Trying to choose the proper wood
flooring product for what room ? . . . .What are the types of wood
floors? ? ? ? MANY considerations must
be given when selecting a wood floor product. Here we will share the many types,
sizes, colors, application methods, and the variety of
wood floor species on
the market today. This information is a general, overall foundation in
helping you start your search. Always look at several product lines, make
comparisons as to wear warranties, thickness, type of construction, type
and number of finish coats, along with the many other important specifics outlined
Entry / Foyer -
Foyers tend to be more formal than not.
Making a design statement in this area has most recently become a
new wood flooring trend. Custom One-Of-A-Kind designs likeAccents, Borders, Inlays, and Medallions
are very popular. Always use outside walk-off mats and if there is no design, area carpets inside will help in keeping wear down.
These are most common spaces for wood floor installation in new construction
and remolding. The ease
of care, open floor plans, and the flow of traffic make this a very
popular area for wood floors. Dark and white/bleached wood floors do NOT
fare well in this area because of the high traffic, food & water
continuously being on the floor. In some very grainy species, the
direction of the wood floor can add to the wear of the product. NOTE: Kitchen wood floors should be screened
(lightly sanded) and recoated as needed, say every 6-18 months, depending
on the amount of traffic and cleaning habits. Make sure the finish used is
recommended by the manufacturer and/or is a compatible with what you have.
Good cleaning habits are very important part of
maintaining a wood floor, high traffic or not. Clean regularly, and always wipe food & water spillage immediately.
Formal Living and Dining Rooms- Most
often a more traditional formal setting, darker in color with the combination of oriental carpets. This area also often receives border
inlays, with turning blocks or corner accents to add a Custom-One-of-A-Kind
Design considerations for this area often will be compatible with the
furniture being used. Not matching the exact color but a darker or lighter
color in the same family of the floor color, thus complimenting each
other. Remember the darker the floor, the smaller the space will appear,
and maintenance consideration will increase.
Bathrooms - A bathroom that receives daily use would not fare well with wood floors, due to continued moisture
exposure. On the other hand a guest bathroom not used on a day to day
basis could be considered. Make sure to use area carpets/mats, and always immediately
wipe up any water.
Home offices, Bedrooms - Wood Floors work well in bedrooms, often with area carpets being used. Office settings
lean toward the traditional darker colors, and bedroom are a 50/50 tossup
on colors used. NOTE: Rolling furniture, chairs, TV stands etc.,
can damage the finish very quickly, if used day to day. Make sure the
floor is protected and/or the rollers are not made of metal or other
damaging materials. Regular
maintenance is required.
Species: What type of wood do you want? It's important, for example oak
floors could mean ten (10) or so different products, of 3 different
grades. IsDomesticorExotic species
desired? Some species can be used over
heat, many can not; some can handle humidity better
Grade: Different species have different standards, some none at all. The
higher the grade the "clearer" or more top of the line the
Cut: The angle in relation the grain as the log goes through the saw, 3
cuts are standard, plain, quartered, or riftsawn: The harder cut (quartersawn
has closer pours, thus making moisture less of an intruder.)
specific trademark color.
Today the naturals (oak and maple) are the most popular. Remember,
there will always be some color variation between boards, as each
piece may very well be from a different tree.
Make sure the above
specifications are spelled out, this will ensure the product
information is correct. This is very important as everyone
involved in the process ( you, the architect, designers,
builder/contractor and there associates) may not have the same
specification details as you or the person helping you specify the
job. Today there are a great number of products available, from
thicknesses, widths, styles, colors, patterns, and varieties.
Remember all manufacturers have their own "trademark"
colors, sizes & styles. For instance natural oak colored
floors has more than 30 names throughout the industry. If it's an
unfinished product, to be job finished, the sky is the limit on
check several retailers/contractors, there samples, and Showrooms,
Visit our Photo Gallery for Design Ideas or
SETTING PHOTO'S. Ask for a sample that can be
used to take to the areas that will receive the hardwood floor.
Listen to input from your contractor, and design consultant. The
floor you like may not suit the area. The color may not work with
the overall scheme of the decor. Always ask questions, if in
doubt, not sure, ASK ! It's much better the know ahead what to
expect, than after the fact and the floor is in place. The more
specific information shared commonly among ALL participating
parties, the less chance of misunderstandings and problems will
Question to ask before making a
Is this a high traffic area?
The finish and color will be affected by this. Darker colors tend to show
traffic quicker, where as natural wood colors of oak and maple do not. High
traffic areas need special attention when it come to recoating. Screening
(light sanding) should be a part of the preventative maintenance program for
your wood floors in these areas. Application of 1 or 2 coats as needed (every
6-18 months) is a good sound way to protect your investment. Make sure the
finish being applied is compatible with what is there and is of the shine that
will work well in that area. Satin or low shine urethanes tend to show less
traffic patterns than do the higher gloss finishes. Walk-off mats are strongly
suggested for these areas, ie- working areas of a kitchens, entry ways,
entries/doorways from the outside.
What type of wood do you like or will fit
the area? Some types are more traffic friendly than others; Is this species to
"grainy" or busy looking ? Some species are harder than others.
Maple is harder than oak; has less grain, yet maple can not be stained.
Remember, the type of finish and number of coats can also determine how well
your floor will fair in high traffic areas. See
considering the purchase of a wood floor products.
What color will work with the decor?
Some darker colors make rooms look smaller, show traffic patterns quicker.
Lighter, or natural color ( oak & maple being the most popular ) of
wood floor species can give an open, airy feeling, making the room appear
larger. With today's color trends this is of the most popular selections now
being made by the consumer, in home and office alike. Your floor should
complement the fabrics, furnishings and accessories already present in the
space, as well as enhancing the unique personality of the room as a whole. The
most popular color : red oak natural, maple natural running second, but with
today's eclectic decoration styles, anything goes. Darker colors - Formal or traditional interiors, Lighter colors -
country, casual and contemporary settings. There are many choices when
selecting the right floor for the rooms in your home, as there are many
species, colors and grain variations for you to consider. Also See
Room Setting Photo's Who is helping you make these choices?
Builders tend to stay with they same product that has worked for them before;
decorators tend to use color as the number one reason for choosing a
particular product, which may not be suited for the area. Whether a
prefinished or job finished product, have a sample of the wood floor material
to make comparisons with other products and materials, such as the
fabrics, paint colors and furniture being used in the room.
Trying to determine what wood floor product is
right for the conditions they will be installed; what
conditions they will subjected to; and last but not least, is this the right
floor for you? Some floors are more pleasing than others, but may not work in your
conditions, or may not work well with the traffic they will receive. The color
you like may be OK with the decor, but bad for wear patterns. The type of
wood, say pine for example, (not a hardwood), does not stain well and is
softer than oak causing it to "dent" more. Many factors should play
a part in your decision about the choices you make when it comes to wood floor
before buying a Wood Floor Product