With the current rise in popularity of hardwood flooring, it’s a common perception that this should be your first choice if you want to add value to your home. Before you make that final decision, however, it’s important to consider all aspects of installing wooden floors. This will help you determine whether it is the right decision for your renovation project.
Choosing a Floor Color
Once you install hardwood flooring it’s there for a very long time, so it’s vital to ensure you choose a color you can live with. Hardwood comes in multiple different shades, including classic greys, trendy taupes and every shade of brown, from light gold through to dark chocolate. It’s not enough to determine whether the color you choose goes well with your current furniture—you have to think about whether it matches your overall taste in décor, because at some point in the future you might replace the furnishings.
Selecting a Species
Hardwood flooring is manufactured from several different tree species, each of which has its own different characteristics, grain patterns and other natural variations. This chart from the American Hardwood Information Center will help you understand the differences between woods, and select the right type for your family’s needs.
Deciding on Real or Engineered Hardwood
Another decision you’ll need to take is whether to go for engineered or real hardwood. While it always feels good to have the “real thing,” engineered hardwood in fact offers numerous benefits over solid hardwood. It’s less likely to warp and buckle, and installation is faster. The cost is lower, but it can’t be sanded down and refinished as often as solid hardwood. While engineered floors react better to seasonal changes, they generally don’t last for multiple decades like real hardwood can.
Evaluating the Weather Effects
The climate in the region where you live plays an important part in your decision to install hardwood flooring, especially if your preference is for real hardwood. Natural planks vary in size to begin with, and unless you control indoor humidity levels carefully they expand and contract continually, causing swelling and potentially splintering.
Counting the Cost
The initial purchase and installation expense is only one factor in the overall cost of hardwood flooring. To get a full picture, calculate the cost of maintenance over the number of years you are likely to remain in the home. Consider whether you’re likely to need to refinish the floor at any point during the period, and what the chances are of replacing your furniture with new items that tone in with the floor. Determine the cost of removing and disposing of your old flooring, and find out whether this is included with installation.
At the end of the process, if you choose to install hardwood you’ll have quality flooring that’s as tough as it’s smart, along with the satisfaction of knowing you made the decision thoughtfully and after weighing all the options.
For more information on hardwood flooring, please contact Brentwood Flooring America for a free quote.