What to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Floors
Once you’ve determined that solid hardwood is the best possible choice for your home and your lifestyle, then it’s time to start narrowing down your options. Other materials like laminate flooring offer endless customization options, but hardwood floors come with almost as many choices! There is also a lot of variety within the category of hardwood itself, with a range of domestic and foreign hardwood species, each with its own pros, cons, and unique attributes.
Let Gateway Design & Home help you get started! Before you get overwhelmed by all your options, you should consider the three main characteristics we’ve listed below. It’s a great way to narrow down the list, and it can help ensure that whatever hardwood material you decide on matches your plans. If you still have questions, you can always take advantage of a personalized consultation at our Loveland showroom!
Whether you want to match your hardwood floors to your existing interior design scheme or you want to use them as a starting point for a makeover, you’ll need to consider color. Each hardwood species has a unique natural color, from pale off-white to buttery gold to dark, near-purple brown.
If you want to create a less-than-natural color, you also have the option of using a stain! Stains open up your options even more, but you should keep in mind that the underlying color of the wood can affect the final shade of whatever stain you choose. Some wood species also stain better than others, so it’s worth your time to discuss your final plans with one of our flooring experts here at Gateway Design & Home so we can help match you with the best option.
You should also consider the grain of your hardwood floors! Wood grain can refer to the texture of your floors as well as the pattern of lines and whorls created by the growth rings of the original tree. A strong grain refers to a wood species that has a bold pattern, while softer grains can refer to planks with almost imperceptible lines and curves.
A wood species with a strong grain can make for truly unique, stand-out floors, and the pattern can hide scratches and dents. Wood varieties with more delicate grain patterns, on the other hand, are more subtle.
Not only can you customize the aesthetics of your future hardwood floors, but you can also find a variety that better matches the durability you need. Each wood species has a different hardness, ranked on the Janka hardness scale, that indicates how easy or difficult the wood is to shape or damage. Older homes often feature softer woods that could be scraped and shaped with hand tools, but modern technology now gives you the option to choose from a wide variety of options.
The higher a wood species’ Janka rating, the harder the wood. The harder the wood, the more it can stand up to potential damage. If you have destruction-prone kids or excitable pets, then you may want to opt for a harder wood variety. However, softer woods will be more comfortable if you spend a lot of time on your feet, such as long periods cooking in the kitchen.
Whether you know exactly what you want from your hardwood floors or you’re looking for guidance, Gateway Design & Home can help you through the next step. Stop by our Loveland showroom to explore all that we have to offer, and let us guide you through the decision process or match you with your perfect choice.