When choosing your hardwood floor, there are many decisions you have to make. So what are the main questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to choosing your new flooring?
Which Type of Wood?
One of the first questions you might tackle is which type of wood would look and do the job best? There are a whole range of natural hardwood (such as ash, maple, pine, cherry) and some less traditional materials (like bamboo and cork). Imported wood has even more color variety on offer. You should pick your wood based on what your requirement will be (so do you need a very sturdy variety which won't dent for example) as well as the price and overall aesthetic. A good way to find out the strength of a wood is to look at it's rating on the Janka hardness scale.
2. Solid or Engineered?
Another factor to consider is whether to opt for traditional, solid hardwood or an engineered type instead. Engineered wood can cope better in humid areas and is less likely to be damaged by moisture – making it a good choice for bathrooms. It can also be installed on a wood or concrete subfloor – but because it is made of several different layered materials, it can't be sanded and refinished as many times as a traditional hardwood.
3. Prefinished or Unfinished?
Most homeowners tend to opt for prefinished wood as it's much more convenient, less costly, and not as time-consuming. That being said, if you already have hardwood floors and you want to match the existing finish and material, unfinished might well be the choice for you.
4. What Finish Should I Opt For?
This is down to a mix of preference and requirements. There are countless different finishes you can choose for your hardwood, but in general the rule is the more shiny the finish, the more scratches can be seen. If you're installing the flooring in a high traffic area, it's advisable to go for more of a matte.