Know About the Best, Most Popular Hardwood Floor Materials
Hardwood floors add both a classy look and value to the interior decor of any house or business. That is precisely why hardwood floors are one of the amenities that home buyers often look for when buying a house. However, if your home didn’t come equipped with them, it can be a bit pricey to purchase and install this type of flooring, not to mention its care and maintenance can be quite challenging as well.
Installing hardwood floors is also considered a wise investment because they are premium natural flooring materials that add value to any home or business. When properly and timely maintained, hardwood floors last many decades. There are now a wide variety of options available for wooden flooring.
Hardwood flooring usually comes in three varieties: plank, parquet, and strip. Parquet floors are composed of individual squares that make up a geometric pattern, and plank flooring strips are wider than the 1 ½- to 2 ¼-inches of width the individual segments in wood strip flooring usually have. Strips are the most popular, planks are the widest segments, and parquets are square panels that are used to create a geometric pattern on your floor.
Unfinished hardwood floors allow the homeowner to finish the product with a stain that matches the décor. Hardwood floors are durable and have stood the test of time. Homes that are more than 100 years old can still have the original flooring if they have been properly cared for. They just need sweeping or vacuuming and occasional cleaning with a wood floor cleaner.
Buyers are eagerly happy to pay top dollar for homes with hardwood floors. Homes with hardwood floors also tend to sell faster than homes with wall-to-wall carpeting. Builders consider hardwood flooring an upgrade and they don’t charge extra for carpet. It works with all styles of decorating, from modern to traditional. Hardwood flooring is available in several types of woods, such as walnut, oak, and cherry, and can be sanded and stained to suit the home owner’s taste.
You can also change the look of your hardwood floors when your style changes. It is so helpful to know all these details about these wonderful hardwood flooring options before you start deciding on any one of them. That is why, in this blog, Olympia Floors covers all the necessary information related to this topic to answer your questions and end your uncertainties.
Variety of Hardwood Floor Materials
- WALNUT: You’ll find the Brazilian, Asian, and American walnut hardwood flooring. I have the Brazilian one in my home and I highly recommend it; it is the hardest and most expensive variety of walnut hardwood flooring, and I also find it to be the prettiest as well. Its deep, rich, chocolate tones and large straight grain patterns make walnut a top hardwood flooring choice for drama and sophistication. It gives your floors and home such an attractive, eye-catching feature while adding value to it. It is suitable for medium-to-light traffic, because after a few years it may show wear in high-traffic areas. Walnut hardwood’s color variations from board to board are slight, giving walnut floors a smooth, consistent look that fits so well with many decorating styles, particularly with contemporary and classic. A solid hardwood walnut floor is fairly easy to maintain and can last decades. Essentially, it just takes a sweep and occasional mopping to keep it clean and tidy.
- OAK – This popular hardwood features two distinct types, both highly desirable as flooring options. Oak wood is well known for its durability and is the more affordable of the rest of the hardwood options. When properly maintained, floors made of oak wood can last nearly a century. The most common hardwood flooring choice available today is red oak, and it is well suited for most flooring needs. Its warm tones range in color from creamy pink, golden red,rusty brown to yellowish-brown – a hue similar to redwood. It features graceful swirled grain patterns throughout and has a tendency to vary slightly in color and grain pattern from one board to the next. Red oak complements diverse décor styles, including country, rustic, classic, and contemporary.
Chosen for its fine grain patterns and cool hues, white oak is a great choice for high traffic areas because it is even harder than red oak. White oak has gray undertones, such as whitish-grey, and no hint of red. Its grain and color vary only slightly, producing an overall floor effect of smooth elegance, which is suitable for many design styles.
- MAPLE – Maple wood flooring is the leading choice for contemporary spaces, with a light, natural finish and impressive durability. It is so highly durable that it is also used to make hard basketball courts and gym flooring. It is very popular in hilly areas and is suitable for most rooms. The color of maple wood is relatively lighter than that of oak. Prefinished maple hardwood comes in a wide range of hues. It’s a fairly light-colored wood, with hues that include light cream, beige, and tan, and it often features a slight reddish tint. Maple has a fine grain pattern, with occasional dark streaks and specks that add visual interest to the wood. This hardwood complements many styles, including eclectic, transitional, and contemporary. Maple offers a subtle grain pattern that works very well in large, open spaces or any area of the home, from high traffic hallways to formal dining rooms and cozy bedrooms. It is widely available and very affordable; different grades and types of maple are available to suit most budgets.
- HICKORY – When deciding to install a floor made of hardwood, then hickory should be your first choice, for it is very durable, resistant to dents and scratches, and ideal for high-traffic zones. Hickory flooring is a popular choice for people who like the look of natural hardwood, but want something that’s durable, isn’t too dark and isn’t very high-priced. Hickory is pretty inexpensive when compared to the price of oak or maple floorings; in fact, it was once a top choice for school gymnasium floors. It is one of the most popular hardwood flooring options for people who are looking for a bargain on a hardwood floor. Buyers get all the benefits of hardwood without paying the high prices associated with imported hardwood. Hickory is one of the hardest woods grown in the United States, making it suitable for any application that requires durability. So if you get a lot of traffic in the area of your home where you want to install new flooring, hickory is a great pick because it’s one of the harder and more durable woods. Its density makes it resistant to normal wear and tear that can show up as scratches and dents in the wood.
Hickory features mocha-tones, ranging from creamy beige with a hint of red to warm brown with dark brown streaks. With large knots and color that can vary substantially from board to board, hickory is well suited to country style and rustic. If a room is not very well-lit or has a dark color scheme, a light-colored flooring option like hickory can make it seem brighter.
- BRAZILIAN CHERRY – This is an extremely hard wood that, in reality, is not even a member of the cherry family at all but is instead a legume species. It does hail from the rainforests of Brazil and is available in several forms, ranging from solid hardwood planks to look-alike plastic laminates. When properly maintained, floors made of Brazilian Cherry wood can outlast the house itself. This red or salmon-colored wood often has attractive streaks of darker strips. Solid hardwood planks are difficult to install except by professionals, but engineered wood varieties are available, which are easier for DIYers to install. While the wood’s popularity among furniture builders and woodworkers has waned a bit, Brazilian Cherry is still regarded as a very strong and durable flooring material.
- BAMBOO – Though bamboo belongs to the grass family it is considered a prized option for flooring. Bamboos can grow and garner their sustainability within a span of 3 to 5 years, which is much less if compared with the other types of woods. The floors made of bamboo have a striking color and also texture and design similar to that of other hardwoods. Though people often doubt the sustainability and longevity of bamboo as a flooring option, it is known to last for almost 25 years. Bamboo floors, in most ways, perform in much the same way as hardwood. These floors, for the most part, are non-allergenic, although some people with chemical sensitivities can react to the small amounts of formaldehyde and VOCs that are present in the resins. If this is your situation, there are some very good bamboo flooring products that omit these chemicals. Bamboo is a trendy flooring material that can elevate the elegance of a space almost instantly. It has an appearance and a feel that is similar to hardwood and yet is still distinct and different. Like cork flooring, bamboo is a good material for consumers who like something different, or who want to make a statement by using a renewable resource. Aesthetically, bamboo can work with almost any home style, though it is best suited for contemporary settings.
The foregoing information empowers you with enough knowledge on the subject of hardwood flooring to leave you with a clear idea of which option you want that best suits all your hardwood flooring requirements and expectations. If you are looking for a reputable flooring service provider in or around Chicago, Olympia Floors is the one-stop flooring center you should rely on to satisfactorily fulfill all your flooring demands. We have been in the flooring industry for quite a long time and are fully equipped and adept at providing effective solutions for all your flooring needs, from start to finish, all materials and installations, at the greatest prices around with the highest quality. To know more about all the world-class services offered by Olympia Floors, you can visit our website or contact us directly. We are here to serve you and always aim to please! Your every flooring wish is Olympia Floor’s command.