How To Choose a Hardwood Floor

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in General | No Comments

Photo of a medium-to-dark stained wood hardwood floor

When renovating, hardwood is a very popular, durable, and beautiful floor covering. But there are so many options available to choose from that it can be overwhelming when it comes time to make a decision! However, by following these 3 steps you can make the choice that’s right for your Calgary hardwood floor:

1. You should know that the two main types of hardwood are solid (100% milled wood) and engineered (made by gluing many pieces of wood together in criss cross layers).

The main difference between these 2 types is the way in which they react to humidity.

Solid hardwood will shrink and expand more than engineered hardwood, which can cause gaps and cracks over time.  Engineered hardwood can withstand humidity changes a lot better and can often be installed in areas with higher moisture content, like basements.

If you like the look of wide planks, engineered wood is the best choice as it will gap less over time and solid hardwood can only be made so wide, usually not much wider than 4″.  Both can be sanded and refinished, although engineered can only be sanded a few times because it is not solid all the way through.

2. Once you choose solid or engineered wood, the next step is to choose the species of wood and finish that will fit your space perfectly.  

You can make this choice by comparing grain patterns, a hand scraped finish, amount of movement in each board and of course, the stain colour.  Always remember that different species of wood are harder than others, so if you have dogs or kids then choosing a wood that is more resilient would be a very smart choice.  Spend some time researching in this step to find the type of wood that will suit you and your household best.

3. The last step is to look at board styles, install pattern, and cut lines.  

Some boards come beveled on the edges, which can add a nice look at the seams where the boards come together.  Installation of hardwood perpendicular to the joists is most common, but a diagonal pattern can add that “wow” factor.

Cut lines are also important to think about when your hardwood meets a different type of flooring like tile or carpet.  It is important to put these cut lines in the right spot to allow your room to flow properly or remove them all together and hardwood the whole space with a nice area rug (my preference).

Its always a great idea to bring home samples of your top choices to look over for a week or so, eventually one of them will jump out at you and be declared the winner.  Hardwood floors are a great choice for most renovations and will maintain their beauty and functionality for a very long time when installed and maintained properly.  Happy Hunting!!!

It’s this kind of know-how that makes us the best provider of kitchen renovations Calgary has available! Want to see for yourself? Then take a look through our portfolio of completed home renovations projects to see the dramatic difference our work can make.