How Can You Be Sure of the Right Hardwood Floor?

Installing hardwood flooring in your home during a remodel is an extremely popular option, but can be limited by budget constraints and other factors. While hardwood floors look great in a wide range of different styles of home, it doesn't work for every décor. There can also be some limitations on what woods you can choose depending on your subfloor and home's foundation. Let's learn more about hardwood floors and how to select the best option for your budget and home.

Consider the Costs and Varieties

In comparison to tile, carpet or linoleum, hardwood flooring is not cheap. However, it does have alternatives and options which can help lower the initial cost.

  • Engineered wood. As opposed to solid hardwood, engineered wood is a veneer atop a much cheaper plywood base. It offers the same look at a much lower cost, and can sometimes be used in areas where solid hardwood cannot, such as basements.
  • Consider your subfloor. This can limit your choices on solid hardwoods, or can completely push you into the engineered wood category. Subflooring could be concrete, particleboard or plywood so know what you are working with before searching for wood flooring.
  • Foot traffic. Before selecting your flooring, it's important to consider how much abuse it may receive from children, pets and general foot traffic. High traffic areas would do best with harder woods on the Janka scale, while less traveled areas can go with more ornamental soft woods.
  • Maintenance. Wood flooring is not just an install it and forget it type of floor. It will require maintenance to look its best and last for many years. Are you prepared for the task? There are numerous companies which specialize in hardwood floor maintenance, so if you won't be doing it yourself consider this an additional cost of the flooring.

There are dozens of different types of wood to consider for your flooring. Some are common, rustic and extremely durable while others are exotic, rare, and more on the delicate side. The price of each type of wood can differ as well depending on how hard it is to obtain. Exotic woods are normally farmed in certain growing areas and can take many years to be mature enough to be used for flooring, so may be limited or much more costly than the easier to obtain oak, maple or cedar. Regardless of your decision, hardwood floors can turn your average house into a gorgeous and very welcoming home.

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