7 key decisions to make when choosing a hardwood floor
Species of Wood
The species of wood is perhaps the most critical design choice with hardwood flooring. It will determine the grain and visual appearance of the wood. Species like Red Oak, White Oak, Ash and Hickory will have a more impactful visual appeal, while species like Birch, Beech and Maple will have a quieter appearance. One advantage of the woods with more grain is that they will reduce the appearance of dents and scratches.
Forests play an essential part in regulating our climate, water and food sources. Over 1 billion people around the world depend on our forests for their survival. According to the World Resources Institute: “30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Most of the rest has been fragmented, leaving only about 15 percent intact.” Certain wood types like Rosewood and African Teak are controlled and protected species. At Emporium Carpet & Flooring we believe in supporting the legal logging industry, and protecting our families from potential exposure to chemicals and inconsistencies from hardwood that may not stack up to Canadian flooring standards. Making sure that your hardwood was sourced responsibly is one way that we can help to support our economy and our resources for future generations.
Since the 1950’s the width of hardwood flooring has been increasing. Today, a significant amount of the jobs we install are 5” or greater in board width. Fashion is the reason why. Wider widths are what you see in magazines and are the most desirable. They’ll give a room a more expansive feel.
Colour is probably the hardest decision to make. At the time of writing the ultra-dark tones are trending out in favour of lighter and medium shades. Greys and Whites are also popular options. Lighter tones are the easiest to look after. There is often no right answer. It simply comes down to your vision, design theme, preferences and the existing elements in the space.
Engineered vs Solid vs Lock
Engineered wood flooring is the most popular option now due to demand for wide planks. The engineered boards are simply more stable and less likely to have an issue in the future. Engineered can also be installed on concrete, below grade, over radiant heat and many other places where solid wood can’t go. With that said there are major differences between different engineered floors. Solid-sawn veneers vs rotary veneers are the most significant difference and play a big role in terms of cost and quality. We’ll be happy to show you the difference. Locking hardwood floors are easy to install and usually well-suited to basements and condos.
Finish, Texture & Gloss
There are many different types of wood flooring textures now. Brushed finishes and hand-scraped finishes are among the most popular. Having a textured finish greatly reduces the visibility of wear and makes upkeep so much easier. Currently 50% of floors we install have a textured finish and we expect this trend to continue over the next ten years. Traditionally Semi-Gloss has been the standard for wood flooring but new options like Satin and Matt are very popular because they hide wear better and give a clean modern look. Quality brands like Mirage and Mercier let you choose what gloss you would like on your new floor.
Character and Grade
These are very personal opinions depending on the desired style. Options range from a very clean grain to wood with knots and mineral streaks.
We install solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring and lock & click hardwood flooring in residential, commercial and new construction settings on a daily basis in Niagara. If you are building a new home or have an insurance replacement project give us a call today!
We service St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Fonthill, Fenwick, Niagara on the Lake, Chippawa, Stevensville, Ridgeway, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Wainfleet, Beamsville, Jordan, Vineland, Grimsby, Thorold, Stoney Creek, Hamilton, Ancaster, Burlington, Smithville, Dunnville, Binbrook & Oakville.