New Home Planning ~ Step 7: Wood Flooring Selection

Wood floors have been a staple flooring option for a very long time - for good reason. They are attractive and impart a sense of warmth to any room as well as being very durable. Just take a look at some older historical homes around the country, and you’ll find wood floors that have lasted hundreds of years.

WHERE TO USE

Wood flooring can be used in almost any room including kitchens, family rooms, bathrooms,and  children's rooms!  They promote a healthier home because wood floors are easy to care for, easy to clean, and don't let dirt and allergens build up where you can't see them.

Because wood flooring is the largest design surface in every room where they are installed, they should be designed in conjunction with the cabinetry, and stonework also planned for that room.  You can then choose your window and door trim and stain once the floors are selected.  This ensures a cohensive and timeless design.

WOOD STYLES

When considering wood flooring there are many different species to consider including hardwood floors like White Oak wood floors or cherry wood floors.  Hardwood floors are very versatile and can be used for both formal or casual settings.

You can also choose pine floors like Eastern White Pine and Long Leaf Heart Pine if you are looking for a more authentic, historical appearance. 

Using their SlowCraft™ manufacturing process Carlisle can grade the flooring to have the exact look you wish to create.  Do you want more knots for a more casual feel, do you want a more contemporary feel with less knots? 

If you are looking for a wood floor with a bit more history and/or a floor that provides a wealth of natural patina and character than you may want to consider a reclaimed wood floor

WOOD FLOOR COLOR

When considering different styles of wood floors, keep in mind that naturally every species will look different in terms of color, grain, and character like knots.  Each wood will also take a stain and sealer differently.   For example, if you look at a sample of Maple and White Oak in the same stain, it may look quite different. 

It is important to consider what you are looking for in your room.  Will the room be large with alot of natural light? If so you may want to consider a browner floor like a dark stained  oak hardwood floor .  Or are you partial to a more reddish look such as the cherry wood floor?

Because the floor comprises such a large surface area it is a very important process to plan and think through each design element and how they will work with your floor. It is also something that you will have for many years to come and even though you may make other changes to your home, generally, hardwood floors are a long-term investment.

HARDNESS

Another aspect to consider when selecting a wood floor, is the hardness of the wood.  Although wood floors vary in hardness, you don't necessarily need to choose a floor because of how hard or soft it is.  You want to choose a floor that will create the look you want and hold up to the areas where it will be installed. 

For example, this Eastern White Pine floor was installed in a turn-of-the-century reproduction home in Maine.  You can see how after nearly 15 years the pine does show some dings, scratches and distressing but this is just the look the client wanted! 

Now if you are going for a more contemporary or formal feel, the dings and dents that are synonymous with pine floors may not be a good fit.  In that case a hardwood floor like Hickory or Oak floors will be a better fit.

SOLID OR ENGINEERED 

Another important consideration is whether to use a solid wood floor or an engineered wood floor.  The good news is that Carlisle hardwood floor can be crafted in either solid or engineered wood.  The decision to choose between the two will depend on a few different variables - where your home is located, the seasonal changes, how you want your floor to look from season to season, and the installation method/subfloor. Read more about Sold wood floors vs. engineered wood floors today to see which option is right for you and call Carlisle at 800.595.9663 as their Specialist are very knowledgeable and can offer you some helpful expertise on the subject.

TEXTURE

If an older looking floor is something that appeals to you, and works with your new home’s interior décor, you may want to consider a hand distressed wood floor. Having toured the Carlisle facilities, I can tell you that these floors are indeed scraped by hand - I saw where they do it and watched the procedure, which is very labor intensive.  But the end product is quite distinctive.

Summary

As an additional note, make sure that you only purchase top quality wood flooring, that is made from the best wood available. This will effect how stable your floor is, how it performs from season to season, durability, aesthetics and even the ease of the finishing process. 

Not all wood is created equal, so you want to do your homework to understand how the wood floor is made, what quality material is used to make it, how it is dried, even where the trees come from.  You also want to have your floor installed by a qualified contractor/installer. 

The right flooring can last a few lifetimes, if chosen and installed correctly, and add warmth and beauty to any room in your home.  There’s just something about the warmth of wood.

 

Written by:

Todd Vendituoli, owner of Todd Vendituoli Construction L.L.C. in Vermont .  He also writes for:
 
http://www.thebuildingblox.com/
http://www.socialmedia4builders.com/

Find him on the web at:
https://twitter.com/#!/TALV58
https://www.facebook.com/todd.vendituoli
http://www.glpl.us/Buildingblox.com
http://about.me/ToddVendituoli


Filed Under: Hardwood Flooring | Pine Flooring | Planning for your New Floors | Reclaimed Flooring | Residential Spaces |

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