Hardwood flooring is some of the most loved and popular styles of flooring available. However, it is a big investment. To begin with, you might only be thinking about the colour and finish that matches your home, but there’s a lot more to think about than just that. To help you with the decision-making process, here are three considerations when buying hardwood flooring.
Solid Versus Engineered Hardwood
There are actually two different types of flooring that are considered hardwood – solid and engineered. Solid hardwood flooring are pure planks of hardwood cut directly from the tree. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is a layer of solid hardwood that’s fused to a number of layers of plywood below. At first glance, solid hardwood might seem the most desirable, but there are qualities of engineered hardwood that might make it a better choice for many. For one, engineered hardwood is cheaper than solid hardwood. And secondly, because of the multiple layers of wood, engineered hardwood is much more stable – especially in areas with high humidity or moisture. These factors can make engineered hardwood the smarter choice in certain situations.
Site-Finished Versus Prefinished
There are some advantages and disadvantages to site-finished hardwood floors. A site-finished floor can be customized to match its surroundings because it’s sanded down and stained on site. It will also have a smooth surface with filled in seams or cracks between the planks. However, installation of site-finished floors will take much longer because the stains and finishes will need time to dry between coats. You’ll probably get a better looking and smoother floor, but it will take more time and cost you more money.
There are a number of different hardwood flooring products on the market that are designed for different levels of foot traffic. Areas around doorways or the bottom of a stairwell often experience much more wear than somewhere such as a dining room. You should also take into account the presence of children or dogs which can cause damage that might be more suitable to a handscraped or wire-brushed finish. Areas with higher humidity or moisture will pose more problems for hardwood than areas with a more stable environment. Have a good understanding of the kinds of traffic the floor will receive before deciding on a specific type of hardwood.