Deciding On Hardwood Floors

Remember, real hardwood will dent & scratch. However, a few dents and scratches are expected on any hardwood floor that has been lived on and just adds to the character. Hardwood is also not recommended in high moisture areas like next to bathtubs or below grade.

Three main factors go into selecting a your hardwood floor.

  • Style

    • Are you looking for an exotic, traditional, rustic, modern, or conventional look?
    • Do you want dark or walnut color, or do you like natural or white washed hues?

  • Function

    • Do you have pets and kids, or do you live a casual lifestyle? Perhaps Handscraped or Wire-brushed wood might be for you so you don’t have to worry about dents or scratches.

  • Cost

    • Solid hardwoods are typically more expensive than Engineered. Handscraped finishes are more expensive than smooth ones. If you like the look of Handscraped wood, but cannot afford Solid Handscraped, then an Engineered Handscraped might be the way to go. Swedish finish is a medium price range.

Types of Wood

Swedish Finish or “Finish on Site” is where raw solid planks are nailed down in the home and sanded & coated in place.

Engineered is generally less expensive than solid hardwood because only the top 1/8” of the flooring is the real wood attached to a plywood substrate. This also makes it more resistant to cupping or crowning in unstable environments, like below grade or high moisture areas.

Species- What species you choose determines the feel you create. Like an exotic Tigerwood creates strong slant to south of the equator. A Handscraped walnut will create an "Old World" feel. Quite often the species you pick is dictated by the color you are going for. Remember some species of wood are softer than others and will dent and scratch easier. To check how hard the wood you like is refer to the Jenka Scale.

Color- What color of wood you go with can be determined by many factors

  • Does the wood floor go well with the cabinets?
  • Does it complement the countertops?
  • Does the room have a lot of natural light or is a dark hardwood going to make it too dark?

Remember that with Swedish finish floors you can stain the wood almost any color you want.

Finishes- There are many different types of finishes that can be applied to hardwood floors. Handscraped, Wire-brushed, Stained, Water-based Swedish finish Satin or High Gloss, to just name a few.