Choosing a Wood Floor

on July 8, 2013 in Wood Flooring

CHOOSING A WOOD FLOOR

TIPS ON WHAT TO CHOOSE BASED ON YOUR STYLE & BUDGET

Wood Species: 

The most important factor in choosing a wood species is, of course, the appearance.  While the stains and finishes add variability to them, different woods can compliment modern, classic, rustic or other types of  settings. For example, maple has a more subtle, elegant look, while hickory has a more unique and “outspoken” appearance.  The experts in a fine flooring store can help you make the right choices.

There are subtle differences as well.  For example, Big Leaf Acacia features less character, with a plain grain, fewer knots and wider age circles, while the Small Leaf Acacia is full of character, with more knots and a swirling grain.  It costs more, but it makes a prettier floor.

In addition to appearance, you should also consider durability, moisture-resistance and hardness, depending on the area of the home where the flooring will be placed.  Our Small Leaf Acacia, for example has higher density, so it’s a lot harder, where Big Leaf Acacia has lower density, so it’s softer and lighter. Your in-store flooring expert can help you make the right decisions.

Exotic woods such as: Mahogany and Brazilion Cherry are popular for their appearance and are extremely durable.

Textures:

This is where your style really comes in to play . You can choose a brand new floor that has that antique worn look, or you can choose a floor that is very clean and shiny looking.  One thing to think about is to get something that is distressed because it can hide heavy use on the floor and still look amazing.

Hardness:

If you are looking for a wood species that is considered very hard and durable on its own, there are a couple of different ones you can gravitate towards such as: Maple, Oak, Hickory and a few others. Now don’t stress if you have chosen a floor that is not one of these.

The most important thing to look for when investing in a wood floor is quality of the wood and a great finish. Something to consider for a very durable floor and a great finish is choosing an Engineered wood floor. 

Width:

Most flooring is sold in planks of a single width. But today, many homeowners and designers are mixing flooring planks of different widths, achieving striking effects. Rocky Mountain variable-width flooring allows you to mix wood planks of 4, 6 and 8 inches together to create a unique and stylish look.

To compliment the scale of your rooms, you can emphasize the 5-inch and 6-inch planks in larger rooms, and 4-inch and 5-inch planks in smaller ones. You can also mix the sizes randomly and creatively for all sorts of interesting effects.  You can take advantage of the variable widths to play up architectural features of a room, such as a bay window, door, alcove or fireplace.

You can use them with modern wall colors, drapes, throws and furnishings to create a modern eclectic look. With variable-width flooring, you can let your creativity be your guide

Differences between Solid and Engineered Wood Floors:

Engineered hardwoods look exactly the same as solid wood but there are important differences.

Engineered flooring is composed of multiple cross-stacked layers. This makes it impervious to humidity and moisture, unlike a striped solid wood. It also allows for the use of longer planks- providing not only a more desirable look but also resistance to bending or bowing, as can happen with longer solid planks.

Solid planks can also suffer from expansion and contraction in changing seasons, leaving unsightly gaps, as well as “cupping” from moisture and shrinkage over a long period of time.

Engineered flooring is more flexible in application as well. It can be directly glued down on a concrete slab, stapled to a wood sub-floor, or even installed on a grade level.

As a result, engineered floors are well suited to almost every room in the house, including kitchens and dry basements, and offer superior durability in addition to uncompromising beauty.

 

Solid Wood Floors

  • Pros
  1. You can customize your floor to exactly what you want
  2. You can change the color and sand the floors whenever you like
  • Cons
  1. You have to sand and refinish every 5- 8 years depending on the traffic in your home
  2. Installation is a long process and is very messy to deal with
  3. Cost is more with having to refinish it
  4. Expands and contracts with any moisture- If you choose to get a solid wood floor make sure to have a humidifier installed in home so you can control the expansion and contracting

 

Engineered Wood Floors

  • Pros
  1. Simplifies installation & eliminates dust, chemical fumes & waiting time
  2. They usually have longer warranties since they are more durable and longer lasting
  3. Better finish is put on Engineered Wood floors so it lasts much longer
  4. It does not expand and contract. The way that is constructed and finished holds everything together so you will not have that problem along with gaps in between boards
  5. You have a pretty large selection to choose from
  • Cons
  1. You cannot customize it to exactly what you want
  2. You can refinish it only one time

 

Engineered Wood

Solid Wood

Engineered Wood

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