Solid hardwood floors used to be the standard for homes, but many other types of wood flooring have taken its place. Now, you might find engineered wood or laminate flooring used more often. However, solid hardwood floor still provides the highest level of class and sophistication. If you are thinking about choosing this type of flooring, there are a few things you should know first.
Where You Can Install Hardwood Flooring
Unlike some of the other engineered or faux wood flooring types, hardwood flooring can be installed almost anywhere. However, there are some minor exceptions. Solid hardwood flooring works great in most living spaces, including bedrooms, hallways, living and dining rooms, and kitchens. These are all known as above-grade locations. The only above-grade location you don't want hardwood flooring in is the bathrooms because they have too high of a moisture content, which can warp the wood.
Another place in your home where you do not want hardwood flooring installed due to moisture content is the basement. This is a below-grade location and the moisture can warp and ruin your hardwood floors.
Benefits of Hardwood Flooring
When comparing solid hardwood flooring to other types of flooring, there are some major benefits to choosing this option. First of all, it may be more expensive to purchase and install, but it also increases your home's resale value. It is also has a classic and sophisticated look, which works for many different home styles. The structure of solid hardwood flooring is like no other flooring. There won't be bumps or gaps in this type of flooring. It also feels solid, where you can tell the difference if you stand on it.
Species of Hardwood Flooring
There is not just one type of solid hardwood flooring, but various types of species. The species is the type of tree it came from, such as a tigerwood, oak, or maple. Here are some popular types of hardwood flooring:
- Oak – You can get hardwood flooring in either red oak or white oak. Red oak is a popular color of solid hardwood colors and has an open grain. White oak is a light brown shade.
- Maple – For a cream and light-colored closed-grain hardwood flooring, maple is the best option. Light-colored laminate flooring is usually trying to replicate the classic maple color.
- Cypress – Cypress has a very interesting and rustic look, making it perfect for country-style homes and cabins.
- Beech – Beech is similar to cypress where it isn't so much as traditional but really wows you. Expect your beech hardwood flooring to be the focal point of the room due to its dramatic appearance.
Taking Care of the Hardwood Flooring
It is important that when cleaning and maintaining your solid hardwood floors, you only use products specifically meant for this purpose. Regular sweeping of the floors can help eliminate dust, though you might still have some dirt or grime on the floors. When this happens, you can try mopping just with water and not adding any soap. This will help give your floors a shine. Every once in a while, use a hardwood floor polish, though this doesn't need to be done often.