Anytime you make a change to your home, you want to make sure it adds value. Hardwood flooring is a great way to beautify your home and increase its worth. If you ever reach a point where you want to sell, buyers will appreciate the beauty that real hardwood adds to your home.Another added benefit of hardwood is its easy maintenance and cleanup.
With the latest technology, you can find flooring that rarely, if ever, needs refinishing. A lot of wood floor products allow you to spot repair instead of refinishing the entire floor.There are many styles available to capture any look from classic American home to a relaxed timeworn feel. Hardwood has many different styles, species and installation types that will satisfy your flooring needs.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring comes in two main categories: Domestics and Exotics.
Domestic hardwood flooring: this is made from trees harvested in North America. These typically have a warmer look and feel. When you imagine the classic American hardwood floor, you are most likely thinking of domestic hardwoods. One key benefit to this type of flooring is price. Exotic hardwoods typically run a bit pricier. The most common domestic hardwood floors are:
- Red Oak
- White Oak
- Black Walnut
- North American Cherry
- North American Maple
Exotic Hardwood Flooring: this comes from trees found outside of North America. These typically come from places like Brazil and Australia. If you are looking for something unique, exotic hardwoods have some great options. They typically feature colors not often seen and different styles of graining. Some of the most common exotic hardwood flooring options are:
- Brazilian Cherry
- African Mahogany
- Patagonian Rosewood
Common Hardwood Flooring Designs
There are a few different types of designs you can choose from. Here is a brief description of each:
- Mixed Media: This hardwood flooring design allows you to inlay almost any other material to accent your wood floors. If you like the look of a ceramics or a nice marble they can be laid right into the hardwood.
- Inlay: This design is slightly different than the mixed media option. This involves an inlaid border to decorate the outer edges of your floor, or you can have a medallion pattern in the center of the floor to create a nice focal point.
- Parquet: In this design, rectangular blocks of wood are aligned in attractive geometrical patterns. These are typically glued down creating a nice classic look.
- Stencil/Stained Inlay: This design requires a steady hand. It is created by taping a pattern onto a pre-stained hardwood floor. You then stain a new darker coat on top. The pattern is removed to reveal your beautiful pattern with an inlaid appearance.
Hardwood Flooring Textures
There multiple hardwood textures to choose from. The most commonly used is a smooth, completely finished surface. You will see this look in most homes with hardwood floors.Another texture that adds a warm, homey feel is called distressed. This hardwood flooring is usually distressed in the factory by hand. This can also be done using a machine. It gives the floor a naturally worn look. This is a good choice for those looking for a lived-in feel.
Hand-scraped is a texture that creates a unique look for every home. Each hardwood plank is scraped by hand making every board different from the rest. This produces a look similar to the distressed texture with a naturally worn, lived-in feel. One key difference is distressed typically looks more beat up while hand-scraped looks worn by time. Because hand-scraped is done by hand, it can be more costly. There are options to have this done by machine, but it is hard to capture that genuine look.
A hardwood flooring texture gaining popularity is called wire brushed. In this process sapwood gets removed with wire brushing. This reveals the grains in the wood to give it a grainy appearance and texture.