In the beginning, there was oak. And in cities from America's upper east coast through the Midwest, builders of multi-unit flats in the 1920s and '30s installed oak flooring. It wasn't as inexpensive as carpet, but boy, did it last – which made those 'ole landlords very happy.
The fact is that quality hardwood flooring can add beauty and a richness to a room like no other décor decision. So think of hardwood flooring not as an expense, but as an investment.
Plus – and here's the fun part – homeowners have quite a few more choices than those builders of decades ago. ProSource Wholesale® showrooms carry numerous species of hardwood flooring, from the softest (Pine) to the hardest (Brazilian Walnut).
Before choosing a hardwood, here are a few basics to consider:
Now, what's the best hardwood for your home? That depends on…
Certain rooms are subject to more moisture than others – bathrooms, laundry rooms, rooms below ground level. Engineered hardwood flooring designed with several plies or an HDF core can be the answer to this challenge.
Of course, if you live in the South, you've got a much bigger challenge – humidity throughout the home. Here again, though, engineered hardwood flooring is a great solution.
Note that moisture barriers and sealants should be used in below grade rooms. Your ProSource team can help inform you what types of wood work best for your area / need.
Wear And Tear
Normal traffic in a home isn't going to do a lot of damage to your hardwood floors, but throw an above-average number of toddlers (and their toys) into the mix, not to mention pets (before their de-clawing!) and… well, you get the idea. It's decision-making time!
You can choose a harder wood to alleviate some of these concerns. Looking for a floor with protective finishes/coatings will protect it from minor scuffs and scratches. Also, lighter colored wood hides wear and tear better than darker wood stains.
We're talking more than mere moisture here. We're talking pool – and dripping kids. Or a home in the Northwest – enough said! But don't let such factors force you to rule out hardwood floors. A small buffer zone in the form of a tiled room (or as they say in snow country, a "mud room") can save your hardwood floors from premature warping.
Generally speaking, hardwood shouldn't contradict a room, it should enhance it. In a formal room such as a library or living room, dark hardwood helps deliver a rich environment. In a less-formal room like a kitchen or kids room, light hardwood lends to the atmosphere. Your local ProSource showroom can really give you some great advice here.
No-Scratch Hardwood? Really?
Well… not exactly; despite promotional claims. Hardwood is a natural product… a living thing. And like all living things, it can't hide every abrasion. But also like all living things, hardwood can take a few nicks and keep on looking good.
Believe it or not, people pay big bucks these day for pre-scratched guitars that replicate the famous guitars used by their favorite rock and roll heroes. So there you go! If that’s your taste with flooring, the always popular distressed hardwood may be the choice for you.
Don't panic about a few small scratches; they add charm, history and maybe a good story or two to the choice of beautiful hardwood flooring.
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