10 Things To Consider Before Investing In Hardwood Flooring

Monica Gray - September 30, 2023

If you’re sick of your carpeted or tiled floor, you might be thinking about investing in a hardwood floor for your home. Besides, it looks and feels cozier and more sophisticated! Even though hardwood flooring might feel enticing, make sure you consider a few things before ripping apart your floors and investing in hardwood. It’s certainly a stylish and exciting way to upgrade your home, but there’s not one size fits all. You have to be prepared for an immense amount of maintenance, like cleaning and sweeping. If your home is prone to leaks, it might be a good enough reason not to get a hardwood floor. Let’s take a look at 10 things to consider before investing.

Ambiance Hardwood Flooring

What’s Your Budget?

To get the best bang for your buck, you shouldn’t get the cheapest hardwood floor out there. Prices vary depending on the species of wood, the size of the plank, and whether you choose solid or engineered wood. Thick planks are more expensive than thinner planks. There’s a reason they say buy cheap, buy twice. If you’re on a stricter budget, oak flooring is the best bet. But if your budget runs a little higher, then you can get the rarer, more expensive walnut flooring. If you have a strict budget, try and do as much research as possible before selecting your hardwood flooring. You don’t want to look at your bill at the end and wonder if they mistakenly added an extra zero.

Additionally, when considering your hardwood flooring investment, it’s crucial to account for installation costs and long-term maintenance expenses. The installation process can significantly impact the overall quality and lifespan of your floor, so hiring experienced professionals is often a wise choice. Furthermore, investing in proper care and maintenance, such as regular cleaning, refinishing, and addressing any minor damages promptly, will help your hardwood floor retain its beauty and durability over time. Remember that the true value of your hardwood floor lies not just in its upfront cost but in its longevity and the satisfaction it brings to your living space. (Ambiance Hardwood Flooring).

From the Forest

The Type Of Finish Can Make Or Break Your Flooring

There are many different finish options when it comes to hardwood flooring, and each will set you back differently. There are so many to choose from, including glossy and matte. Different types of finish also need different care. Glossy is more likely to show scratches, while matte can take a little bit more damage, which is great if you have kids or a pet. There’s also UV-oiled wood flooring, which has been cured with a UV light. Hand-scraped wood flooring has been scraped by hand to give it a rough, unique look. Distressed wood flooring has been intentionally aged, to give it a vintage look. If you live in a humid place, you’ll want a hardwood floor that’s moisture-cured polyurethane, which takes in the air’s moisture. There’s also wax finishing, which is the oldest type of finishing out there.

It’s essential to consider your interior design style and the overall ambiance you wish to create when selecting a hardwood floor finish. Glossy finishes tend to lend a more formal and elegant atmosphere to a room, while matte finishes can contribute to a cozier and relaxed feel. Hand-scraped and distressed wood flooring options can evoke a sense of rustic charm and warmth, making them a perfect fit for a country or vintage-themed decor. UV-oiled finishes provide a modern touch with enhanced durability, fitting well with contemporary or minimalist design schemes. By aligning your finish choice with your design vision, you can achieve not only a durable floor but also a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing living space. (From the Forest).

Flooring Stores

Pick Your Wood Species

When it comes to hardwood floors, not all wood is made equal. There are all sorts of different hardwood flooring to choose from, including cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. The most common hardwood floor is made from oak. It’s attractive to look at, stains well, and is relatively resistant to water damage. Teak is a natural water-resistant hardwood floor, and even though it’s beautiful, it’s fairly expensive. If you’re looking for a hardwood floor with different patterns, you’ll want hickory. All it takes is doing quite a bit of research before investing in one type of hardwood.

When it comes to hardwood floors, not all wood is made equal. There are all sorts of different hardwood flooring to choose from, including cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. The most common hardwood floor is made from oak. It’s attractive to look at, stains well, and is relatively resistant to water damage. Teak is a natural water-resistant hardwood floor, and even though it’s beautiful, it’s fairly expensive. If you’re looking for a hardwood floor with different patterns, you’ll want hickory. All it takes is doing quite a bit of research before investing in one type of hardwood. (Flooring Stores)

House Beautiful

How Much Maintenance Can You Put In?

This is a huge factor to consider when investing in hardwood. If you’re not willing to put a lot of TLC into your floor, then you need to choose a species of wood that’s more low-key and doesn’t need a lot of attention. If you have the time, you can choose a type of hardwood that looks more beautiful but is a bit harder to maintain. Your hardwood floor needs to match your lifestyle. There are specific ways to maintain your hardwood floors. The most simple way to take care of your hardwood is to avoid using a steam mop, wipe away spills immediately, and never drag furniture across your floor. Always use furniture pads, and make sure you vacuum weekly, especially if you have hardwood floors that need more maintenance.

The maintenance requirements of your hardwood floor should align with your daily routine and lifestyle. If you have a busy schedule and limited time for upkeep, selecting a hardwood species that’s less demanding in terms of care and maintenance is a wise choice. On the other hand, if you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to keep your hardwood floor in pristine condition, you can opt for a species that offers stunning aesthetics but may require more attention. It’s crucial to strike a balance between your desired look and the practicality of upkeep to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful hardwood floor that complements your way of life. Following proper maintenance practices, such as avoiding steam mops, promptly addressing spills, and using protective measures like furniture pads, will contribute to the longevity and beauty of your hardwood floors. Regular vacuuming, especially for high-maintenance hardwoods, is a simple yet effective way to keep your floors looking their best. (House Beautiful)

The Spruce

What Climate Do You Live In?

Depending on the sort of climate you live in, you’ll need to pick a type of hardwood floor that suits your climate. Hardwood floors are prone to swelling or shrinking with changes in humidity. Hardwood floors don’t pair well with tropical humidity, so this may make or break your decision. The ideal humidity for hardwood flooring falls between 40% to 60%. During winter, your hardwood floor is already prone to shrinking, which is why you might find cracks and gaps between your planks. You’ll have to make sure your home is well-ventilated and temperature-controlled to better take care of your hardwood floors.

Your geographical location and local climate play a significant role in the performance of your hardwood flooring. In regions with extreme humidity, like tropical areas, it’s essential to select hardwood species that are more resistant to moisture-related issues. Additionally, maintaining the right indoor humidity levels, typically between 40% to 60%, becomes crucial to prevent swelling or shrinking of the hardwood. In colder climates, where indoor heating can lead to decreased humidity levels during the winter, you may encounter issues like cracks and gaps between the planks. To mitigate these challenges, it’s essential to ensure proper home ventilation and temperature control throughout the year, creating an environment that not only safeguards your hardwood floors but also enhances their longevity and overall condition. By factoring in your climate and taking appropriate measures, you can enjoy the enduring beauty of hardwood flooring in any location. (APlus Hardwoods).


What Type Of Household Do You Live In?

Take into consideration what sort of household you live in. If you have a house full of playful pets or rowdy children, you’ll want more durable hardwood floors, like hickory or oak. Softer floors, like pine, do well in homes with adults. Hickory and oak don’t scratch easily and can handle the stress that comes with stampeding feet or furry paws. Any pre-finished engineered hardwood floors do well in households with kids. These floors have a harder finish thanks to the aluminum oxide layers. Light colors also do well with hiding scratches. Matte finishes aren’t as shiny. Shiny floors tend to reveal more scratches.

Your choice of hardwood flooring should harmonize with the dynamics of your household. If your home is a bustling hub of playful pets or energetic children, it’s advisable to opt for hardwood species renowned for their durability, such as hickory or oak. These hardwoods are less susceptible to scratches and can withstand the rigors of daily activity, including stampeding feet and furry paws. In such households, pre-finished engineered hardwood floors with their robust aluminum oxide finish layers are a practical choice, as they offer added protection against wear and tear. Furthermore, lighter-colored hardwoods tend to conceal scratches better than darker shades, making them a sensible option for homes where maintaining pristine floors can be a challenge. Additionally, matte finishes, being less shiny, are adept at concealing minor imperfections (such as dog nail marks), ensuring that your hardwood floors maintain their appeal even in the midst of an active household. (Urban Floor).

From the Forest

What Type Of Installation Will You Do?

Will it be a DIY or are you going to hire a professional to install the hardwood floor? It’s recommended to hire a pro to install your hardwood floors to prevent any mistakes or damages. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to installing hardwood flooring. Doing it yourself is always cheaper, but a professional will give you beautiful, successful results. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what sort of installation you want.

Deciding whether to embark on a DIY hardwood floor installation or enlist the expertise of a professional installer is a crucial consideration. While the DIY route may appear cost-effective, it comes with its share of challenges and potential pitfalls. Hiring a skilled professional can help prevent costly mistakes and ensure a flawless installation. The experience and precision that professionals bring to the table often result in a more aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting outcome. Ultimately, the choice between DIY and professional installation depends on your comfort level, time availability, and budget. It’s essential to weigh the benefits of a beautifully executed installation against the potential risks and complexities, keeping in mind that the investment in professional installation can pay off in the form of a stunning and enduring hardwood floor that enhances your home’s value and appeal. (From the Forest).

Flooring Inc

Think About Your Existing Furniture

Think about your current furniture and decor. Will your new hardwood floor match, or will it clash? If you’re prepared to make some major changes to your home, then you might feel ready to change up your floor and your furniture. You don’t want your home to look cluttered and unkempt, so if you’re not willing to change up your current decor to blend with your floor, then you might not want to invest in hardwood flooring. If you already have wooden furniture, the best thing to do is make sure your furniture is one or two shades darker or lighter than your hardwood floor.

Consider the harmony between your new hardwood flooring and your existing furniture and decor. The aesthetic cohesion of your home’s interior is vital for creating a visually appealing and harmonious space. If you’re prepared to undertake significant design changes, including updating your furniture and decor, transitioning to a new hardwood floor can be a transformative choice. However, it’s crucial to maintain a sense of balance to prevent your home from appearing cluttered or mismatched. If you’re unwilling to make substantial adjustments to your current decor, it’s worth evaluating whether hardwood flooring is the right fit for your space. For those with wooden furniture, a practical approach is to ensure that your furniture complements the hardwood floor by selecting pieces that are one or two shades darker or lighter, creating a cohesive and balanced interior design scheme that enhances the overall ambiance of your home. (Havwoods)

Direct Wood Flooring

Consider What’s Under Your Floor

Don’t forget what’s under your hardwood floor. You’ll need the correct underlayment before installing your hardwood floor. You also need to take into consideration any potential water leakage that might ruin your hardwood flooring. Consider if you need sound reduction, underfloor heating, and a moisture-proof barrier. If you’re laying your hardwood floors on ground level, underlay won’t be as much of a factor as it would be on a second or third-floor level.

Paying attention to what lies beneath your hardwood floor is paramount to its longevity and performance. Selecting the appropriate underlayment is essential for a successful hardwood floor installation. Assess your specific needs, such as the requirement for sound reduction, underfloor heating, or a moisture-proof barrier. In regions prone to water leakage or high humidity levels, safeguarding your hardwood flooring from potential damage is crucial. When installing hardwood on ground-level surfaces, underlayment considerations may differ compared to higher floors, where sound insulation and moisture protection may be more critical. (Direct Wood Flooring)

V4 Wood Flooring

Read The Fine Print For Warranty

Warranties vary for hardwood flooring. You’ll need a warranty to act as a security blanket in case something goes wrong. You’ll need to know what you’re covered for, and for how long. Most warranty lasts for 10-30 years. Many hardwood flooring have a structural and finish-based warranty. Variations with color will happen naturally over time, which is typically not covered by warranty. Hardwood also goes through natural expansion. Proper installation will prevent future damage.

Furthermore, delving into the specifics of your hardwood flooring warranty is an essential step in ensuring peace of mind for your investment. These warranties serve as a safeguard against unforeseen issues, but the coverage and duration can vary significantly. Generally spanning a range of 10 to 30 years, warranties often encompass structural and finish-related aspects of your hardwood. Keep in mind that while warranties protect against manufacturing defects and installation issues, they typically don’t cover the natural, gradual changes in color or the expected expansion of hardwood over time. To secure the long-term beauty and functionality of your hardwood floor, expert installation remains a key factor in preventing potential damage that might otherwise fall outside the warranty’s scope. (Best Laminate)