With so many types of hardwood on the market, it can become so overwhelming trying to make the best decision for your home.
But don't let this overwhelming feeling guide you through the different types of hardwood.
Buy with confidence. Review these hardwood flooring must knows so you can lose the overwhelming feeling. Remember you are buying a floor that can make a significant difference in your homes value. Not to mention the fact that you will have to live with it a long time. Kick the overwhelmed feeling to the curb and make the right purchase for your home. Here's how!
#1 Kick fear to the curb by knowing types of hardwood, solid and engineered flooring
Solid hardwood is just what it sounds like, it is solid wood. It has the benefit of being sanded and refinished up to three times after installation. Engineered hardwood is made in a ply construction. This ply construction makes the engineered hardwoods more stable to temperature changes and moisture than the solid. The wider that a solid floor is the more unstable it can become. This can cause issues in areas where humidity becomes to high. This can cause cupping or a wash board effect from the wood absorbing to much moisture in the home. For wider width hardwoods engineered flooring is a better option as it is more stable.
#2 Kick fear to the curb by knowing types of hardwood, pre-finished over sand and finish flooring
It's common for older homes or new construction homes to have sand and finish hardwoods installed.This is a process where the builder installs hardwood and then has an installer come in and sand, stain and apply urethane. However, let's compare prefinished flooring is growing with more and more new construction homes now installing prefinished flooring. In comparison think of prefinished flooring like going to the local car dealership and buying a new car with a factory baked on cured on finish. Versus buying a used car and having the local auto body shop apply for a new paint job. The local body shop might do a good job. But they do not put on a baked on cured on finish. And don't be surprised if there is some dust or trash in the finish. Prefinished flooring has aluminum oxide added to the urethane finish that adds strength that helps with durability.
#3 Kick fear to the curb when you know the differences in the types of hardwood species
Hardwood flooring has a rating scale called a Janka scale. This scale shows the indentation resistance of different wood species. Consider and analyze where in the home your floor is to be installed.Take into consideration if you have kids and pets in your home. Some woods may be more suitable for busier lifestyles than others. The higher on the rating scale of a hardwood then the harder the floor is and the less likely you are to drop something and indent the floor. Now that does not mean that the floor will not scratch. Any hardwood will scratch especially if you drag something on it or if you have large dogs.
#4 Kick fear to the curb when you know how to clean your floor
Knowing how to clean and care for your floor can make or break your floor. The biggest mistake that people make is by cleaning with a steam mop. These mops are advertised to be suitable to clean hardwood flooring but none of the manufacturers will stand behind a warranty once a steam mop is used on the flooring. This is due to excessive moisture they put out. The flooring acts like a big sponge and absorbs the heat and steam from the mop. This excessive steam can swell the flooring and raise the grain. This swelling will not return to normal. This is the same reason that you should not wet mop your hardwood. The new urethane finishes are easy to clean! They can be cleaned by simply sweeping, wiping with a terry cloth towel mop, and a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Harsh cleaners or chemicals are not recommended such as Murphy's oil soap as they can leave a sticky residue that can be hard to remove.
#5 Kick fear to the curb when you which direction to lay your wood
Once you have explored the types of hardwood and finally made it home with your new floor then you have to decide which direction to lay your wood. Hardwoods typically are installed in the direction of the longest length of the room. This gives the room a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. This rule of thumb is sometimes changed due to the direction and placement of hallways. It is good to let the hallway of a home that is being installed in wood to dictate which way boards should be running. This can prevent short boards running crossways in a hall. Running the boards the longest length hallways direction should give you the best look. O
With such a variety of hardwoods to choose from it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But if you will follow these basic must-knows you will easily be able to choose which floor is best for your home. If you are undecided if hardwood flooring is right for your home then read my post on Luxury Viny Tile. This new tile can be a great alternative to real hardwood and is great for families with pets and kids. If you are needing more advice on hardwoods check out my ebook What you need to know before you buy a new floor.