When you have come to the decision that you are going to either remodel and/or include hardwood flooring in your new construction project, oftentimes that is the easiest part of the process. You are now faced with numerous other questions related to your new hardwood floors such as;
– What type of flooring are you going to go with? Are you wanting Solid Hardwood Flooring, sustainable Bamboo floors, Laminate wood floors or LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile Floor)? The choices of wood floor types are just the beginning.
– What is driving your wood floor purchase? Is budget, style, color or durability the main factor for your hardwood flooring option? With many different flooring selections available, prices will vary dramatically.
– Are there remodel or construction limitations that will affect the kind of flooring options you can select? For example, Hardwood floors, whether they are either Solid Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood. Did you know you cannot typically install Solid Hardwoods directly over concrete floors? Understanding the constraints you are working with will often help you determine the flooring choices you have available.
How To Select Hardwood Flooring
Once you understand your budget and personal or environmental flooring preferences, there are a few simple steps you can follow to help you drill down to the best hardwood flooring choices for your home.
1- Color Preference – Before starting to select wood flooring, it is always a good idea to have a color palette in place. What we mean by that is you should know the general colors you are going to be using for furniture, paint, etc. in order to give yourself a palette of colors to match with. This will enable you to more easily narrow your flooring color options down to a manageable number.
On the other hand, if you are starting with floor color and do not yet know what furnishings, paint and other elements you are going to be using in your home design, this can be more challenging. You will need to begin with an open mind on floor color and allow your eyes and preferences to guide your selection.
2- Smooth or Distressed – Next you will want to determine your wood floor finish preference. Do you like the look of distressed wood, a smooth flooring style or maybe handscraped hardwood?
Selecting the texture you prefer will help eliminate wood flooring that might not come in that style.
3- Board Width – Another wood flooring style consideration is plank size or board width. There are virtually hundreds of options of wood floor widths to choose from. Typically sizes range from 2 1/4″ up to 11″. Just as with finishes, choosing the width that best fits your decor plan will help you eliminate wood floor options that may or may not come in that specific size.
4- Wood Floor Species – Hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, and even laminate flooring comes in many different species. Each species of wood flooring provides a different base color, design pattern and overall look (Oak, Birch, Maple, etc). In addition, the varying hardness of a specific wood flooring species plays a role in its suitability for various installation applications based on the species hardness and overall durability. See hardwood hardness examples.
5- Environmental Application – Ask yourself about the conditions that you are going to be not only installing your new wood flooring but the daily environment that your wood flooring will exist in. For example, if you have small children, active dogs, high traffic areas may require a more resilient wood flooring type. Other considerations such as available natural light, moisture areas such as bathrooms or basements could also impact color or composite preferences.
6- Sustainability – Finally, consider your green requirements for your new wood flooring. Are you looking for highly sustainable green flooring options such as bamboo wood floors, or will lower impact environmentally friendly engineered hardwood flooring. Both are considered to be more Green friendly options over the traditional solid hardwood flooring.
Now that you know some of the considerations that will help guide you in your wood floor selection process, you also need to know one more important thing. You are not in this alone. Our professional design team is here to help you make your crucial wood flooring decision. Simply come to our home design center with a good idea of your preferences in some of the things we outline above, along with any color samples from your project and we will show you the best options for your hardwood floor project.