Wood flooring is beautiful and increases the value of your home. They continue to be loved more than stone flooring or slate flooring. Wood has depth and warmth that looks great and gives your home a warm feeling.
A variety of choices are available in both hard woods and other wood types. The type of wood you will choose depends on your personal preference and the décor of your home. Wood is suitable for nearly every room in your home. It may not be best in kitchens and bathrooms due to the amount of moisture found in these areas.
Choices in Wood Flooring
Hardwood remains a popular choice in wood floors. You have the choice of several different hardwoods. Popular choices include oak, cherry, hickory, maple, walnut and bellawood. These can be stained a variety of shades and tones. Consider leaving the wood in its natural color. Some hardwoods, such as walnut and cherry have a rich tone without the need for staining.
Once you have chosen the material, consider your finishing options. You may decide to purchase pre finished wood. This is already stained and protected with a clear coating. Pre finished is generally more expensive, but saves a significant amount of time.
Another option is to install the floor and then finish the wood. You will need to sand, stain and urethane the floor. After each coat, the floor will need to be sanded. This process takes several days to complete. The more coats of urethane you need the better protected the surface.
Another option is distressed or reclaimed flooring. These floors don’t have a smooth texture. However, they are beautiful and have character unlike other finishes. Another major benefit of these is they won’t show scratches as easily as urethane floors.
You have some choices other than traditional hardwood. Laminate flooring offers a choice in flooring. These are made to resemble real hardwood at a lower price. With good quality laminates, it can be difficult to tell the difference between this and real hard wood. Companies such as Armstrong flooring make high quality laminates. Other choices include cork flooring or bamboo floors.
Caring for Wood Flooring
Proper care will ensure your wood flooring has a good, long life. Whether you choose hardwood, laminate or other options, the care is basically the same.
- Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to keep dirt and dust to a minimum. Dirt and grit on the floor wear away the surface and leave scratches in your floor.
- Use mats at the entrances to your home. This way feet can be wiped, preventing much of this dirt from entering your home in the first place.
- Lightly clean the floor when needed. If occasional mopping is needed, use a nearly dry mop. Too much water can seep between the slats and damage your floor. This can cause warping, damage the surface or cause water to become trapped under the floor. This can result in damage to the backing and mold can grow under the floor.