Picking a floor is the most basic, but also most important decision for anyone starting a home renovation project. If you’re shelling the money for a hardwood floor, then you want to get really good quality wood that is worth its price.
So we created this guide to help you find the best quality hardwood for your floor. Now let’s jump right in.
Only Purchase From a Reputable Seller
The first and most important step is to do your research. It can be too easy to be tempted to go for the cheapest seller but they usually have lower quality wood, shady business practices, and environmentally harmful production that makes the planks not worth the discount.
You’re literally buying the floor you walk on, so make sure that whoever you buy your planks from comes from a high quality and reputable seller.
Engineered vs. Solid Wood
Once you know where to buy your wood from, you need to start making some decisions about the kind of flooring you want on your home. The first choice you need to make is whether you want engineered or solid wood flooring. Here’s a breakdown of their differences:
- Thin layers of wood on top of each other
- Prevents natural movement
- Keeps its shape
- Can be placed directly on top of concrete or other subfloors
- Just one straight plank of wood
- More traditional
- A little lighter
- Needs something below it, is usually a bit higher
This is the second most important decision you make. While you will be doing a finish to get the wood exactly how you like, you do want to pick a type of wood that is as close to your desired finish as possible.
In North America, you generally have two options, oak and walnut. Here is some info to help you decide which one is best for you.
- By far the most popular for North American hardwood
- Takes stains well
- White oak in particular is very popular because it doesn’t have the pinkish tones other oak has
- Darker than oak
- Great for a darker finish
- Has a richer, warmer tone
The last choice you need to make is the grain pattern. There are three types you can choose from, each a fine decision on their own. The choice here depends entirely on the kind of style you’re going for. So without further ado, here are the grain styles:
- Traditional woodgrain
- Creates these patterns called “cathedrals”
- Is the pattern on plain old normal wood
- also known as flat-sawn
- Long, linear, consistent grain
- No cathedrals
- Similar to rift-sawn
- Additional, irregular patterns
- Almost a 3D effect
- Good for a modern look
And there you have it! Everything you need to make a confident purchase on hardwood planks.