Your Guide to Choosing Hardwood Flooring and Finishes
If you have your heart set on hardwood floors in the home, you might not yet realize how many different types of hardwood are available. There are a lot of variables when it comes to material, type of hardwood, price, aesthetics and durability. If you plan to use hardwood floors in a new home or for a remodel, use this guide to learn more about your options and making the right choice.
Choosing the Type of Wood
The first decision you need to make is deciding which kind of hardwood you want for your floors. Think about durability as well as the overall look and color when making your choice. Oak, mahogany, pine and maple are all common choices for hardwood floors.
Solid or Laminate?
The second decision to make is whether to invest in solid hardwood floors or the much cheaper laminate hardwood floors. Laminate floors have a layer of hardwood on the top of each plank, whereas solid hardwood is a thick slab of solid wood, just as the name implies.
By choosing the type of wood for your home’s flooring as well as deciding between solid and laminate, you can pick the perfect hardwood floors for your own home.
Prefinished flooring typically has several layers of mechanically applied ultra violet protection. This prevents fading that can occur when the floor is exposed to the sun. It also produces a more uniform appearance. The manufacturer can apply an acrylic-urethane or polyurethane coating to protect the finish from everyday use. Aluminum oxide increases the floor’s resistance to scratches.
Manufacturers infuse the wood with other chemicals to increase its resilience. A professional home remodeler or an experienced homeowner can install prefinished flooring in a day. The prefinished wood has fewer odors and does not require time to dry.
Unfinished flooring is finished by hand in your home. You can use moisture-cured, water-based or solvent-based urethane finishes. Solvent-based urethanes produce toxic fumes and are the least eco-friendly option. There are stains and finishes that evoke the look of endangered wood species. This enables you to enjoy the appearance of an exotic wood without the expense or the requirement to harvest an endangered tree.
Hardwood floor finishes protect your floor and enhance its appearance. Whether you choose prefinished or unfinished materials, there is a variety of hardwood floor finishes available to match any décor.