, appearance, or maintenance?
Knowing what is most important to you will help decide which type of wood you will need to buy. If cost is important to you, then you should opt for something that is not so expensive, which will lead you to an engineered wood flooring. On the other hand, if appearance is what you are looking for, then you should opt for something that is within the oak and walnut variety. However, if ease of maintenance is what you want, then you should opt for something that will last for a long time like the harder wood variety. You may also want to consider how resistant they are of stains, and how easy it is to remove them.
Question #6: How can you test it?
This probably is the most important question that you need to answer. Before buying a hardwood material for your floor, you have to test it. You don’t want to install 500 square feet of hardwood floor just because it looks good on the photos, or because they look good in the showroom. Of course, they will good in photos and in showrooms. Before swiping that card or signing that check, ask for a sample first and see the consistency. Try staining it and finishing it. Does it look darker? Does it look better? If you are happy with what you are seeing, then buy it. If not, move along and find another one.