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A Comprehensive Guide to Selecting the Right Type of Hardwood Floors
As a homeowner, choosing the ideal flooring material for your abode can be a daunting task. Although there are several options available, often wood is considered as the go-to choice. This remarkable substance can be found in two primary versions, namely, solid hardwood and engineered wood. Its widespread popularity is attributed to its innate magnificence, strength and its ability to complement diverse styles and designs.
Throughout this page, we will delve into the fundamental aspects of hardwood flooring, exploring its many benefits and practical applications.
If you are interested to see our full collection of wood flooring please follow this link: Engineered Wood Flooring
Sherlock Oak 180 x 21mm£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Decka Plank Cottonwood£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Decka Plank New Hampshire£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Decka Plank Montana£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Decka Plank Maine£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Wills & Ferguson Arctic Oak£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Decka Plank Alaska£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Wills & Ferguson Chelsea Oak£0.00 Add to cartOrder sample: £0.00
Durability Meets Sophistication: Why Hardwood Floors are the Ideal Flooring Choice
There are various types of hardwood used for flooring, including oak, maple, cherry, walnut, hickory, and more. Each type has its unique characteristics in terms of grain patterns, colour variations, and hardness.
- Engineered Wood: Engineered hardwood flooring consists of multiple layers of wood veneers stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together. The top layer is a hardwood veneer, providing the desired aesthetics, while the underlying layers add stability and resistance to moisture. Engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood and can be installed in various environments, including basements.
- Solid Hardwood: Solid hardwood flooring is made from a single piece of solid wood throughout its thickness. It offers a traditional look and can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing for long-term durability. However, it is susceptible to moisture and temperature changes and may not be suitable for areas with high humidity, such as basements.
Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, natural beauty, and timeless appeal. Here’s some information about hardwood floors:
Hardwood floors are known for their durability and can last for decades when properly maintained. The hardness of the wood species affects its resistance to wear and denting. The Janka hardness scale measures the hardness of different wood species, with higher ratings indicating increased hardness.
Hardwood floors can be finished with different coatings to enhance their appearance and protect them from daily wear. Common finishes include polyurethane, oil-based finishes, and water-based finishes. Each has its own advantages in terms of durability, sheen level, and maintenance requirements.
Regular maintenance is essential to keep hardwood floors looking their best. This includes sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris, using a slightly damp mop for cleaning (avoid excessive moisture), and promptly wiping up spills to prevent staining. It’s also advisable to place felt pads under furniture legs and use rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to minimise scratches.
Over time, hardwood floors may show signs of wear, scratches, or fading. One of the benefits of hardwood flooring is the ability to refinish it. Refinishing involves sanding down the top layer to remove the existing finish and imperfections, and then applying a new stain and finish. This process can revive the floor’s appearance and extend its lifespan.
Another advantage of hardwood floors is their hypoallergenic properties. Unlike carpets, which can trap dust, allergens, and pet dander, hardwood floors provide a healthier environment for those with allergies or respiratory sensitivities. They are also easy to clean up in case of spills or stains, which is particularly useful for households with children or pets. With proper care and maintenance, hardwood floors can last for many years and provide a beautiful and practical flooring solution for any home.
Value and Investment
Hardwood floors are considered a desirable feature in homes and can increase the resale value of a property. Many homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with hardwood floors due to their aesthetic appeal, durability, and longevity. Installing hardwood floors can be seen as a wise long-term investment in your property.
Hardwood floors come in a wide range of wood species, colours, and finishes, providing versatility in design options. Whether you prefer a classic, rustic, or contemporary look, there’s a hardwood flooring option to suit your style and match your overall interior decor. Additionally, hardwood floors can be refinished to change their colour or finish, allowing you to adapt to changing design trends or personal preferences.
When considering hardwood floors, it’s important to choose the right type of wood, finish, and installation method that suits your specific needs and preferences. Consulting with a flooring professional can help you make informed decisions and ensure a successful installation.
Are Hardwood Floors Good with Pets?
Hardwood floors can be a good choice for households with pets, but there are a few factors to consider:
Benefits of Choosing Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring offers several benefits that make it a popular choice among homeowners and designers. Here are some key advantages of hardwood flooring:
Pets, especially dogs with long nails, can potentially scratch hardwood floors. Some hardwood species are more resistant to scratches than others. Hardwoods with a higher Janka hardness rating, such as oak or hickory, tend to be more durable. Additionally, choosing a floor with a durable finish, such as aluminium oxide or a similar protective coating, can help minimise scratches.
Pets can bring dirt, dander, and moisture into the house, which can affect hardwood floors. Regular cleaning is important to keep the floors in good condition. Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove debris, and promptly clean up any spills or accidents to prevent moisture damage. It’s also a good idea to trim your pet’s nails regularly to minimise the risk of scratches.
Area Rugs and Mats:
Placing area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas, such as entryways or in front of pet bowls, can help protect the hardwood floors from wear and tear. These rugs can also serve as a designated area for pets and help catch any spills or accidents.
Choosing a hardwood floor with a matte or low-gloss finish can help camouflage small scratches or dents that may occur over time. A textured or hand-scraped finish can also be a good option, as it tends to hide imperfections.
There are products available on the market specifically designed to protect hardwood floors from pets. For example, nail caps can be used to cover a pet’s nails temporarily, reducing the risk of scratching. It’s important to research and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using such products.
Remember, no flooring material is entirely impervious to damage caused by pets. While hardwood floors can withstand the wear and tear of pets, they may still show signs of use over time. Regular maintenance and taking preventative measures can help minimise any potential issues and keep your hardwood floors looking their best.
Avoiding the pitfalls of hardwood floors
It’s important to note that while hardwood flooring offers numerous benefits, it may not be the ideal choice for every situation or budget. Factors such as installation cost, susceptibility to water damage, and sensitivity to humidity should be considered when deciding on the type of flooring for a particular space.
Why are Hardwood Floors More Popular than Vinyl?
Hardwood floors and vinyl floors are two popular options for homeowners, each with its own advantages and considerations. Here are some reasons why hardwood floors are often considered better than vinyl floors:
Natural and Timeless Beauty:
Hardwood floors offer a warm, natural aesthetic that adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. The unique grain patterns and color variations of hardwood create a timeless appeal that can enhance the overall aesthetics of a home. Vinyl floors, while they can mimic the look of hardwood to some extent, may not replicate the same level of authenticity and beauty.
Durability and Longevity:
Hardwood floors, when properly maintained, can last for decades and even centuries. They can withstand heavy foot traffic, resist scratches and dents, and with refinishing, they can be restored to their original beauty. Vinyl floors, although durable, typically have a shorter lifespan and may require replacement sooner.
Value and Resale potential:
Hardwood floors are often considered an investment that can increase the value of a home. They are highly desirable among homebuyers and can contribute to a higher resale value compared to vinyl floors. The timeless appeal and durability of hardwood floors are features that many prospective buyers seek.
Hardwood floors are a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice. Wood is a renewable resource, and many manufacturers use responsible forestry practices and offer certifications such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Vinyl floors, on the other hand, are made from synthetic materials, including PVC, which raises concerns about the environmental impact of production, disposal, and potential emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Refinishing and Customisations:
Hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing for changes in colour or sheen and the ability to repair any damages. This provides flexibility and the option to adapt the flooring to changing design preferences over time. Vinyl floors, being synthetic, generally cannot be refinished and typically require replacement if damaged or if a different style is desired.
Authenticity and Natural Feel:
Hardwood floors offer a unique tactile experience, with a natural feel underfoot that many people find appealing. Vinyl floors, while they can mimic the look of wood, may lack the same authenticity and tactile qualities.
It’s important to consider that hardwood flooring has some limitations, such as its sensitivity to moisture and higher upfront cost compared to LVT. However, if you prioritise the authenticity, natural beauty, durability, and long-term value of your flooring, hardwood can be a preferred choice.
How to choose the perfect hardwood floors for your home?
Installing hardwood flooring requires a certain level of skill and knowledge, but it is manageable for individuals with experience in DIY projects or those willing to learn and follow proper installation guidelines. However, for best results, it is often recommended to hire a professional flooring installer.
Choosing the perfect hardwood floors for your home involves considering several factors. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:
Assess your lifestyle and the needs of your household. Do you have children or pets? Is your home a high-traffic area? Understanding your lifestyle will help you determine the level of durability and maintenance required for your hardwood floors.
Evaluate Colour and Style
hoose a hardwood floor colour and style that matches your home’s interior design and personal preferences. Consider the existing colour palette, furniture, and lighting in the room. Lighter wood species can make a space appear larger and more open, while darker woods can create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
Determine Wood Species
Research different wood species and their characteristics. Each species has its own grain patterns, colour variations, and hardness levels. Some popular options include oak, maple, cherry, walnut, and hickory. Consider the aesthetics you prefer and whether you prioritise hardness and durability.
Obtain samples of different wood species and finishes to see how they look in your home. Place them in different lighting conditions and against your furniture and walls to visualise how they will complement the overall space.
Assess Finish Options:
Hardwood floors can come with various finishes, such as glossy, semi-gloss, matte, or hand-scraped. Each finish option has its own aesthetic appeal and maintenance requirements. Consider the level of sheen you prefer and how it complements your overall home decor.
Evaluate your willingness to perform maintenance tasks. Some finishes and wood species require more upkeep than others. If you prefer low-maintenance options, consider hardwood floors with durable finishes and wood species that are resistant to scratches and wear.
Determine your budget for hardwood flooring and explore options within that range. Keep in mind that factors like wood species, finish quality, and installation costs can affect the overall price. Balance your budget with your desired aesthetics and quality to find the best value for your investment.
Seek Professional Advice
Consult with flooring professionals or interior designers who can provide guidance based on their expertise. They can help you narrow down options, offer recommendations, and address any specific concerns you may have.
By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect hardwood floor that aligns with your lifestyle, aesthetics, and budget while providing durability and enhancing the overall beauty of your home.
At Oakley Products they offer a wide range of hardwood flooring, these range in different widths, sizes, and colour options. Also, Oakley Products offer free samples so that you can choose the correct floor in the comfort of your home.
The Decka Plank Range, these have more of the lower budget boards, while still offering a wide range of variety, then on the Wills & Ferguson Range these have a range of wider unique boards with a range of different finishes like band sawn effects and in a range of different stains, the boards in the range span up to 4 metres long and go up to 390mm wide.
If you would like samples or advice on what floor to choose, please contact Oakley Products either via
email: email@example.com or via phone: 01752 666132
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