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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.