Choosing hardwood flooring for your home sounds like an exciting task, especially when compared to other aspects of renovation. It can be fun, but only if you get your facts straight and take all the necessary factors into consideration, like size, type of wood or cost.
Which one works best for your home? Let’s have a look at the different options and help you answer that question!
Hardwood Floors: it doesn’t get much classier than this
You know you’re doing something right in life if you’re out and about browsing hardwood flooring options for your home. This type of flooring is popular not only for its elegance and aesthetic appeal, but also because it increases the resale value of your home.
Whether you’re going for rustic or modern decor, a quality hardwood floor will enhance the look and feel of any room. But what’s the best choice?
Hardwood floors can be divided into different categories by wood type: oak, bamboo, cherry, teak etc. Your choice here will largely depend on the vibe you’re going for. For example if you’re chasing a coastal vibe you might lean more towards the lighter wood varieties. If you’re after a vintage feel, maybe go with a darker wood. Try to find examples of what you like before you actually start looking at options.
More vibrant colours are often created by staining with special products such as Monocel Stain and Varnish, which also ensure protection from scratches, dents and other types of damage.
Wooden floors are also rated from soft to hard: the harder the material, the better it stands the test of time. Just think about those charming century old cottages. Their stunning hardwood floors continue to impress through the decades because they were built to last.
Now even the sturdiest material shows signs of wear after years of usage, but one of the great things about quality hardwood floors is that they can be restored and made to look brand new (just like the floors in those old cottage charmers). This is one of the reasons why they’re such a good investment.
What type of hardwood flooring to choose?
You’ve opted for hardwood flooring, now what? Well there are a few things you need to take into consideration when you get down to choosing your timber.
Construction (solid vs engineered flooring)
Solid and engineered flooring are the main types you’ll find on offer when looking for timber floors. So what’s the difference?
Solid flooring is made out of a single piece of wood. These are the traditional wood floors we know and love. They’re 100% timber boards and last decades longer than their engineered counterparts because you can easily sand them back and restore solid floors again and again. However, bare in mind solid wood floors are more at risk of moisture damage (so not recommended in kitchens or bathrooms) and tend to be more expensive to install.
Engineered flooring is a more complex product that consists of several layers. The outermost is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of wood (less than 1/8″) of whatever species you desire. The inner layers (made of plywood, high density fiberboard, or hardwood) provide sturdiness and the outer layer provides the classic timber finish you’re after. These floors are less susceptible to moisture damage, however as their exterior is only thin, you can only restore them once or twice so won’t last as long as solid timber floors. Engineered flooring can still be expensive but generally cheaper than solid flooring to install.
Board size is important for the overall look of the room. Your choice depends on how many seams you can “tolerate” or on the style of interior design you’re going for. In a Scandinavian decor, you might opt for narrow, light coloured boards, whereas in a traditional decor your best choice might be larger long timber boards. Narrow planks are cheaper, but aren’t as elegant as large ones.
At the end of the day, most people’s choices are constrained by their budget. You might not be able to purchase the largest boards of the sturdiest wood, but you can rest assured that whichever hardwood flooring solution you choose, it’s a great investment in the long run.
Keep in mind that installation, type of wood and whether the wood is prefinished or unfinished can influence the price quite a bit.
Also just watch out for low cost engineered flooring, The old saying, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably isn’t” definitely rings true. You’re sure to see some appealing low cost options that look great on the surface but these can quickly show signs of wear and tear (including fading or warping) due to poor quality construction. And with only a thin veneer of timber, there’s little you can do to repair them.
This is something that many people overlook. But if you’re looking at an area that is going to get a lot of foot traffic, you may need to consider investing in better quality, sturdier hardwood flooring.
This does tend to be more expensive to install but in the long run you’ll thank yourself for it, as it should save you from having to refresh and restore your floors as much. Just remember, every time you have to fix up your floors, it’s going to cost not just money but also time and energy to organise and remove everything from the area.
Ready to make your hardwood flooring dreams a reality?
When deciding on the type of hardwood floors you want for your home, think carefully and don’t feel compelled to rush into the first thing a salesperson offers you. After all, it should be a purchase that lasts a lifetime.
No matter which hardwood floor you opt for, Monocel’s unique timber care products will be on hand to help keep them looking their best for years to come.