If you’re thinking of putting in wood floors, you cannot go wrong. All types of hardwood floors have unrivalled innate beauty and go with any decoration — country, traditional, modern, you name it. Wood flooring goes well in every room, even though kitchens and basements merit particular considerations.

Unfinished or finished?

Unfinished wood flooring is a high-quality option if you desire a custom stain applied previous to the final finish, or if you desire to match the color of active flooring. After hardwood flooring setting up and discoloration, the flooring is given quite a few coats of protective finish.

If your thoughts of adding hardwood flooring in your kitchen, unfinished flooring is an excellent choice since the finish will break in and seal the seams among boards, helping to stop water from seeping between boards.

Prefinished wood flooring comes from the factory previously sanded and sealed, meaning the whole setting up job goes swiftly. There are no odors and VOCs from finishing on-site, and the floor is prepared to walk on right away.

Solid or engineered?

Solid wood flooring is all wood and comes 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Since its solid wood, it can be sanded and refinished a lot of times. Though, it’s vulnerable to changes in moisture, and isn’t suggested for below-grade basements.

Engineered hardwood flooring is a thin covering of real wood glued to quite a few layers of wood beneath, like plywood. This gives engineered wood outstanding stability over time and makes it a good choice for a few area of your residence, including below-grade basements.

Depending on the depth of the hardwood veneer, engineered hardwood flooring can simply be sanded and refinished once or twice throughout its duration.

What wood flooring species is best?

Now that you recognize the score on floors, you can start to choose your species, based on wood grain patterns, colour tones, and general durability. The Janka Hardness Scale, named for Gabriel Janka, an Austrian researcher who urbanized the scale in 1906, is today’s industry standard for decisive wood hardness. The higher the rating number; the harder the wood—and the more durable your floor.

• Oak:
This well-liked hardwood features two distinct types, both highly attractive for flooring alternative.

• Red Oak:
The most usual hardwood flooring choice obtainable nowadays, it has a Janka rating of 1290 and is well suitable for most flooring requirements. It’s warm tones varies in colour from rusty brown, creamy pink, and golden red.

It features graceful swirled grain patterns all through and has a tendency to differ faintly in color and grain pattern from the other board to the next. Red oak complements varied décor styles, together with contemporary, rustic, classic, and country.

• White Oak:
selected for its fine grain patterns and cool hues, white oak is sturdier than red oak, coming in at 1360 on the Janka scale—creating it a good choice for high traffic areas. White oak has gray undertones without a hint of red. Its grain and color vary only a little, producing an overall floor result of smooth elegance, which is appropriate for a lot of design styles.

• Cherry:
Appreciated for its warm brown tone and smooth grain pattern, cherry is faintly softer than some hardwoods, ranking 950 on the Janka scale—so best for lower-traffic spots, for instance; bedrooms and formal dining rooms.

Cherry has a trend to darken faintly over time, especially if exposed to bright sunlight. For best visual impact, regard as set up wide flooring planks—up to 8 inches—to showcase this hardwood’s gorgeous grain pattern.

• Walnut:
Its deep, rich, chocolate tones and large straight grain patterns creates walnut a top choice for drama and complexity. With a Janka rating of 1010, Walnut is appropriate for medium-to-light traffic, but may demonstrate wear in high-traffic areas after a few years. Colour variation from board to board is small, giving walnut floors a smooth, dependable look.

• Hickory:
With a Janka rating of 1820, hickory is extremely durable, ideal for high-traffic zones—actually, it was once a best choice for school gymnasium floors. Hickory features mocha-tones, ranging from creamy beige with a hint of red to warm brown with dark brown stripes. With large knots and color that can contrast significantly from board to board, hickory is suitable to country and rustic style.

• Maple:
One more highly durable choice, maple ranks 1450 on the Janka scale and is appropriate for most rooms. It’s a reasonably light-colored wood, with hues that consist of light cream, tan, and beige; it frequently features a slight reddish tint. Maple has a fine grain pattern, with irregular dark streaks and specks that add ocular attention to the wood.

This hardwood sets off a lot of styles, as well as contemporary, eclectic, and transitional. You’ll pay a premium price for more exotic species, such as mesquite, teak, and jarrah. Check to ensure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.

One more option is reclaimed wood flooring, which you can locate at salvage yards. It probably has a number of signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for similar new wood flooring. If they don’t have what you’re searching for (and you have the time), ask to be put on a waiting list. Salvage flooring is a particularly good alternative if you’re restoring an older house.