Hardwood flooring is quickly gaining popularity in many modern and contemporary homes. Homeowners are choosing hardwood flooring and laminate flooring as a more stylish alternative to traditional carpeted floors. Hardwood flooring comes in a wide variety of colors, styles and price ranges making it an excellent choice for any family, regardless of their budget or personal home décor preferences. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive DIY project like laminate flooring, or high-quality solid wood flooring, hardwood flooring will transform your house into a place you are proud to call home.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
There are a variety of options when you are shopping around for hardwood flooring. The two main types of hardwood flooring include solid wood and engineered wood floors. Solid wood floors are typically the most expensive variety and may come unfinished or prefinished and are indeed made of a solid piece of wood.
Engineered wood floors are also unfinished or prefinished and slightly less expensive than solid wood floors. Engineered wood floors are made with thin wood planks that are glued together and laminated.
While not technically “hardwood,” laminate flooring is often considered in the wood flooring category. As the least expensive and easiest to install, laminate flooring offers a stylish alternative for families on a limited budget with the added benefit of being resistant to scratching, staining, and sunlight fading.
How to Choose Hardwood Flooring for your Space
Set your budget before beginning to search for the perfect hardwood flooring. The amount you have to spend on the flooring and installation will help determine which flooring fits your needs. Visit your local home improvement store to get an idea of how much each type of flooring costs in order to create a realistic budget.
Decide what rooms you want the wood flooring in and consider the style and color scheme of that room. Different types and colors of flooring complement different rooms. For instance, if you are planning to install hardwood flooring in your family room, choosing a medium wood grain is ideal as it works well with most family room color schemes and keeps the visible wear and tear to a minimum.
Take into consideration how much foot traffic the room gets when choosing your hardwood flooring. If you plan to install the flooring in your entryway, laminate flooring is favorable since it is more resistant to staining and scratching, as opposed to solid hardwood floors.
Use the hardwood flooring to accent the room you want to install it in. If you want to add flooring to your bedroom, you can choose either a light or dark wood grain based on the color scheme of that room.
How to Install Hardwood Flooring
- Prepare the flooring beforehand by stacking the planks on a flat surface and removing plastic from the planks. They should be left out of the box for 48 hours prior to installation in order to let the air to circulate around them.
- Prepare your existing subfloor by cleaning it of debris and dirt and removing any base molding that is in the way. If you are installing the wood flooring on a new concrete floor, it will need to be fully cured before you begin the hardwood installation.
- Install the vapor barrier first, one row at a time starting from the longest wall in the room; following the manufacturer’s instruction for overlapping.
- Trim the door jambs by first using a piece of flooring against the door jambs as a guide, and then cutting the door jamb pieces parallel to the subfloor.
- Install your first row of wood flooring by laying them parallel to the longest wall of the room. Continue adding flooring one piece at a time, tapping each plank into place and avoiding gaps. Once you get to the last plank, you will need to trim it in order to fit snugly against the final wall.