What to consider when choosing your hardwood floor
A hardwood floor can give your home or business a new lease of life. There is a lot to think about when choosing the best type of wood for you though. It’s not just the colour of the wood that you need to consider but where it will be laid, the hardness of the wood and much more. We take a look at the different factors that might affect your decision;
Where will the hardwood floor be laid?
This is possibly the most important consideration. If you are looking to lay a new hardwood floor in an area that sees a lot of footfall or is likely to get a lot of wear and tear then you must choose something that is more durable. If the room is going to be exposed to water like a kitchen or bathroom, this also needs to be factored in as wood that is exposed to water will warp. Is the room properly ventilated? If not kept at a constant temperature the floor will shrink and expand with the difference in temperatures.
Hardness of the wood
A harder wood that will take the punishment of shoes, pets, toys etc. and is a much better idea than a soft wood that will dent and scratch easily. Oak and Maple are a lot harder than American Cherry and Pine for example. Woods are measured on the Janka hardness test which measures their resistance to denting and wear.
Colour, shade and pattern
This is more of a cosmetic factor but often a priority with many. If you are working to a certain colour theme, of course you want the floor to match. Every wood is different and there will be variations in the colour/pattern from one board to the next. The main difference will come with the type of wood that you choose though. There are darker woods and lighter woods, grey woods, more red woods and many different shades in between. A Maple wood for example is a light creamy pale colour whereas a Walnut is a rich, dark brown.
Size of boards
There are many different widths of board to choose from. Some manufacturers will offer a fairly standard sized board but they can be ordered in narrow or wide sizes. In addition to the board widths, they are also available in short, random or long lengths. For many the size of the boards will just be a personal preference. A longer, wider board will show more of the natural effects of the wood for example. Shorter, narrower boards will come in random lengths and you will see a much busier pattern to the floor where the boards meet in several places. Consider the size of the room that the floor will be laid in if you are struggling to reach a decision. Wider, longer boards work best in large spaces whereas narrow, shorter boards are good in smaller spaces.
Texture of the wood
When it comes to texture you may wonder how there can be differences but texture is a big factor when choosing your hardwood floor. There are various textures including smooth, open grain and hand scraped. They all have a different texture. Hand scraped is achieved using a machine which skims the board surface to create depressions in the wood. There are various depths to the depressions that can be achieved. A smooth finish is achieved with a light sandy which gives a silky-smooth texture.
Of course, the different woods will have a different price tag. Some will be more expensive than others. There are a number of factors that will affect the price including location and whether the woods need to be imported. It also depends on demand and whether the wood is on trend. If there is no call for the wood then it will be harder to come across. Many woods now come from sustainable sources as well which is another key factor for many.
If you are looking to have a new hardwood floor for your home or business and aren’t sure what type of wood is best then consult the professionals. They will be able to advise on the best solutions for your requirements. You also want to consult a company that can supply and fit your hardwood floor.
Wikipedia: sourced Nov 17, Janka Hardness test
Wood Finder: sourced Nov 17, Wood Database,