Choosing the right hardwood flooring for your home may feel a bit overwhelming at times, especially if your shopping journey begins online, as the options may feel endless. Hardwood flooring can enhance your home’s beauty while adding a sense of warmth to any room. The style and design will have a different influence on the ambiance in your home as well as influence your home’s resale value in the future. This is why it is important to take the time evaluate the type of hardwood flooring and the style of the planks you want to use.

With this article we aim to guide you in your hardwood flooring selection process by providing you with some helpful tips that will hopefully simplify your decision-making process.

1. Consider Traffic and Lifestyle Needs 

There are different types of hardwood flooring products available on the market and different products are designed to better withstand an active lifestyle and above average traffic than others. Considering your daily wear and tear needs will help narrow down your selection of hardwood options and allow you to look into if the product you are leaning towards can withstand your usage needs. The number of people living in your home, if there are children and pets in the house all should be considered when choosing any flooring.

2. Choosing Between Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Choosing between solid and engineered hardwood flooring is another factor that will need to be considered. Solid hardwood flooring is made of solid wood, as its name implies, whereas engineered hardwood on the other hand is made up of a thin layer of hardwood attached to several layers of plywood. The standard thickness for solid hardwood flooring is 3/4” while the thickness of engineered hardwood flooring generally ranges from 3/8” to 1/2″. This is important to remember if there are any height restrictions. Another aspect to consider between choosing solid versus engineered hardwood flooring is the type of subfloor it is being installed over. Solid hardwood needs to be installed directly over plywood, so if you are thinking of finishing your basement or laying hardwood on top of a concrete floor you will need to choose an engendered product, as they can be installed directly on top of concrete. If you choose to install solid hardwood over a concrete surface you will first need to add a plywood subfloor, which will add to the overall thickness of your new flooring and cost.

3. Should I Choose Prefinished of Site-finished Hardwood?

Hardwood flooring is available in prefinished or site-finished options. Prefinished hardwood flooring allows for a faster instillation as there is no need to sand and stain on site. They also have a harder surface as they have been coated with an aluminum oxide when finished. The site-finished hardwood flooring will need to be finished on site, adding an additional step and some mess as dust is created during the sanding process. However, this allows for customization to suit your home décor and to match hardwood flooring that already exists in other areas of your home.

4. Come Up with a Budget

Like any home renovation project, it is a good idea to have a rough budget in mind to work around, and it is no different when choosing hardwood flooring for your home. When building your budget, consider more than the cost of the hardwood alone, incorporate the cost of preparing the area (removing the old flooring), the installation of the flooring, and any other materials that may be needed to finish your project, perhaps trim as an example. Having a maximum budget will allow you to make decisions on product type, instillation methods, and if there are aspects of the project you can complete yourself.

When choosing hardwood flooring for your home, spending some extra time researching your options and building a plan can go a long way in ensuring you choose the product that meets your lifestyle needs and enhance your home’s beauty.