Alright, you’ve got your remodel all picked out. You know what part of the home you’re fixing up, and whether it’s the kitchen or the living room, you’ve decided you want wood floors. While the decisions only get harder from here, know that you made a great choice!

When it comes to flooring, wood is the classic option. It holds up forever, comes in a ridiculous amount of varieties and colors, and looks great in just about every room, so it’s perfect for your remod. The problem is, with all the options, how do you know what to pick? Wide planks or strips? Engineered wood or natural? Luckily, we’ve put this guide together to help you pick the wood flooring that fits best with your remodel:

Board Width

First, you’ll want to get an idea of how wide you want your flooring to be. There’s a few options here:

  • Strips: Anything less than three inches wide is considered a strip. The most traditional option, strips tend to make a room look bigger, and add more space.
  • Planks: Anything wider than three inches is called a plank. A very popular choice lately, planks tend to give rooms a more stately look, but are also used with destructed wood for a rustic feel.
  • Parquet: Parquet square flooring is generally flooring made up of square pieces of wood, set so that the grains in each square create a pattern. This is best used in smaller spaces since it is such a bold option.

Wood Species

There are tons and tons of different hardwood species. People generally choose based on color and hardness of the wood species.

  • Domestic woods – Options like oak, maple and cherry are the most popular North American choices, since they’re local, and they’re highly durable.
  • Exotic woods – While some exotic options are more expensive, they offer a striking appearance, and interesting color choices.

Textures

Depending on the room you’re flooring, you’ll want a certain texture:

  • Shiny – A shiny floor, generally coated with polyurethane or some sort of stain, will look bright and new, giving your home a clean look.
  • Distressed or hand-scraped – A great option for areas that get a lot of foot traffic, like kitchens and entryways, distressed and hand-scraped woods disguise future wear and tear, and offer a rustic, timeworn look.

Hardness

This is one of the most important considerations in your material choice. If you’re flooring a high traffic area, like the kitchen, or if you have young kids and pets, you’ll want to choose an option that is more durable, like red oak or cherry. If you’re flooring an office, or it’s just you and your partner at home, a softer option like pine might be better for you.

Hardwood vs Engineered

There’s a lot of talk lately about which is better, and the truth is that it’s mainly a factor of personal preference, and where you want to lay the flooring. You’ll also have to know what your subfloor is made out of.

  • Hardwood – Hardwood flooring is created entirely out of one piece of solid timber. If you have plywood or particle board subflooring, then hardwood will work perfectly for you, since it’s nailed into the subfloor. It’s great because it can be refinished multiple times, and will last forever. The problem with hardwood is that in different weather conditions, it can shrink or shift a bit. It’s also important to note that if you have cement subflooring, you’ll probably have to go with engineered wood flooring, because cement can’t be nailed into.
  • Engineered – Engineered wood flooring is constructed of a thin top layer of hardwood that is bonded to other layers below it to prevent the floor from shifting when the weather changes. Each layer is glued perpendicular to the layer before, for optimal durability, and the flooring itself is glued to your subfloor. The problem with some engineered wood floors is that the top layer is so thin that it often can’t be refinished in the event of scratches, or once it starts to age.

Finish

The last big decision you’ll have to make is whether you prefer prefinished or site-finished floors. Prefinished means that the wood comes to your home already finished, and site-finish means that the person who installs your flooring will finish it after all the wood has been installed. So what are the pros and cons of each?

  • Prefinished – Prefinished flooring is great because you know exactly what it’s going to look like when you buy it. There’s no surprises or guesswork, because the way you buy it is the way it will come. The potential downside of prefinished flooring is that it doesn’t give you the option to fix anything after it’s been installed, and the finish may not be as even as with site-finished flooring
  • Site-finished – Site-finished flooring is preferred by many homeowners because it ensures that all of the flooring looks exactly the same when it’s finished, and it’s also easier to even out any imperfections after the boards are in place. This is also the easier option to repair if something gets damaged. The only downside is that you’ll have to wait a little bit longer on the installation, while the wood and urethane cure, and the fumes from the chemicals clear out.

If you’re looking for a new look for your home, or if you’ve got a home improvement project in mind, give True Value Home Pro a call at 616-414-7578. We’re West Michigan’s first choice for home renovations, remodels, and additions, and we would be happy to help you with any type of home renovation or project you have in mind.