It is important to choose flooring that is suitable, durable, and attractive. Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners. Hardwood flooring not only lasts for years but can also increase the value of your home. You can count how many times you’ve seen houses advertised with hardwood floors as a selling point. Hardwood floors are durable and add a timeless beauty to your home.
Prefinished wood is usually installed at the factory, but unfinished wood can be stained or finished on-site. Hardwood flooring is available in engineered and solid constructions. Solid wood flooring has been around for centuries and is still the preferred choice for many homeowners. You can refinish it many times and it will last many years. Distressed Engineered wood flooring uses layers of real wood that are sandwiched together with each layer running across to the one below. Pre-finished wood’s top layer gives you the same beautiful appearance as solid wood.
Engineered wood has the advantage of resisting expansion and contraction due to humidity changes. Engineered wood is the only hardwood that can be used below grade. Engineered wood flooring is also able to be refinished. It is possible to refinish it multiple times depending on the thickness of its top layer.
Aluminum oxide has revolutionized the manufacturing of hardwood flooring. This creates a tough top wear layer that is extremely durable. This is applied only at the manufacturing plant and cannot be used on-site after refinishing. Aluminum oxide has greatly improved the flooring’s durability. This is why hardwood floors now have a longer warranty. Hardwood floors can be warranted for up to 50 years.
After you’ve decided hardwood is the right choice for you, you can begin to explore all of the species, widths and special features available. The most widely used species in flooring manufacturing is oak. It is also used as a standard for comparing other species. The hardness of hardwoods, such as oak, can vary widely and should be considered when selecting the right hardwood for you. Oak is a hard wood. Hickory is, however, harder than oak. Pine, on the other hand, is more soft.
There are more than 50 species of wood that you can choose from for your flooring project. These include walnut, maple and pine as well as hickory and beech domestic hardwoods. Many exotic woods such as Tigerwood, Merbau and Amendoim are also very popular. Many exotic woods exhibit striking grain characteristics that give them a dramatic appearance.
Another popular choice for flooring is bamboo. It is sustainable and environmentally-conscious. Bamboo is a grass but it can be used as flooring. It is very durable. You can choose from either a horizontal or vertical bamboo grain. Carbonizing heats bamboo to give it a darker shade. Bamboo floors can be stained in different colors or made as “strand bamboo”, which has a dark and light grain running through each piece. You can purchase this type of flooring in either solid or engineered hardwood.
There are many widths of hardwood, and each one makes a unique decorating statement. The traditional oak “strip” flooring measures 2 1/2″ wide and has been used in homes for many decades. There are also “planks”, which can be 3 to 5″ wide, or even wider. In some cases, you might see planks 7 inches in width. These planks can be adorned with a beautiful, modern look or distressed to give them a vintage feel. These planks are often wider and more reminiscent of vintage barns or wineries. They are often finished with beveled edges that are often stained black to give them an antique appearance.
To suit all interior styles and tastes, hardwood can be stained, whitewashed, distressed, or natural. Hardwood is durable and beautiful. It can also be used as a backdrop for area rugs that can be used to create warmth underfoot, define spaces and complement your decor. You can use different types of flooring together or in close proximity to each other for a unique look.