When it comes to remodeling your home, wooden flooring can beautifully transform your space like nothing else. That said, many people don’t fully understand the implications of their design choice when making it; namely that you can’t just pick any old wood and be done with it!
Choosing your flooring is a little more complex than just picking out the type you like the look of. But with a little knowledge under your belt, you’re sure to find a flooring option you love which is fit for purpose too.
Here are 6 things you need to think about before you choose your flooring.
- Your Specific Circumstances
Depending on your living habits, your floor might take an awful beating, so it’s important to choose a wood that can withstand your lifestyle. Those with young children or pets, or those who have a lot of traffic through their house should opt for a hardier wood, like White Oak or Australian Cypress.
Likewise, if your floors barely see a high heel, paw or toy, then a softer wood like American Black Walnut or Beech are options for you.
If you’re unsure of the durability of a specific wood, you can check out its Janka rating or discuss your options with a local flooring consultant who will be able to give you recommendations on suitable woods for your lifestyle.
- The Type Of Look You’re Going For
Once you’ve narrowed down your search by the wood strength, you need to consider the type of look you’re going for. While you may love one style in the showroom or online, you must think about how it will fit with your overall aesthetic; it may not have the desired effect in your space.
As a rule of thumb, darker woods create a sophisticated edge and suit larger homes while lighter woods are great for a modern, fresh vibe.
It’s also really important to pick a wood that doesn’t clash with the cabinetry, fittings and overall style of your room. Taking home a sample piece of flooring can help you establish whether a certain wood type will work or not.
- The Lighting Inside Your Home
Design elements aside, lighting is another crucial factor in choosing a flooring option. Dark woods lend themselves to spaces that have a lot of natural light and lighter colored cabinets, trimwork and décor. Conversely, if you don’t have a lot of natural light and your design aesthetic is on the dark side, a lighter flooring can not only compliment your other design choices but also ensure the room doesn’t appear smaller than it actually is.
- General Maintenance And Upkeep
Hardwood flooring isn’t just set and forget. The upkeep of your floor is something you need to be aware of before installing it. When you install your floor, a protective coating will be applied to the surface to ensure the longevity of the boards, but over time this will fade, and you will need to recoat them.
Although you won’t have to do this too often over the lifetime of your floors, the frequency in which you do this will depend upon how much wear your floors endure and how well you upkeep them in terms of day to day maintenance.
That said, general maintenance is generally quick and easy, but it’s something you must be diligent about. While vacuuming and sweeping should be part and parcel of your floor cleaning routine, mopping should not. Applying steam or excessive wetness to your floors can damage their finish so wiping up spills with a damp cloth as soon as they occur is essential. Any cleaning product you use on your floor should be fit for purpose.
- Whether You Want To DIY
When it comes to installation, you have two options; to DIY or not! Obviously, professional installation will save you time and effort, but doing it yourself will undoubtedly save you money. Before you balk at the idea of installing your own flooring, it’s not as difficult as you may think. While it may seem a daunting prospect, with the right training and support (usually provided by your floor supplier), it can be a piece of cake!
- The Most Important Thing To You
Essentially, choosing your wood comes down to you deciding what the most important factor is to you. By doing this, you can dramatically narrow down your search and pick the right wood for you quickly, rather than aimlessly wading through a myriad of options. You can spend hours trying to decide which way you should go and you’ll usually always have to compromise somewhere. Outlining your main requirement can really help you feel more comfortable in choosing a floor that doesn’t tick absolutely every box!
If your main concern is budget, opt for a cheaper wood. If longevity and hardiness are paramount, choose a wood in line with this, and so on!
Happy wood hunting!