If you love your home, adding the natural beauty of hardwood floors will take your breath away every time you step through the front door. Few things can make such a dramatic and long-lasting improvement to your home. Installing hardwood flooring will breathe new life into how your home looks and feels. Walls, furniture, and everything else will take on a warm richness like no other.
With flooring, trends come and go, but nothing can match the popularity and beauty of a home with hardwood flooring year after year. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.
Natural Color and Warmth
There’s something about walking on wood that is practically impossible to match. Different wood species have a wide range of grain patterns and hues. During the cooler months of the year, both hardwood plank and engineered hardwood flooring will feel warmer underfoot than other flooring options like porcelain tile or natural stone.
Try this out yourself. The next time it’s cold outside, place your hand on a wooden fence post and then on something made of smooth stone on concrete. Which one feels colder?
White Oak Versus Red Oak
Regarding oak hardwood flooring, red and white are the most popular choices. Both have excellent durability, and once protected with a quality finish, they are both water-resistant. Both are similar in appearance and can be stained to your favorite color.
After that, it’s a matter of personal preference. In its natural, unfinished state, white oak absorbs water more slowly than red oak. For this reason, boat builders have used white oak for thousands of years. If you’re thinking of using oak in a more water-prone area, white oak (Quercus alba L.) would be a better choice.
Common Wood Species
There are dozens of wood species used for flooring. Each one has its advantages and degree of Janka scale hardness. Here are some of the most popular choices:
Oak – Both red and white oak are durable, beautiful, and affordable.
Hickory – Extremely tough fiber structure makes hickory an excellent choice for heavy traffic areas.
Maple – This light color wood species is known for its tight grain pattern and natural smoothness. As an example of how durable it is, maple hardwood is also commonly used for cutting boards.
Walnut – The natural darker hues of walnut give your flooring richness and elegance that few species can match.
American Cherry – This was a favorite flooring style long before George Washington chopped down his first cherry tree. Cherry wood is softer than other hardwoods, and its deep reddish-brown color makes it unique.
Floor Finishes and Stains
Practically any hardwood species can be stained with a wide range of colors that either accentuate their natural hues or modify them. In the past, hardwood floors were sanded to be as smooth as possible. Today, you can choose a rough-sawn texture, hand-scraped, distressed, or even reclaimed. However, a more traditional smooth sanded finish is still quite popular.
Pre-finished At the Factory or On-Site Finished
Today’s high-tech factory finishes include extremely tough aluminum oxides, and they are cured with UV light to make them even more resistant to scratches and dents. On-site applied finishes have undergone many improvements, but they cannot match the durability of a factory finish. High gloss used to be the most popular choice as far as sheen. Today, you can choose matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, and high-gloss.
The Importance of Acclimatization
No matter which type of hardwood flooring you choose, it’s mandatory to store the material in the area where it is to be installed for at least three days. Whether factory-finished or unfinished, the flooring will need to adjust to the room’s humidity level. This acclimatization period will significantly reduce the chance of warping or gaps once the installation is complete.
Hardwood flooring prices are such that professional installation is a necessary step to protect your initial investment. Unless you are a very capable DIYer who has plenty of experience installing a solid hardwood floor, leave this to the experts. There are too many variables to consider, including things like moisture transmission and proper subfloor preparation.
Do Not Void Your Warranty
When you choose your hardwood flooring from a top manufacturer, it comes with a warranty against defects. This is made possible because of the high standard of quality they use in selecting and processing the materials. Installation can be extremely complex, and each manufacturer dictates its own requirements. If these specific requirements are not met by a DIYer or even a professional installer unfamiliar with them, the manufacturer’s warranty may not be honored should something go wrong.
Engineered Wood Flooring Sale
Since hardwood flooring can be a significant investment, the good news is that it can be easy to find a sale. But it’s even better when you can find a deal with a local flooring expert you can trust. You’re in luck if you live anywhere near Dallas/Forth Worth.
Flooring Direct has earned the trust and respect of thousands of customers over the years. One of the reasons why is the quality and friendliness of their flooring experts. Whether you’re just starting the process of shopping for new flooring or you’ve narrowed down your options, our people are always happy to help with any questions you may have. Unfortunately, new flooring can become overwhelming, and it’s easy to be steered wrong along the way.
Shop At Home Might Be Your Best Option
Although we always welcome our customers into our store, we realize people are busy and may not want to spend their free time driving around. That’s why more and more customers are choosing our convenient shop-at-home service.
All you do is contact us to schedule a free estimate, and we’ll do the rest. You’ll see flooring samples in the actual areas where they are to be installed. This makes it easier to choose the hues and finishes you prefer. There won’t be any surprises when the color you liked so much in the store doesn’t look the same when you get it in your home.