There are a lot of reasons to buy hardwood flooring: it’s easy to take care of, it looks nice, and it can increase the value in your home. Hardwood floors are also better for people with allergies than carpet. So, if you are convinced that installing hardwood floors is right for you, here are some guidelines to help you choose the right kind.
Think about your design style when choosing hardwood flooring. Are you contemporary or more traditional in your design? Some woods like maple lend themselves to a contemporary design while oak is seen as more traditional.
Part of your style is dependent on your home. Look at how much lighting you have and the other hardwood in your home. Don’t forget the wall colors as well. Each of these is important when choosing a type and color of hardwood. If you have a bright, airy room with a lot of natural light coming in, you can go with dark hardwood on the floor and it will balance the space out. The same is true in the kitchen. White cabinets make a nice contrast with dark floors, but dark cabinets may look better with a lighter hardwood floor.
While hardwood is seen as easier to care for than carpeting, it is not always maintenance free. Harder woods have more durability and don’t show scuff marks and dents as much as a softer hardwood. Look at the sheen on the hardwood, which comes from the type of stain used. A high sheen floor will make any scratches more noticeable than one with a duller appearance.
Of course, the most important aspect of choosing a type of hardwood for your floor is how it looks and appeals to you. If you really like dark hardwood, then go with it. Just remember to compensate in other areas. The width of the planks is another thing to consider. While the trend may be on wider planks, you may prefer more narrow ones. Be aware that your choices not only affect you, but the value of your home if you should decide to sell.
A popular hardwood choice is acacia. It is an exotic hardwood that originates from Asia and features a mixture of lighter and darker tones. This is ideal for many homes because it blends with a lot of colors and styles. It also hides scratches and dings better because of the varied pattern.
Types of Treatment
Certain types of treatments alter the look of hardwood. For instance, oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the hardwood than polyurethane. They cost more upfront, but maintenance is reduced because you don’t have to re-stain very often. This type of finish does a better job of hiding marks and wear on a floor.
Some treatments give a new floor a worn look so that you can’t tell when it gets scuffed. These include hand-scraped treatments and wire brushes. They make the hardwood look roughened as if it has been around for a long time. You may want this look if you live in an older home and want the floor to look like it is the original.
All of these options have different price tags associated with them, so you will want to check out cost before making a final decision. Don’t be in a hurry to choose your floor. Instead, take your time and think about everything that goes into that decision so that you make the right one. After all, your floor is something you’re going to look at and hopefully love for a very long time.
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