Design and Lifestyle:
Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring
When choosing the ideal hardwood flooring for your specific project, it can be overwhelming considering the sea of styles, colours and finishes to choose from. A good place to start is to think about the room or space and how it is typically used. For practical reasons, your ultimate choice meets both your aesthetic and performance expectation. The process of choosing the right hardwood flooring can be broken down to considering the species of wood you prefer, what colour or finish works best in your room, the style and appearance of the floors and the different grades and cuts of the flooring.
The room and your lifestyle needs – Type of room
Considering the kind of room being renovated is a great starting point and can definitely inform the type of hardwood flooring that is available to you or is ideal for the space. Take for example, flooring in a kitchen—this type of renovation project may be best for a certain colour or finish quite different from that of a bedroom or a formal dining room. Dark coloured hardwood flooring usually translate into a more formal look, and can also bring out the warmth in other elements of decor, perfect for a dining room. Consider also whether the room is ever exposed to the outside and if dirty shoes might track through the room; if so, you might need to ask your representative for more durable finishes. As well, think about what type of transition you’ll have between the new and old floors and adjoining rooms.
Since all hardwood flooring can suffer from water damage, both solid hardwood and engineered floors are not designed for heavily wet areas like bathroom floors or laundry room flooring. Cupping (edges are raised) and crowning (centre becomes swollen, edges sloped down) are just a couple side effects of a water-related disaster. Kitchens, in general, are an okay place to install both flooring types as long as the floors are well maintained and are free from standing water.
Some types of hardwood floors and finishes hold up better to heavy use. If the room will have a lot of foot traffic, children or pets, you’ll want to choose a harder species. Think about how the room will be used and what kinds of activities will take place there. In high traffic areas, choose a natural coloured hardwood floor in matte finishes since these are better able to conceal scratches, small dents, and dust.
Size, sight line to the rest of the home, and flow between rooms are all things to consider when choosing hardwood flooring. Consider also the lighting in the room, and how the placement of windows, skylights and indoor lighting affect the look of your floors. In large open spaces, flooring often becomes a central element of decor, Bold and deep colours such as various shades of red (Jatoba or Santos Mahogany) or oak and ash stained in similar colours can be the type of hardwood flooring capable of adding immediate character to a large office, public interior or other large spaces.
Some rooms are built with low ceilings; for this type of renovation project, it is best to go with a light coloured wall and light flooring colour to create the illusion of space. Dark coloured floors in small room with dark walls can make the space look gloomy and dense.