How to Choose Wood Flooring for Your Home |
Decor 101: How to Choose the Right Wood Flooring for Your Home

Decor 101: How to Choose the Right Wood Flooring for Your Home

Your questions answered

Written by –
Heather Neves
on June 19th 2018
Heather Neves is a freelance writer, professional blogger and social media enthusiast. Her post “How to Choose the Right Wood Flooring for Your Home" focuses on wooden flooring and home improvement.

When we talk about the merits of wood flooring, one of the first that springs to mind is its classically timeless appeal. Having been used in homes ranging from old Victorian townhouses to contemporary minimalist apartments, wood flooring is as versatile as it is stylish. But just how should we go about choosing the right wood flooring for our homes? Ahead, we’ve put together a how to guide to help you find the wood flooring of your dreams. Keep reading for more.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Contemporary dining room with Scandinavian accents and wood flooring detail |
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Level of Installation

Irrespective of whether you intend to install a wood floor on the first floor or the basement, a solid subfloor that clasps the nails is a must.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Bright minimalist hallway turned home office with wood panels and wood flooring |
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Oriented strand board and plywood are the top two choices for most builders. But be aware that interlocking floating floors only accommodate particle boards.

Choosing the Right Wood Flooring

Heads up! Not all wood floors are designed equal, and choosing the right floor is not just a matter of color.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Warm minimalist kitchen with wood accents and black bar stools |
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Solid or Engineered Wood?

Wood flooring comes in two types: solid or engineered. Solid wood flooring is pretty much as the name suggests, and is made out of planks from a single piece of wood. Solid wood planks can either be pre-finished products from a factory or unfinished logs of wood. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is made from a plywood base topped with a layer of solid hardwood.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Contemporary dining space with wood flooring |
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Overall, we tend to prefer engineered wood because:


  • Engineered floors tend to be more durable and long-wearing, making it the more practical option of the two.
  • Engineered floors do not contract and expand like solid floors.
  • These floors can be glued and can be floated on uneven surfaces.
  • Under floor heating can be accommodated with engineered floors.
  • Engineered floors can be used in commercial buildings, and in moisture prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
How to Choose Wood Flooring: Bright contemporary living room with modern French doors and blue artwork |
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Consider Your Living Habits

When deciding on your wood flooring, it is necessary and practical to consider your living habits. Different types of woods vary in the amount of abuse they can withstand. If your house experiences heavy footfall with kids, pets and a lot of visitors, a harder wood is definitely a good option. In this case, you should also think about choosing a grain pattern, finish and stain that will conceal pits and scratches.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Bright kitchen with hanging pendant lights and wood flooring |
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Take Your Current Decor Into Account

When selecting a style of wood, you need to take into account door casings, cabinets and trim work to ensure your chosen wood doesn’t clash with the other existing elements in your decor. If you have a well-ventilated space with a lot of natural light, then you can probably afford a darker floor. In cases where your home has less natural light, then a lighter color wood will help to brighten the space.


If you’re struggling to find a wood that coordinates well with your existing decor and wood tones, you may want to think about staining.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Bright coastal style dining room with white French doors and rustic accents |
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Oil or Water

Wood stains are available in two formats: oil based and water based. Oil based stains have longer working hours. They enable you to stain doors, paneling, floors and cabinets without any worry about dried paneling lap marks. Meanwhile water based stains boast less odor in comparison to their oil based counterparts. What’s more, water based stains can be completed in a day as they dry quickly, requiring just soap and water for cleaning.

How to Choose Wood Flooring: Modern kitchen with blue-gray cabinets and modern subway tiles |
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Regardless of whether you opt for oil or water-based, the most important thing you can do when it comes to staining is test! Testing is an incredibly significant step, helping you to avoid any nasty surprises. We recommend requesting a two by two foot sample of your wood flooring of choice so you can thoroughly test the stain’s finished look.

For more ‘Decor 101’ guides make sure you’re following out ‘Tips & Guides’ category. Here you’ll discover all the home DIY basics – from how to hang curtains to how to fit an interior door.


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