Hardwood floors can be a great investment for your home. This type of flooring lasts a long time and can be refinished multiple times to look like new again. However, there are some things to consider prior to your hardwood floor installation.
First, you will want to make sure you have a professional hardwood floor installer check the moisture level in your home’s subfloor. Prior to your hardwood floor installation, this test will allow you to select the correct flooring material for your home, as well as let you and your installer know what kind of moisture protection might be necessary to protect your investment. Hardwood flooring is recommended for low humidity areas of your home, and special precautions will need to be taken in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms, as excess moisture can damage flooring.
If you decide to go with true hardwood flooring, you will have solid wood planks of uniform thickness placed directly over your floor joists during your hardwood floor installation. There are so many great woods, stains and finishes to choose from. Popular wood types include:
- Hickory – Many colors available. Resistant to light and very hard.
- Maple – Usually tan in color with straight grain. Very sturdy and resistant to light.
- Oak – Usually wheat in color with some light resistance and medium hardness.
- Walnut – Dark brown in color with swirled grain. Very light resistant but less hard.
- Cherry – Usually reddish brown. More sensitive to light and softer than other types.
If the moisture level is higher in your home, you may consider engineered hardwood flooring instead. Instead of solid planks, this type of flooring consists of a thinner strip of wood that is attached to multiple layers of plywood. It can be refinished, but not as many times as hardwood floors. It is also more resistant to moisture damage and can be installed over existing concrete or hardwood flooring.