Questions to Ask Before Choosing Hardwood Flooring (Part I)

Feb
12018

Choosing the right flooring is an important decision as it’s the foundation of your home. For most homeowners, it’s a difficult decision. What they don’t realise is that hardwood has many benefits. They’re easy to clean, extremely durable and beautiful to look at. However, they usually come in two varieties: engineered, which is a plywood with a layer of veneer on top and solid, which is completely made out of wood. Here’s some essential information you must know before making a final decision.

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Image Credit: homedepot.ca

1. Should I use pre-finished or unfinished hardwood?

This depends on the personal preference of an individual. If you choose pre-finished hardwood, they significantly reduce the number of inconveniences and mess. It’s much easier to repair and can also be custom stained. However, unfinished hardwood flooring means that the finishing will probably be done onsite, which will result in more dust, noise and probable delays in using the room. There’s an increased chance of dust settling on the finish, or even prints if the finish isn’t given enough time to dry before walking on it.

2. What are the surroundings?

Maple, oak and elm are widely popular species of hardwood. Homeowners and builders have preferred these species for what seems like forever. However, no matter which species you choose, you also need to select the colour which will fit in well with the decor in your house. Darker colours easily provide a homey and comfortable feel to a room, while lighter colours tend to make a room feel much larger and more open. If your home has a contemporary and casual feel to it, a lighter colour may work best for you. But if you’re looking for a formal or traditional look, darker colours may work better.

3. What’s the difference in sheen levels?

Usually, there are three levels of sheen. Flat or matte finish reflects the least amount of light and has the least shine. Semi-gloss reflects some light and has some shine and high-gloss, which reflects the most amount of light and is the shiniest. The lesser the shine is, the lesser you notice the small imperfections which are common with regular wear and tear of the floor.

4. Can I install hardwood flooring in my kitchen?

Hardwood flooring installation in the kitchen has become common. However, there are a few facts you must know before proceeding.

Consider changes in the height as it can affect the placement of dishwashers, refrigerators etc. There must be sufficient space along the base of the cabinets as well.
A floor mat directly below the kitchen sink is recommended as it’s one of the most heavily used areas in the house. This helps extend the life of the finish on the flooring.
The new flooring may have a urethane finish which is impervious to water. However, the wood underneath can sustain damage due to water penetration from between the boards. For a longer lasting and beautiful floor, you must clean up spills as soon as they happen.

5. Can it be installed in my powder room/bathroom?

Most hardwood flooring is not covered by warranty when installed in a bathroom. However, it can be installed in a powder room. Since moisture can easily cause damage to hardwood flooring, there are other alternatives which can be used for a non-tiled floor and a wood look.

These are some of the most common questions which you must ask before installing hardwood flooring anywhere in your home. In our next blog, we’ll discuss some more questions which can prove to be useful in helping you make your decision.