When building or undertaking a renovation, flooring options are basic yet important for every homeowner. This is because it underpins everything else. While there are many flooring materials options such as terrazzo, carpet, and others, hardwood is arguably the most acknowledged one of them all. However, not all hardwood flooring is similar.
Choosing the right fit for your home entails many factors hence making the task daunting. After doing a little digging, here are some tips on how to choose and install the perfect hardwood flooring for your home.
Choose Site Finish or Prefinished Hardwood
While prefinished hardwood planks for flooring are delivered to you with a top coat and stain already applied, others come with a raw face. After installation, the hardwood gets finished by a professional (site finish). Prefinished hardwood flooring not only lets you get the exact design you ordered but also takes a shorter time to install.
This is because you will not have to apply sealants or colors. However, if you are creative, site finishing gives you room to customize the flooring to your liking. Additionally, site finishing gives you control over the choice of design, sheen, and stain.
Choose Engineered or Solid Hardwood Flooring
Traditionally, hardwood flooring is made from a solid piece of wood that is milled, and as the name suggests, it comprises wood through and through. For many homeowners, this is a popular option because its quality and versatility are unmatched.
Some popular varieties include walnut, oak, cherry, and maple. However, not only is this type of flooring quite expensive, but it also requires constant maintenance. Every three to five months, you have to redo the finishing in addition to cleaning it with a special floor cleaner every month.
On the other hand, the engineered type consists of a thin layer of hardwood that is bonded together with a plywood substrate. Not only is it as durable as solid hardwood, but it is also considerably cheaper. If you are a DIY person, this option will save you some costs. However, you cannot refinish it more than once, and it can be prone to fading.
Choose the Wood Type
Choosing the right type of wood is also important. When it comes to hardwood flooring, oak is arguably the best. It takes stain remarkably and is very durable. Unlike red oak that has some pinkish tone, white oak is more appealing in design circles.
Another popular hardwood type is walnut. It is softer than oak and has a deep color suitable for rooms designed for darker finishing. This is a fine choice if you want to achieve a richer and warmer tone. Other hardwood choices are ash and hickory.
When installing hardwood floors, consider the following steps:
· Choose the installation method depending on the thickness, width, and framing. You can opt for stapling or nailing. You can also glue or fasten the floor in case of engineered hardwood.
· Let the hardwood acclimate for a while.
· Prepare the installation space by ensuring it is clean and level.
· Lay the floor pieces and adjust them accordingly. Use spacers to accommodate expansion before fastening them in place.
· Add finishing touches by cutting off protruding pieces. Finally, remove the spacers and install moldings and trim.