Choosing flooring is one of the most important decisions to make when renovating your home. After all, it acts as a foundation for everything else in the room and contributes both practicality and beauty to a space. From carpet to vinyl tiles, there are tons of flooring options on the market that all claim to be durable, versatile and visually appealing, however, nothing beats a genuine hardwood floor.
There’s no denying the style and elegance that comes with wooden flooring and its versatility means it can blend in seamlessly with any style of decor. Whether your home is traditionally designed or has a more contemporary feel, wooden flooring can complement both trends and, perhaps most importantly, is extremely durable and can last for decades.
That being said, not all hardwood floors have the same attributes; it’s not as easy as selecting a product simply because you like the way it looks. On the contrary, there are tons of factors to consider when making your decision and when even the choices have choices, this can be a somewhat overwhelming process.
To assist you in your quest to find the perfect hardwood floors, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the different hardwoods available, their pros and cons and how hardwood floors are installed and maintained.
Hardwood flooring: what are my options?
There are many hardwoods out there that lend themselves to constructing wooden furniture and flooring- but which is the best choice for you? Below are some of the most popular hardwoods used for domestic flooring and their attributes.
Warmth, durability and elegance are all words that many would associate with maple. It’s known to be one of the strongest hardwoods and is often used in bowling alleys. With this in mind, you can guarantee that maple is a reliable sturdy choice as if it can withstand the weight of heavy bowling balls, it will undoubtedly stand the test of time in a busy household.
One of the few drawbacks of maple however, is that it’s less porous than other woods and doesn’t take stain very well. However, its natural colour is extremely warm and has the power to brighten up a room significantly.
Walnut is often darker in colour and the shades can be extremely rich and vivid. Similarly to maple, walnut is known for being highly durable and perfectly suited to busy homes or houses with pets. A genuine walnut floor is stylish, sophisticated and versatile and can blend in seamlessly with any style of decor.
Rustic oak flooring
Oak is one of the most popular options for hardwood floors. It’s durable, stylish and has a timeless appeal. Whereas red oak is slightly warmer and richer in colour, white oak is much lighter and can in turn make a room feel more bright and open. Whatever your design preferences, oak comes in tons of different shades to suit any and every homeowner.
Ash ranges significantly in colour from a light gold to a dark brown. Similarly to maple, ash has a warmth to it that can make rooms feel homely and cosy, but at the same time, light and open. Ash floors can also be less expensive than other hardwoods, a factor that makes it appealing for those looking to pinch pennies.
In addition to being able to withstand high volumes of foot traffic, hickory flooring is perfect for homes with a rustic style of decor. In fact, hickory is versatile enough that it can complement any style, and it’s extremely resilient to wear and tear, ensuring it stands the test of time.
As the name suggests, cherry wood often has a pink hue that can soften and add warmth to a particular space. Whilst it is a dense hardwood, some say it’s more vulnerable to scratches than other options. However, when properly maintained, cherry floors are stunning and can last for years.
Cleaning wood flooring
Cleaning is an essential part of hardwood floor maintenance and must be carried out regularly to ensure your floors stand the test of time. Sweeping and or vacuuming is a must to get rid of everyday dust and dirt and this should ideally be done every couple of days. When vacuuming, ensure you use only soft attachments as this will prevent your wooden floor from getting scratched or marked.
For stubborn stains, a mop can be extremely effective in wiping your floor clean, however, it must be damp rather than soaking wet as excess moisture can cause the wood to warp. With this in mind, any spillages must also be wiped up as a matter of urgency to prevent the wood from absorbing the moisture. You may also want to buy some doormats for your house to minimise the amount of dirt brought in on people’s shoes, or perhaps you could suggest that shoes are taken off altogether in the house.
Whilst the above-mentioned tips will help to maintain your wooden floor, there are also soaps and other specialist products you can buy to ensure your floor stays fresh and clean. To ensure you buy the correct solution for your floor, it’s advisable to speak to an expert in the industry as they’ll be able to advise you on which products are best suited to each type of hardwood.
A guide to installation
When it comes to installation, you must first decide whether to have your flooring fitted by a professional or take a DIY approach. Both approaches come with pros and cons, however, we’d advise having your flooring installed by an expert as this will ensure it’s fitted to the highest standard.
Next, there is the question of whether to have engineered or solid wood floors. Whereas solid wood is often installed over a few layers of plywood which can raise the height of the floor and interfere with the design of a room, engineered flooring can be glued straight on to concrete. That being said, engineered floors consist of planks that are made with a very thin layer of hardwood on top and as a result, they may not be able to be sanded in the future. Again, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of wooden flooring, so it’s best to liaise with a professional to ascertain which is best suited to your home.
There is also the option to purchase planks that already have a stain and topcoat applied or alternatively, you can buy planks that haven’t been treated and apply the finish after installation. Buying prefinished wood is arguably the better choice as you know exactly what you’re getting and you can pick planks that fit in seamlessly with your decor. However, having your planks finished on-site allows for customisation; you have control over which products are used and the wood can be treated to your exact specifications.
Wooden flooring is highly versatile and lends itself to use in almost any room in the house- but is there anywhere that it shouldn’t be installed? As mentioned previously, moisture can be extremely damaging to hardwood and with this in mind, spaces such as bathrooms and laundry rooms that can get extremely humid may not be suited to wooden flooring. In addition to this, a kitchen is a room that will likely be subject to regular spillages, so it may not be practical to install wooden flooring in here either.
From finishes and grain patterns to plank length and width, there are tons of things to consider when having your wooden floor installed. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choice, you can always seek advice from professionals in the field to ensure you’re making the correct decisions.
If you’re looking for top-quality wooden floors to revive your property, look no further than Pro-Fit Mouldings Ltd. We manufacture and supply hardwood floors to suit any and every style, and we pride ourselves on offering an extremely cost-effective service.
Whether you’d like dark wood floors or light grey wood floors, our products are available in a variety of different colours and we also have a varied range of styles and finishes, ensuring there truly is something for everyone.
In addition to wooden floors, we also supply door casings, skirting and a host of other products to help you decorate your property and we supply our products to both domestic and commercial customers.
For more information regarding our services, contact us today on 01777 872085 and restore your home back to its former glory with Pro-Fit Mouldings Ltd.