A popular option for flooring is hardwood. Which choices are best for you?
Homeowners have loved hardwood floors for a long time. Because they are enduring and ageless, these floors are an investment. Additionally, to achieve the desired aesthetic, you can select from a variety wood hues, stains, and grains.
Due to their popularity, hardwood floors can boost the value of your property and help homes sell more quickly. According to the “2022 Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS®, installing new wood flooring can help you recuperate 118% of its cost. That made it, along with hardwood floor refinishing, one of the top two interior remodeling projects for cost recovery in the survey.
Contrary to carpet or tile flooring, wood flooring does not require replacement. Instead, you may simply refinish it or renovate it, which will ultimately cost less.
Despite their many advantages, wood floors do have some drawbacks. For instance, normal wear and tear, mold, detergents, water, and termites can all easily dent and scratch them.
Follow these guidelines to help you choose the best hardwood flooring if you’re thinking about replacing or updating your floors.
Refinishing vs. New Floor Installation
Although a new hardwood floor has many benefits, it might not be in your price range. If so, you can refinish your current floors to make them appear brand-new without spending a lot of money.
Have an expert examine your floors if you’re not sure which direction to go in. You can more readily decide if refinishing is the best option for you if you have an unbiased view.
Of course, refinishing existing floors will cost less than installing new ones. Without staining, refinishing can run between $1.50 and $5 per square foot, and between $2 and $7 per square foot when it does. However, brand-new hardwood flooring costs $9 to $12 per square foot.
Considerations for Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring
You can choose between engineered or hardwood flooring, prefinished or finished on-site, depending on the type of hardwood you want. Additionally, you have a choice of various wood species and plank widths.
Engineered vs. Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood planks are made of a single piece of wood, whereas engineered hardwood is made up of several layers of the same material. Engineered wood is easier to install when there are interlocking alternatives.
Engineered hardwood floors also benefit from fewer moisture issues than traditional hardwood flooring.
Typically, both varieties range from $5 to $15 per square foot.
Prefinished vs. Finished On-site
Each board of factory-finished hardwood flooring is covered with a layer of polyurethane. Site-finished hardwood is delivered to your home unfinished and is finished after the floor is installed by sanding, staining, and sealing.
Prefinished boards provide more consistent staining and color, and some even have an anti-scratch coating. The site-finished planks, however, allow you to test and choose stains and finishes that complement your décor. Numerous flooring professionals can offer on-site assistance to help you choose the perfect fit for your home.
Prefinished boards cost a little less overall due to installation, while unfinished boards cost less per square foot.
Wood Types: Grain and Color
There are numerous types and hues of wood flooring, including grains and light and dark hues.
The grain is determined by how the wood flooring is sliced and chopped. The wood grain on your floor is like a fingerprint with no two alike. This characteristic gives your home uniqueness because no two are alike. Flat, straight, and curly wood grains are the three most prevalent varieties.
A variety of hues are available for wood flooring. Beige and gray tones, wood that looks natural, and dark charcoal or black stains are all current color trends.
Look for wood colors that go well with your lifestyle and the overall decor of your home. While wear and tear would be less obvious on lighter flooring, scuffs and scratches will be easier to see on darker wood floors.
Remember that staining on-site will change the wood’s natural colors. Most floor teams will assist you in choosing stains that match your desired colors.
Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring
Despite the benefits of wood floors, not everyone can afford them. Here are some cheaper options that nonetheless have a beautiful look.
The bamboo plant is the source of the affordable option known as bamboo flooring. Heat is applied as the bamboo is cut, shred, and pressed to create boards that resemble wood.
Bamboo floors are pest-resistant, long-lasting, simple to maintain, environmentally beneficial, and sustainable. They are also far more affordable per square foot than the majority of solid hardwoods.
In a humid environment, these flooring are not a suitable option because of how they respond to moisture. Additionally, the variety of tones and finishes is more constrained, and they could be easier to scratch.
Laminate flooring, which resembles wood flooring, is created by laminating several layers of different products together.
These floors are simple for do-it-yourselfers because they are available in snap-together planks or tiles.
They are quite resilient and not manufactured from trees (great for high-traffic areas). Maintenance is also simple.
Laminate floors cannot be resurfaced once they begin to lose their luster. They need to be changed.
Laminate is not environmentally friendly because it is created with plastic and occasionally formaldehyde.
Any laminates should adhere to health regulations if the user has chemical sensitivity.
Laminate flooring shouldn’t be utilized in bathrooms or laundry rooms because moisture may destroy some of it.