Most people love the look of hardwood floors, making them one of the top flooring options in a new home. Hardwood is durable, and you don’t have to deal with the obvious signs of high traffic that are so common with carpeting. However, not all hardwood is created equal; durability, maintenance requirements, and costs will vary depending on what you’re looking for. For these reasons, anyone considering hardwood should carefully consider all of their options. Taking the time to read the details will help you determine which option might be best for you.
Hardwood vs. ‘Hardwood’
Genuine hardwood flooring comes in a variety of species and colours and can last a long time. This timeless flooring option will give your new home a classic, welcoming feel.
Each piece of wood is nailed to the sub-floor for added durability. Aside from washing the floor regularly, Having a floor that shines and impresses each time you walk through the door is worth the extra effort.
Newer materials can mimic the look of hardwood while being more affordable. Laminate planks are made from synthetic materials, but they can look like real wood. The same is true of vinyl planks with a wood design. Both types ‘click’ together like a puzzle and ‘float’ on top of the sub-floor. They are more likely to resist signs of wear and tear, and vinyl planks are even waterproof. These types of floors might require special cleaning products, but they won’t require extensive maintenance over the years. In most cases, a weekly cleaning is sufficient.
Which Is Right for You?
Hardwood floors look great, especially if you’re thinking about putting them in a popular area of the home like the kitchen or the dining room. The choice will also likely be attractive to future buyers if you ever want to sell your home. However, hardwood can actually be softer than synthetic options. High heeled shoes or chair legs can scrape the finish off and leave small marks on your expensive new floors. Spills can damage the wood if not cleaned up immediately.
Those looking for kid-friendly design features for their home will probably find synthetic flooring to be a better option in terms of durability and longevity. These floors can really handle the wear and tear that comes with the territory. If anything does damage the floor, repairs are likely to be more affordable.
No matter which type of flooring you choose, you’ll want to choose a high-quality material. Even within the same product category, there can be variations among styles and brands.
Ask your builder which brands and materials are available, then seek out reviews of the companies’ products. A good builder will encourage you to meet with product suppliers to better understand each product’s advantages.
Get some flooring samples and test them out. Does the sample get a visible nick if you drop something on it? Does it warp if you leave a spill for a few hours? These are the little things that your floors will have to go through, and testing them now gives you a better idea of how well the material will hold up when it’s installed in your home.
Choosing Your Flooring
Throughout the process, you’ll want to work with your builder to learn more about each option. A good builder will give you plenty of choices at a variety of price points. For instance, once you’ve decided on laminate flooring, you should then be able to choose a laminate product from a few different suppliers. Once you’ve settled on a company, they should still have a few choices for different ‘looks.’
Your builder can help you make decisions about the colour of the floors. You may want to tour show homes again to take a second look at the way floors look. For instance, light coloured wood gives most homes a bright, airy look while darker woods can give a distinct, cozy feel. Don’t be shy about talking with your builder about your concerns. They want you to be happy with the final product.
Your choice of flooring for your home should be based on both personal taste, as well as practicality. You’ll appreciate a material that will stand the test of time. With proper research and a bit of help from your home builder, you’ll be able to make a choice that you feel confident about.