As you can imagine, there are many different types of hardwood flooring to choose from, starting with the material of wood to the color and species of the wood. However, first and foremost, location must be taken into account.
Location is key! You first need to determine whether the areas in your room that will be hardwood flooring is below or above grade level. This will help you decide whether you will be choosing a solid wood flooring or an engineered wood flooring.
Solid wood flooring is exactly that; a solid piece of wood. Depending on the type of wood, the thickness and hardness will vary. However, solid wood flooring is not recommended to be used in any areas of the home that are susceptible to moisture. There are many benefits of using solid wood flooring: can be sanded and refinished many times, adds value and warmth to the home, and will last for years to come (if you maintain it regularly.)
Engineered wood flooring is still made of wood, but with three to five layers of veneered wood that are bonded together with the use of heat and pressure. Because of this process, engineered wood flooring can withstand moisture and can be installed in any area of the home on any grade level. Some other benefits of engineered wood flooring is the ease of installation (can be directly glued-down over the concrete or stapled into wood subfloor) and will also add some value to your home. It can be sanded and refinished as well, but not as many times as solid wood flooring can.
The next question you need to ask yourself is what type of wood species and color of wood? This really depends on your likes, style of home, and your budget. Also, keep in mind how the wood floor will be used; kids, pets, retirement, etc. This will help you decide on how durable or hard your wood floor needs to be. If you like a more light and airy feel, a lighter wood like Maple would be a good choice. Should you want to head for a warm and homey atmosphere, medium woods like Hickory or Oak are recommended. A more refined look can be achieved with darker woods such as Walnut or Mahogany.
Let us help you find the perfect wood flooring for your home! Download our Durability and Hardness scale for the most common wood flooring based on the Janka Hardness Test. This test determines how durable a wood is based on how much force is needed to make an indentation in the wood.