MANY considerations must be given when selecting a hardwood floor product. Here we will share the many types, sizes, colors, application methods, and the variety of wood floor species on the market today. This information is a general, overall foundation in helping you start your search. Always look at several product lines, make comparisons as to wear warranties, thickness, type of construction, type and number of finish
coats, along with the many other important specifics outlined herein.
Types of Hardwood Floors:
Styles of Wood Floors:
Top 5 things you should know when choosing a wood floor product:
Which wood floor for what room?
Entry / Foyer: Foyers tend to be more formal than not. Making a design statement in this area has most recently become a new wood flooring trend. Custom designs like accents, border medallions and painted design are very common in this area. Using outside walk-off mats and if there is no design, area carpets inside will help in keeping wear down. Custom Wood Floors
Kitchens/Family rooms: These are most common spaces for wood floor installation in new construction. The ease of care, open floor plans, and the flow of traffic make this a very popular area for wood floors. Dark and white/bleached wood floors do NOT fare well in this area because of the high traffic, food & water continuously being on the floor. In some very grainy species, the direction of the wood floor can add to the wear of the product. NOTE: Kitchen wood floors should be screened (lightly sanded) and recoated as needed, say every 18-24 months, depending on the amount of traffic and cleaning habits. Make sure the finish used is recommended by the manufacturer and/or is a compatible with what you have. Good cleaning habits are very important part of maintaining a wood floor, high traffic or not. Clean regularly, and always wipe food & water spillage immediately.
Formal Living and Dining Rooms: Most often a more traditional formal setting, darker in color with the combination of oriental carpets. This area also often receives border inlays, with turning blocks or corner accents to add a Custom-One-of-A-Kind floor. Design considerations for this area often will be compatible with the furniture being used. Not matching the exact color but a darker or lighter color in the same family of the floor color, thus complimenting each other. Remember the darker the floor, the smaller the space will appear, and maintenance consideration will increase.
Bathrooms: A bathroom that receives daily use would not fare well with wood floors, due to continued moisture exposure. On the other hand a guest bathroom not used on a day to day basis could be considered. Make sure to use area carpets/mats, and always immediately wipe up any water.
Home offices, Bedrooms: Wood Floors work well in bedrooms, often with area carpets being used. Office settings lean toward the traditional darker colors, and bedroom are a 50/50 tossup on colors used. NOTE: Rolling furniture, chairs, TV stands etc., can damage the finish very quickly, if used day to day. Make sure the floor is protected and/or the rollers are not made of metal or other damaging materials. Many times placing blue painted tape on the wheels will help. Regular maintenance is required.
Details that should not be overlooked:
Species: What type of wood do you want? It’s important, for example oak floors could mean ten (10) or so different products, of 3 different grades.
Grade: Different species have different standards, some none at all. The higher the grade the “clearer” or more top of the line the product is. Standard grades are: Clear, Select, #1, #2, and Rustic. — More Details.
Dimensions: What is the thickness and width of the floor you have chosen ? What are the lengths? Some time the pattern of the product you have chosen may not be right for your installation.
Pattern: The most common is with strip or plank, the direction may depend on the subfloor joist (nail down), parquet may be in many patterns and/or designs from simple to intricate cuts and designs. Make sure this is spelled out in your contract , as to what direction the floor will be laid.
Color: You can request a sample prefinished or unfinished (including final finish type). Every manufacturer has their specific trademark color. Today the naturals (oak,and maple) are the most popular. Remember, there will always be some color variation between boards, as each piece may very well be from a different tree.
Today there are a great number of products available, from thicknesses, widths, styles, colors, patterns, and varieties. Remember all manufacturers have their own “trademark” colors, sizes & styles. For instance natural oak colored floors has more than 30 names throughout the industry. If it’s an unfinished product, to be job finished, the sky is the limit on color. Always ask questions, if in doubt, not sure, ASK! It’s much better the know ahead what to expect, than after the fact and the floor is in place.
|Many factors should play a part in your decision about the choices you make when it comes to wood floor products. Ask for a sample and/or brochure about the product when available.|
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