Common Questions When Considering Hardwood Flooring
ou’re thinking of having hardwood flooring installed in your home then you probably have a lot of different questions. We have an FAQ section devoted to the questions that we are often asked by customers, but this article aims to field the questions that most people have before they have made their minds up about whether or not to even have a wood floor in their home.
How do I choose the right species?
Russian Heavy White Oiled OakCustom Finish Rustic Oak, Russian Black, Oil WaxedThe colour you want comes into it here, as some species will take more work than others to stain or finish. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you want your floor to have a visible and natural-looking grain in it or not. It is possible to make a light wood such as Russian oak look almost dead white without painting it – or black, if you prefer.
Custom-Made Walnut PanelGloss Lacquered Sapele Floor PanelsOr you might opt for a design that seeks to emphasise wood’s ‘imperfections’ – like these specially constructed walnut panels or this sapele quarter-sawn parquet design. Some types of wood are harder to stain than others, and you could end up fighting against the natural qualities of the species. We’d advise that you decide on the look you want first, then talk to your installation company to see what they would recommend.
Do I want light or dark floors?
The two oak examples we showed you above are literally at opposite ends of the spectrum. Pretty much any colour inbetween can be achieved, but the choice of light or dark has a little more to it than design preference.
Dark Floor Pros
A dark stain will enhance the natural grain in wood. Naturally dark woods like mahogany, walnut and jatoba are (not to put too fine a point on it) gloriously rich looking, and will fade less over time. If you finish them with natural finish (as opposed to a high gloss) they will generally appear to wear better.
Dark Floor Cons
Dust and pet hair tend to be light and to catch the light, so they will be more apparent, as will any scratches. Some darker woods like maple are not easy to stain and this will add to the cost of your installation. A darker floor will tend to make the room look smaller than it is. Our advice: don’t ‘fight’ the wood; use the species that suits the look you want.
Light Floor Pros
A lighter floor will usually make a room look bigger. You might not think it, but they will generally tend to look cleaner for longer and bear the odd scuff and scratch better than their darker counterparts.
Light Floor Cons
Sunlight and the UV it contains can in certain circumstances make your floor darken with age. We have put this as a ‘con’ as it does upset some people, but at Türgon we don’t regard this as a negative point – for example maple will take on a beautiful golden tone as it ages.
Can I put wood flooring in areas that see lots of wear and tear?
People often shy away from using wood in ‘high-traffic’ areas, but the truth as far as we’re concerned is that (with the exception of your bathroom) the right hardwood floor will do just fine anywhere and certainly in your kitchen, hallway, or in your business. Properly sourced, properly installed and properly maintained, a wood floor will take a battering and still look great.