What is Hardwood flooring?
Since the dawn of time, hardwood flooring installation has been preferred by both businesses and homeowners, as their go-to floor surface covering. This elegant and versatile flooring is made from trees that take longer to grow and mature making the result sturdier and more durable than softwood or laminate flooring.
The wood is cut into planks that may vary in size and thickness depending on the functional and aesthetic needs of a space. These hardwood planks are then either used individually or stuck together to create a robust hardwood floor surface covering. Apart from being strong and dependable, hardwood flooring also adds a mod yet vintage look to any living space.
Types of Hardwood flooring
There are several ways to categories hardwood flooring to help you understand and choose better:
1. Solid vs Engineered Hardwood flooring
To start with, hardwood flooring can be broadly categorized into two types – solid and engineered. While solid hardwood floors are made of single planks, the engineered ones are made by pressing together several layers of wood.
2. Type of Hardwood
Apart from this, hardwood floors can also be categorised based on the type of wood used to make them. Oak, Ash, Teak, Maple, Hickory, Mahogany, American Walnut, Ebony, Brazilian Cherry, and Brazilian Chestnut are some of the more popular choices for hardwood floorings.
While each of these has a distinct and gorgeous colour, their grade, age, and stain (if you choose to add one), will determine the final flooring colour. The best hardwood flooring is made from readily available and durable wood such as Oak, Cherry, and Maple.
3. Strips vs Planks
Lastly, with a little customisation, engineered hardwood flooring is also made available in different types based on the dimensions of the planks used. While strips are thinner (usually less than 3 inches wide), planks use thicker wooden boards (usually more than 3 inches).
When deciding on hardwood flooring, it is important to consider all of the above categories. In order to effectively pick the most functional, easy-to-manage flooring that also complements the decor, it would be wise to speak with your carpenter/decorator.
Benefits of Hardware Flooring
1. Hardwood floors are water-resistance
One of the biggest benefits of hardwood flooring is its durability and water resistance. In this regard, layered engineered hardwood is better than solid floors. Unlike laminate flooring, it does not expand and contract due to changes in weather conditions, especially in regions prone to humidity.
2. Hardwood floors are durable
Moreover, as opposed to softwood flooring, it is less likely to go through wear and tear caused by long-term use. Added to that you can always choose to get a hardwood floor refinishing done if you are looking for some change over time.
3. Hardwood floors are versatile
Apart from their functional value, hardwood floors are versatile and timelessly classy. They can easily enhance the look and designs of all kinds of spaces – traditional, rustic and even contemporary – by easily complementing the decor with their grandeur.
4. Hardwood floors are customisable
You also get to pick the style and colour of the hardwood. That way, your floors can be lighter in shade by having them sanded or stained to create dark hardwood floors as per your preference.
5. Hardwood flooring are sustainable and biophilic
Lastly, hardwood floors are sustainable, biophilic and can adjust to any kind of climate and weather changes. Their biophilic properties are crucial in today’s day and age where cities are creating a disconnect between humans and nature. Hardwood floors help bring nature into your homes and create a sense of calm and connection with it.
Who can install Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood floor installation is best done by a professional carpenter who knows their way around wood types and their compatibility with climatic changes. Ideally, narrowing down on a finish carpentery increases your chances of finding a high-quality hardwood floor and getting it installed perfectly.
Moreover, a reliable finish carpenter will also get custom hardwood flooring refinishing installation done for you over time whenever you might need it.
Can Hardwood flooring Last a long time?
A well-maintained hardwood floor can last for a very long time i.e., for at least 20 years or more. Some traditional homes have hardwood that is as old as 90-100 years old. However, hardwood flooring needs to be refinished or recoated to increase its lifespan and retain its quality. Moreover, hardwood floor water damage is a real predicament for most hardwood floor owners. Letting water seep in for even a couple of hours can cause damage. Hence, it is important to regularly clean and maintain your hardwood floors using the right methods.
How can Hardwood Flooring be Cleaned and Maintained?
- Hardwood floors can be effectively cleaned by sweeping or cleaning them with a special hardwood floor mop. It is important that the mop is not soaking wet, does not leave any standing water and you aren’t using vinegar or other harsh detergents.
- A weekly vacuum (set to a “hardwood” setting) should further take off any other hard-to-get grime and dust.
- Avoid anything that could scratch your floors. Use liquid scratch concealers, wood floor polish, floor wax and light sanding for occasional maintenance and revitalization of the wooden surface.
- If you want to know how to get paint off the hardwood floor, the best way is to scrape the top layers (of the paint) off lightly. The remaining can then be cleaned with a mix of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice.
The same methods of cleaning and maintenance can be applied to both solid and engineered hardwood floors.
Health Benefits of Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood floors offer the following benefits:
1. Inculcate nature
Hardwood floorings are known to be biophilic i.e. they inculcate elements and energies of nature and introduce them into your home or office space. Biophilic elements are known to be great mood and productivity boosters and help encourage enhanced overall mental well-being.
2. Free of allergens
Apart from that, hardwood floors stay free of allergens (such as dust, mites, pollen, and pet dander), which greatly improves the air quality. This also makes them easier to clean and sanitise, thus leading to a healthier living space.
Popular Flooring Trends
Home decor trends are always evolving with time to infuse newer styles and tastes into designs from the past.
- One of the most popular flooring trends has to be the return of brown shades. Dark hardwood floors make living spaces look bigger, cosier and more luxurious.
- To cut down on the faux look created by excessive layering of hardwood floors, oil finishes are making a reappearance. While creating a more rustic and classier look, they also allow the floors to age beautifully.
- White oak for its versatility is here to stay for a while. It adds a touch of grace and makes any living space look more cohesive.
- Ultra-matte finishes for hardwood floors are being preferred by homeowners over a glossier look. They do add a different kind of charm to any home.
- Bamboo floors are gaining popularity for their luxurious look and sustainable composition.
- Stained floors especially in greys, whites and blacks are also seeing a higher demand in the home decor/ finish carpentry space.
Hardwood flooring has become popular because of its versatility, class, sturdiness and biophilic design. If kept safe from wear and tear, it can last for a long, long time. They can also be sanded, stained and given different finishes to further enhance their look. They can make a home look super trendy while also giving it a minimalistic look. With proper care and a dependable design, hardwood floors can really keep your home aesthetic for a long time.