Choosing the right hardwood flooring for your home

If you’re thinking about installing or changing new hardwood floors, there are lots to choose from, and it’s not only the type of wood, but the layout is also so important. Hardwood is the foundation for your whole house: it’s what warms up your space and adds harmony to each room, tying everything together. I run hardwood everywhere, even my bathrooms, which sometimes shocks people, but to me, it counterbalances cold surfaces and adds a real depth of feel and comfort to my home.  

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Dark brown hardwood floor

So many options 

Herringbone is a timeless hardwood, but it’s also quite trendy right now. If I were to use this particular hardwood, I would save it for one special room in my house, whether that be a foyer or a sitting room. Because it’s a bold pattern, you wouldn’t want to run it throughout too many areas as it can overwhelm your space. It’s also a little more expensive to lay in herringbone, so you want to consider that as well.  

From oak to black walnut (my personal favourite) and maple, you can choose several different hardwoods, but what you want to think about is the overall style and design of your home. Hardwood is a significant investment, and it’s something you will have to live with for the entire duration you stay in that home, so you want to make sure you take your time and select a hardwood that will stand the test of time, as well as your tastes. The hardwood is your base layer from which you layer everything else on top: furniture, your soft furnishings, lighting, everything.  

Chocolate coloured hardwood

Types of finishes 

There is a vast spectrum of finishing products, from penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to polyurethanes, and most finishes fall into one of two categories: oil or poly.  

The oil penetrates the wood and has a soft, matte and natural feel – which is always my preference – but know that because of this, it won’t be impervious to damage or stains like a polyurethane, which creates this hard topcoat on the surface of the wood, making it much more resilient.  

 Even though oil finishes typically scratch more quickly, they’re straightforward to touch up compared to polyurethane. You would generally need to replace the whole board or buff and re-coat the entire section of the floor, which is time-consuming and costly.  

two woman looking at flooring

Decide the width 

You can also select the width of your planks too. Many homeowners are gravitating towards wider planks because it can give a sense of luxury: when you go beyond the standard size, it can make it feel somewhat special and unique. But, generally speaking, you need to take into consideration the size of your room: The bigger the room and the higher the ceilings, the wider the plank you should choose.  

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