If you’re thinking of putting in wood floors, then summer is probably the best time for you to make that step. To help you decide on what flooring to use, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Hardwood floors are the most versatile flooring option, with so many options to choose from. What other type of flooring never goes out of style, lasts for generations, matches every décor and is so easy to maintain? In our last newsletter, we gave you a rundown of the different types of wood flooring and available species. If you’re thinking of upgrading your floors as part of your summer renovation, then we’ve got a few things for you to keep in mind when making your decision. 

Where Do You Plan to Use It?

Hardwood floors can be installed almost anywhere, and they are a popular choice for living spaces. Before you decide on your flooring, you need to ask yourself questions like:

  •  Am I installing this flooring in my bedroom, den, hallway or another room?
  • How many people live in my house and will traverse this area daily?
  • Do I want these floors to last for 5 years or 50?

 Answering these questions will help you know if you’re looking for something more durable, something elegant or maybe something that combines the best of both. 

Choose from Solid vs. Engineered 

Which will it be: solid hardwood flooring or engineered wood flooring?
Solid hardwood flooring is as the name suggests, solid wood all the way through. It can come between 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Because it’s solid wood, it’s extremely durable and can be sanded and refinished many times, lasting for decades. However, solid wood is susceptible to changes in humidity, and isn’t recommended for below-grade basements. 

Engineered hardwood flooring is a veneer of real wood glued to several layers of wood underneath, like plywood. Engineered wood has greater stability over time (not expanding or shrinking with humidity/climatic changes) which makes it a good choice for any area of your home, including below-grade basements. Unfortunately, engineered hardwood isn’t as durable, and can only be sanded and refinished once or twice during its lifetime.

While solid wood is pricier, it’s sure to give you a great return on your investment. On the other hand, engineered wood is for those who want the look and feel of hardwood throughout the entire home, without the impact on their budget. 

What’s Your Budget? 

Obviously, how much money you have to spend will have tremendous weight on your final choice. The cost of wood flooring depends on the type, species and the finish. Typically, solid prefinished wood flooring ranges between $2.49 and $12.69 per square foot, while engineered prefinished wood flooring ranges between $1.69 and $8.79. The cost of installation will depend on the type of flooring and the company you choose (or if you decide to DIY) but it usually runs about half as much as the flooring.

Color and Finish

Hardwood comes in a variety of brown, black and red shades, but your options for color will vary based on the species of wood. If you plan on finishing your floors, keep in mind how finishes can affect the color of wood, and try to choose a species that is closest in color to what you want your final outcome to be.  For example, walnut wood has a naturally deep color that lends itself to darker finishes.

Choose a Wood Species

It’s pretty unusual to find a style of home that doesn’t look good with hardwood floors. However the style of your home might just dictate what species of hardwood looks best. Some species are harder and more durable than others, and they all have natural colors that may change/darken/lighten with age. Species like oak, hickory, and maple are common domestic choices because they are affordable while being very durable. There are some exotic wood options like Brazilian cherry that are also quite durable but are more popular for elegant areas. 

If you’re thinking of upgrading to wood floors, you can’t go wrong. If you already have hardwood floors, summer is a great time to think about adding some life by refinishing them. All types of hardwood floors have unmatched natural beauty and go with any decor — modern, traditional, country, you name it. Hardwood flooring goes in any room, although kitchens and basements warrant special considerations. If you’re planning to add wood floors this summer, give us a call for all your hardwood installation or refinishing needs in Charlotte.