Hardwood Flooring Basics to Beautify Your Home, Hardwood can beautify a home like almost nothing else. By following a few simple rules you can install and maintain hardwood flooring that will look magnificent for decades to come.
With all of the many different types, styles and colors of flooring available today it can be a monumental task in choosing the right flooring for your home. Hardwood floors, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, bamboo, antique, prefinished, which one is right for you? Oak, maple, cherry and birch are popular types of hardwood flooring, but there are many others.
Cheap flooring or the wrong style or design of hard wood floor can clash with other home interior design features. But a well-chosen hardwood floor can accentuate and beautify almost any style or design of a home.
Carpeting has a few advantages over wood floors, the main one being softness when walked upon. But hardwood flooring can be accented with durable and beautiful rugs that have that same cushy feeling. So if it's a soft comfy feel you're after don't think that hardwood flooring is not an option. It's possible to combine the functionality of a carpet with the beauty, durability and shine of a hardwood floor.
Hard wood floors come in all different sizes and colors. And there are also many different types of wood grains that you have available to you. When deciding on the type of hardwood floor to install in your home you must first choose the color and type of wood. This is usually the most important consideration.
The color must be complimentary to the furniture, wall hangings, plants and other items that you intend to furnish your home with. But choosing a color of wood is not necessarily a straight forward and easy task. Different types of wood stain differently. Some wood flooring will stain darker than others, some lighter than others. So when choosing color you must consider the stain in combination with the type of wood floor you want. Do your homework and you will lessen the chance of installing a floor that has a different color and look than you expected.
Another major factor concerns functionality. A pine floor may look great, but pine is a soft wood that will dent very easily. This would certainly be a poor choice in a high-traffic area. When considering woods for flooring you want to install a floor that is long-lasting. Your flooring should last a lifetime and that means choosing a floor that will be durable, easy to keep clean and will continue to look new without a lot of labor on your part. If you are uncertain go with flooring that will be harder than you think is necessary. Hardness rankings according to the Janka scale can help you decide on which type of wood you need for the amount of traffic you expect to have.
The most popular styles of hardwood flooring are parquet, strip and plank. Parquet flooring is a series of wood flooring pieces that create a geometric design. Strip flooring is linear and is usually between 1' inches to 3' inches in width. Strip flooring often gives the room the appearance of being larger than it actually is. Plank hardwood flooring is usually wider and is typically 3 to 6 inches in width. Wider planks may be used, but often have issues with moisture.
You must choose the style and size that you think looks most attractive. Take your time and view all styles, designs, sizes and colors of wood floors before making your selection. Once it's installed it is not a cheap job to tear out and replace. It's also a good idea to get different samples and lay them out in your home. Without actually seeing the floor next to your own furnishings and wall colors it's near impossible to make a smart choice.
If you are interested in installing your own hardwood floor be sure you have enough knowledge and experience before attempting to do so. You must know what type of subflooring to install, whether it's wood or concrete. You should learn about humidity and temperature and what affect they have on floors. To prevent warping it is important to keep your floors well-ventilated with regulated temperatures throughout the year. When the weather gets too cold it can cause the floor boards to separate. Before installing it yourself talk to some professionals in your area and find out what precautions you need to take that will help ensure a lifetime of satisfaction with your new wood flooring.
By: Larry A. Johnson