Tips To Find The Best Hardwood Flooring

How to Choose & Install Hardwood Floors: A Complete Guide

The choice of flooring is one of the most basic yet important decisions a homeowner has to make when undertaking a renovation, as it underpins everything else. While there are plenty of different options, from carpet to terrazzo, one material is the acknowledged standard: hardwood

But not all hardwood flooring is created equal, and selecting a product isn’t simply a matter of choosing a preferred color. A range of other factors can have an impact on both aesthetics and performance.

Select Solid or Engineered Flooring

Traditionally, hardwood flooring came in thick planks of solid timber. Today, solid hardwood is still widely available, but many companies also offer engineered flooring—planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting during expansion and contraction cycles. “All wood moves in three directions: There’s tangential, radial, and longitudinal movement,” says Jones. “With engineered products, you’re creating opposing forces within the board to try to restrict the natural movement of the wood.”

Choose Prefinished or Site Finish

Hardwood planks can be purchased with a raw face that gets finished by a professional after installation, or prefinished, which arrives with the stain and topcoat already applied. The advantage of prefinished wood is that “you know exactly what you’re getting,” says Caroll, noting that once you select a product, you’ll have an exact sample to use in coordinating your home’s color palette and choosing other design elements, such as textiles, wall coverings, and cabinetry. Prefinished flooring also takes less time to install, because there’s no need to apply color or sealant. “When you choose to do a site finish,” he adds, “you’re rolling the dice a little bit, and relying on the skills of the flooring contractor to get it right.”

Choose the Type of Finish

There’s a whole spectrum of finishing products, says Jones, from penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to site-finish polyurethanes to prefinished UV-cured urethane finishes. But to simplify, most finishes fall into one of two categories: oil or polyurethane

 

Designers’ Top Tips for Finding Your Ideal Hardwood Flooring

When choosing the perfect wood floor for your home, think like a designer. Consider style, maintenance, and budget before you commit to any one type of hardwood. With so many colors and materials to choose from, you may find it challenging to make a selection. To help you narrow down your options, we at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab spoke to other expert interior designers about how they choose the optimal hardwood floor for their clients’ spaces.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When choosing a hardwood floor, consider style, personal preference, lifestyle, and the home’s construction. At Kerrie Kelly, we often tour a client’s home before any renovation or design work begins so we can see firsthand how the family interacts with the materials and elements in their home. Our team frequently notices things even the client doesn’t, like the family’s tendency to keep shoes on in the home or how often the dog runs down the hall after the kids.

Think about Lifestyle

For homes with a high level of wear and tear, such as those with kids and pets, homeowners should choose a durable variety of wood. The harder the wood, the better it will resist dings, dents, and scratches. Oak, maple, and cherry have a high level of hardness, while pine, mahogany, and chestnut are softer and more prone to damage

Think about Color

When it comes to color, Cole advises clients to take inspiration from their environment and surroundings. An airy and bright setting like a bungalow in a sunny desert town calls for a different look than the sleek and moody atmosphere of a city apartment. “If you live in Palm Desert, you might lean toward lighter hardwoods. Alternatively, darker hardwood flooring would be appropriate for living in the city in a high-rise,” she says

When to choose dark colors: As Cole points out, the wood finish that’s right for you is subjective. It depends on personal preference as well as overall style. However, if you just can’t decide, you can’t go wrong with the versatile look of a dark wood floor. “If you are going for a timeless look, a darker wood tone will always be applicable,” says designer Kia Weatherspoon, president of D.C.-based Determined by Design

 

THIS IS HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HARDWOOD FLOORING FOR ANY HOME

FIRST, THE PROS AND CONS OF HARWOOD FLOORING

Hardwood is a natural, long-lasting choice for home flooring. Still, it comes with maintenance responsibilities. Before you do anything else, it’s crucial to consider the pros and cons of installing wood floors in your home

HARDWOOD IS DURABLE… AS LONG AS YOU DON’T OVEREXPOSE IT TO WATER.

While hardwood floors are durable and can withstand spills and stains with proper treatment, they are especially prone to water damage (kind of like the wicked witch of the west); this makes them a risky candidate for areas like your bathroom, kitchen, and entryways. Installing hardwood in rooms where they are exposed to liquid will lead to damage.

IT IS EASY TO REFINISH, BUT NOT SO EASY TO INSTALL.

Most people will tell you it is easy to refinish hardwood floors, as long as you can stay off of them for a few days. Even so, it is difficult to install them, even for experienced DIYers. So, in the beginning, be prepared to hire a professional for the installation. At the very least, consider

IT IS CONSIDERED A WISE INVESTMENT.

The homeowners’ paradigm is that hardwood flooring will increase the value of your property. Most homebuyer’s jump at the idea of purchasing a home with hardwood floors — in many cases, even when carpet covers the original wood flooring. So, in the long run, the initial investment is probably worthwhile

HARDWOOD FLOORING ISN’T LIKELY TO GO OUT OF STYLE.

Hardwood floors are timeless in the decor world; it was considered a luxury interior decoration asset as early as the 1600s and is popular still today. If you choose hardwood, your floors are likely to stay in style as long as your home stands. According to GentlemanZone Magazine, hardwood stands for luxury and fine taste. It is the warm and shiny glaze of wood that noblemen love to this very day.

 

Choosing Hardwood Flooring

hardwood—just the word evokes images of charm, richness, and classic looks. Wood floors last a lifetime and gain “character” with age

Board Widths. Select from narrow strips (less than three inches), wider planks (more than three inches), parquet squares, and—a new option—squares and rectangles. The traditional choice, strips give the illusion of more space, while planks impart a rustic look. Parquet floors, with the distinctive geometric design, suit formal spaces

Wood Species. Hardwood species vary in durability, grain patterns, and color. Oak, maple, and cherry are among the most common species due to their hardness. Exotic woods like mahogany, and Brazilian cherry aren’t as durable, but are prized for their striking appearance

Colors. Hardwoods run the gamut from blond to black, depending on species and finish

Textures. You can get hardwood floors that look shiny and new, or you can buy brand new wood that looks like an antique and adds timeworn character to your room Many manufacturers offer distressed and hand-scraped hardwoods that will disguise heavy use over the years and give the floor an appealing timeworn appearance from the moment it’s installed.

 

Types of wood flooring

From modern laminate to reclaimed hardwood, the warmth and texture of wooden floors – whether faux or the real deal – is a popular choice for homeowners.

Laminate flooring is a compressed fibreboard plank, covered with a photographic image of wood with a protective overlay.

Bevelled edges, a more varied set of images and embossed features, such as knots, will give a more natural look and texture, but they will cost more. Brands such as QuickStep and Pergo offer more premium options

High traffic areas that will need frequent cleaning, such as living rooms, studies and playrooms. Some products include a waterproof core, which manufacturers claim are suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. If you’re thinking of tackling these rooms, see our guides to planning a kitchen and planning a bathroom.

Each engineered wood floorboard consists of three or four layers of wood, glued together to create a plank around 14mm thick. It has a real-wood veneer of around 4mm thick on top, which means it can be sanded back and treated to restore the original finish if it becomes scuffed, worn or damaged.

Choose Good Colour For Your Tile Flooring

Kitchen Tile Flooring – Useful Tips

Why Choose Tile Flooring?

Tile flooring is all about versatility. Perfect for all climates and spaces within the home, new tile floors are ideal for homeowners looking to increase the value of their kitchen area.

Tile floors are water-resistant and provide a smooth surface that repels moisture for easy maintenance. Tile is typically very easy to clean, and any method of floor cleaning will work for tile flooring.

The options to customize tile floors are endless. Whether you’re looking for ceramic, vinyl, or wood-look tile kitchen floors, you can mix and match patterns, colors, textures, and sizes for a unique design all your own.

Tile flooring is also a great cost-effective option for homeowners who don’t want to spend a small fortune on real wooden floors. Little details such as grain, knots, and differences in shade are easy to replicate on tile floors.

Tile flooring is easy to replace and doesn’t require extensive renovation for days or weeks at a time. If damages occur, you can easily replace a single tile (or multiple tiles) without ripping up a section of your kitchen floor.

 

TIPS FOR SELECTING TILES

If you would like to make an informed decision when it comes to selecting tiles for your space, here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Down to the basics

The first step is deciding what kind of tile you need. For flooring, Vitrified tiles are the best bet since they are durable and can withstand heavy traffic. For walls, you can choose either ceramic or porcelain tiles as they are non-porous or do not absorb stains. For outdoors it’s best to opt for either matt finish or anti-skid tiles to avoid slips.

  1. Size-it-up

Tiles these days are available in a wide range of sizes. Some popular sizes for floors include 300×600 mm, 600×600 mm, 610×610 mm and 800×800 mm, while wall tiles generally come in sizes of 250x350mm, 300x450mm, and 300x600mm. According to experts, large format tiles lend a more spacious look to space. However, it is advised to match tiles to room size.

  1. Choose the right finish

With digital printing, it is now possible to recreate any pattern on a tile. However, the pattern and design should not be the only deciding factor. It’s important to identify the right finish as well. Glossy tiles look great on walls, while stone finish tiles are ideal for exteriors. For bedrooms, wood finishes are recommended since they lend a warm feel while for bathroom and kitchen walls one can experiment with metallics and mosaics in combination with plain tiles. For living rooms, natural finishes and designs are recommended while for restaurants its advised to look for anti-skid, high resistance vitrified tiles with a pattern or a design that suits the déco.

  1. The right colour

For flooring, it is usually advisable to opt for light colours to create an intimate look indoors. For outdoors one can experiment with darker colours. Light colours make the room look more spacious and airy while dark colours are easier to maintain.

  1. Plan ahead

Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This takes care of cuts and breakages should you have any. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles.

 

Choose a floor tile that can withstand your family’s habits:

When choosing floor tile it has to be durable enough to withstand heavy traffic, pets, spilled foods and cleaning supplies.  Ensure that you purchase floor tile that is called ‘floor tile’.  If you choose a wall tile for a floor the coefficient of friction (COF) will be too low, which in turn means it’s too slippery for walking. Instead choose floor tile that has a slight raised pattern, or texture to it to allow for a safer kitchen floor. For a more refined and elegant look consider using quarry tile. The clay and limestone based tile is fired to look like natural stone. Quarry tile is more expensive than the traditional ceramic tile, but is gorgeous in the right application.

 

CONSIER WARM OR COOL KITCHEN TILE CHOICES

The kitchen is another room in which tile colour selection is important, particularly because this is the heart of the home.

When deliberating over what tile colour to use in the kitchen, consider the colour of your kitchen units and surroundings.

Depending on the look you are after, colours such as cream,  beige and brown as floor colour options can contribute to creating an impression of warmth, whereas colours such as blue and green against the walls, achieved through glass mosaics or wall tiles, will make the room feel cool.

A red, auburn or orange palette against the walls will create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

 

 

Advantage

Tile comes in many colors and shapes, so it can fit in with any style of home. Thanks to modern printing technology, it’s also possible to create ceramic tile with virtually any pattern. It can mimic the look of natural stone or even wood, though it won’t feel like wood underfoot.

Tests at Consumer Reports found porcelain tile to be the most durable type of flooring, resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture. It’s also very easy to clean. Glazed ceramic and porcelain tile require very little maintenance, though other types need more.

Disadvantages

Tile feels cold and hard underfoot, and it makes footsteps sound louder. Glazed ceramic tile can also be slippery unless it’s coated with a special anti-slip finish.

Durability varies depending on the type of tile you choose. Terracotta tile requires regular sealing. Glazed tile is easy to clean and maintain, but the lines of grout between the tiles can stain if you don’t seal them regularly. And although tile is a durable material, it’s not that easy to fix if a single tile happens to crack.

Best Uses

Consumer Reports says porcelain tile is the best choice for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens and mudrooms, as well as for wet rooms such as baths and laundry rooms. It’s also ideal for an enclosed porch or sunroom.