5 Choices You Make When Buying Wood Flooring
Customers installing wood flooring have a number of preferences to pick from when creating their perfect design. While there are circumstances that will favor one kind of wood flooring over another, most customers will have the freedom to choose according to their own tastes. Five of the most fundamental choices include the species of wood and its manufacturing type, the tone and grain pattern of the wood, the plank width for the flooring, the overall finish of the wood, and the appropriate installation methods.
1. Choosing The Right Kind Of Wood
When choosing the species of wood for a room project, there are several factors to consider. The natural composition of a species of wood’s boards will determine sound quality of the flooring and whether or not footsteps reverberate loudly, as they do with bamboo flooring. Another important consideration is the higher cost of woods more rare or exotic to the purchaser’s location. Universally considered the sturdiest choice for hardwood flooring, oak not only wears well but takes a stain well—however, some customers trust a softer wood for a quieter part of the home less prone to heavy foot traffic.
2. Choosing The Right Grain Pattern
There are three basic choices when considering grain patterns for wood flooring and all of them refer to the way the log is cut at the mill. The attractive swirls and looping lines that spring to mind when thinking of hardwood floors are called plain sawn and those well-known patterns are referred to as cathedrals. Most often, the remaining two kinds of grain patterns, rift sawn and quarter sawn, are sold together as a mix so that customers have a variety between rift’s long and linear grain and quarter’s more irregular bursts of figuring. Those interested in only using rift or quarter sawn individually would need to specify with their source.
3. Choosing The Right Plank Width
The industry standard for making a small room look large hinges on large flooring pieces, be they wood or tile. When choosing the right plank width for a room, first consider its scope and feel as most important. Then, the budget may factor in—the wider the plank, the more expensive it could be. Excessively wide planks, those that span past seven inches, often cost more due to sourcing the larger pieces. The more usual, thinner widths of wood flooring are typically favored as economical and sensible since they are better able to mask the natural shifts in boards over time.
4. Choosing The Right Finish
Unique to wood flooring, customers have the option of choosing to purchase their boards as totally unfinished and raw, or prefinished with a stain and topcoat. Many customers choose the latter to save on time, and it allows them to pre-select decor and see exactly what their flooring will look like after installation. One important advantage to the unfinished option is that once installed, the floor can be sanded as one piece before staining and finishing—therefore providing a smoother overall surface not guaranteed with a prefinished set.
5. Choosing The Right Installation Method
While so many options for wood flooring are entirely about customer preference, there are only a few choices for installation with any given type of flooring. The most traditional installation methods include nailing, stapling, or gluing down boards to the subfloor beneath. Manufacturers of engineered hardwood flooring now favor floating and “click loc”, or interlocking, boards that fit together on top of an underlayment pad that helps prevent moister and reduce noise.