As far as interior home décor is concerned one essential design elements a homeowner has to consider is the choice of flooring. And while a whole lot of flooring option exist, from the basic carpet to a sophisticated terrazzo, what is regarded as the gold standard in the industry are hardwood floors. The issue, however, is that even among hardwood floors, many discrepancies occur and selecting the best fit for your home needs is not a simple case of walking into a convenience store and picking the brightest colored carpet – several other things influence the hardwood selection process. To help guide you in making this decision,we’ve outlined the standout points you should consider as you select a hardwood floor.
First off, get the foundations right
Hardwood floors are traditionally crafted from thick sheets of timber. However, with recent advancements in tech, many flooring outfits now proffer engineered hardwood floors to clients. The difference between the two is that traditional floors are less resilient to the contraction and expansion cycles wood undergo. Compared to engineered floors whose layered composition allow for bending and conformation to structural changes with little structural damage. Engineered floors are also priced for their better insulation performance – just make sure you’re getting the high quality stuff.
Finishing on-site vs. prefinished
You also get the option of choosing between ‘out of the box’ finished hardwood flooring materials, those that come pre-applied with a topcoat and stain, and hardwood flooring components that are only finished after installation. With the former category, you know just how your flooring would look on completion. For the later, the quality of the finish and overall look is dependent on the contracting engineer. If you decide to opt-in for prefinished flooring, you also get to save more installation time and in some cases a considerable amount of resources. That said, prefinished floors are constrained by the level of customization they accord users. If you’re in search of bespoke flooring design, it’s a safer bet to stick with on-site finished flooring. There’s more attention to detail in this case, and often the finish is smoother and more aesthetically pleasing. And talking about finishing:
There an assortment to pick from
Like flooring itself, finishes for your hardwood floor will leave you spoilt for choice. Options range from polyurethane, UV cured urethane to oil finishes. In all essentiality, however, these finishes are derived from either polyurethane or oil.
When the finish is oil based, expect an organic and softened feel to your floor. Polyurethane takes on a more punchy appearance characteristic of its resilience. They are more durable and for people with kids, their hardened topcoat and resistance to wear and tear make them the preferred option. Oil finishes, on the other hand, are more susceptible to scratches, but easier to cover up with a polish or minor renovation. Maintenance costs for the two overall amount to the same figure. While oil finishes require frequent minor maintenance, polyurethane finishes need a brush up only occasionally, albeit being more detailed and demanding more resources.
What type of wood
The quality of wood used for a floor installation is directly proportional to its overall durability, longevity and aesthetics. If your goal is to get a floor that’s bound to last for generations, it’s vital that you invest in premium quality wood. Oak is the gold standard in North America. Walnut is another excellent choice. Both are durable and possess a unique grain. Appropriately finished, they add a bit of antiquity to your floor design.
Once you’ve considered all these, it’s time to get in the business of actually installing your floor. If you’re good with tools and willing to embark on a challenge, then you can always tow the DIY route. Else contracting a professional engineer is your best bet and Amazing Floors has the right flooring professionals that get the job done.