Hardwood Flooring Guide: Which One is Right for You?

Hardwood floors are a classic, and they can give any room a timeless, elegant feel. But choosing the right type of hardwood floor requires careful thought and consideration. There are different types of flooring, and some will definitely suit your requirements better than others. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of qualities to look for in your hardwood flooring to help you choose the right one for you.

Finished or Unfinished

Perhaps the first thing to consider when choosing hardwood flooring is whether or not your selection is finished (prefinished) or unfinished. The former works well if convenience is a big consideration for you.

Prefinished hardwood floors are ready to install, and are generally cheaper as there is very little work left to be done on it.

Homeowners moving into houses with young children, or those who may not want to be around too much fume and installation products may be better served by prefinished hardwood flooring.

Being factory-made means this option will have met rigorous quality tests, guaranteeing durability that’s perfect for high-traffic areas like the kitchen or living room. The only real drawback is that being precast at the factory, these floors don’t allow for much customization.

On the other hand, unfinished wood flooring gives you more allowance to custom-make the end product, which is advantageous if your project has existing hardwood flooring whose look and color you may want to retain. Preserving the original appearance of the floor is important for places with historical significance, or if you want to retain the original style of your home. While there is more work to be done on unfinished wood flooring, the entire point is that you will be able to custom-make it to your specific needs.

Solid or Engineered

Once upon a time, there was a great disparity between solid hardwood flooring, and the subpar engineered alternative, generally only used to fill in minor fixes or if budget constraints were great. But engineered hardwood floors have come a long way since their mediocre beginnings, and now provide their fair share of advantages.

Solid hardwood still remains to be the more durable option, and when well maintained, they can easily last through several decades. However, engineered wood are designed to better combat moisture than its organic counterpart, so if you live in a place of high humidity, it may serve your home better in the long run to get the latter.

Though cheaper than their natural counterpart, engineered wood would work just as well in areas of less traffic, or as a surface-level finish, covering more solid flooring underneath it, but still giving off the classic appearance of hardwood.

On the other hand, solid hardwood is a greater investment. Ultimately, it is the more durable option that will certainly age well. If you are looking to settle down in your home for a good, long while, going for solid hardwood is the recommended choice. But if you find that budget is a consideration, and you might not be spending any more than a few years in your current home, engineered wood should meet your needs.

Choice of Species

Different wood species also come with different advantages, so if there is a specific quality you want in your hardwood, it’s worth looking into their origin.

Traditional species include oak, which gives off that classic hardwood look not seen in other trees; hickory, with its more distinctive, earthy look; ash, whose grains certainly bring their own strong character to a room; and maple, with its classic, muted tones, and remarkably sturdy composition that makes it a great choice for high-traffic areas. Other, more exotic options include the high-class mahogany; tigerwood, with its unique shades and hues; and the highly popular Jatoba or Brazilian cherry.

Whatever choice of type you make, hardwood floors remain to be the gold standard of flooring surface. With proper maintenance, they can last a lifetime, and get even better with age. And that’s precisely what Kitchen and Flooring wants to bring to your home.

Our selection of hardwood floorings seamlessly blend aesthetics with quality, and is guaranteed to bring an element of sophistication to any room it’s installed in, and still be as functional and durable as it was the first time it’s installed, for many decades to come.

We also provide hardwood floor installation in Orange County, so we have all your flooring needs covered from selection to installation, and beyond. Give us a call today to learn more about services.