When selecting flooring for your home remodel, you have to think about your lifestyle. You need to ask yourself a lot of questions about the functionality—not just the form—of your floor materials. For instance, what you want to install may look good on paper, but is it practical when you imagine your day-to-day life?
Time and effort
So many people want the classic beauty of hardwood flooring in their homes. And it’s true, wood does become more beautiful with age. If you are the kind of person who takes great care to maintain the integrity of the wood, if you’re concerned about fading and sun damage, and if you are able to spend the time to refinish, stain, etc. as often as needed, then certain types of hardwoods may be more preferable to you.
If, however, you want the timeless look and appeal of hardwood without as much hassle, you may opt for prefinished wood floors. This means they’ve already been stained and finished by the manufacturer, so there is little to no added work needed from you. For many people, the look of a high-maintenance floor without the high-maintenance is the way to go, because they just don’t have the time to do it themselves.
On the other hand, people who prefer unfinished wood flooring usually want the option to customize the look and stain themselves. They also like the idea of being able to choose from a larger variety of colors and grain patterns. And they have the time to customize it themselves.
Aging and fading
If you’re concerned about the aging process of wood floors, you’ll find very little variation over time with woods such as oak and hickory. If you choose something like American Cherry or Brazilian Cherry, you will see more of a color change over time.
The effects of the aging process can be prevented or slowed down depending on your floor’s exposure to sunlight. If you have hardwoods in rooms that are bathed in light during the day, you’ll likely see fading and color changes over time. You can minimize this by moving furniture and rugs to change up the amount of flooring that is exposed. You can also select finishes that will help resist fading.
Are you a dog person?
If you share your house with large dogs—breeds like Dobermans, Great Danes, etc.—you’ll need to do some testing before you purchase your wood floor. While the Janka scale ranks the hardness of a wood, it may not always tell the whole story. For instance, the Janka scale will tell you how well a floor will do when you drop something or make a dent, but not necessarily the daily scratches of a dog’s nails. This daily wear and tear can be a shock to a homeowner who thinks she’s chosen the hardest, most durable floor imaginable. Don’t just look at the wood, but the finish and how it’s applied. This will give you a better idea of what the surface can endure.
As always, only use professionals who can tell you how many coats of finish a particular species of wood requires if you have large pets, or which woods do better in high-traffic areas of your home. Work only with someone you trust to give you answers to your questions. At Sequoia Ltd., we help you through the selection, installation and maintenance process—from start to finish and beyond.
That’s why we’re the premier flooring experts in New England. Contact us today for more information.