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How to Choose the Best Hardwood Floors

You have made the decision to update the flooring in your home and you have even decided for sure you want to install hardwoods. So you are good to go, right? Well, maybe. Just deciding you are going to install hardwoods does not mean your decision-making days are over. There are a lot of things to consider when installing new floors and your situation can dictate which kind of hardwood you select.

Lifestyle

The kind of floor you install will depend on whether you have a busy family with young children or if you are a single professional who does not spend a lot of time at home. A finish such as a matte or wire brushed is best for households with busy family members who may wear down the flooring quicker; these finishes will also show less scratches and dirt so they will appear newer for longer. For those who are not home all the time or do less living in their home a high gloss finish may be best for you.

Location

Solid wood floors are recommended for installation at ground level and above. Due to being a natural material, they are prone to expanding and contracting with the presence of moisture, and basements tend to be a little damper than areas of the house above ground level.

Style

Take a look around your house: will the floors you have selected match what you already have? Is your home filled with natural light, or is it a little on the darker side? It is important to consider what your new floors will look like with the items you already have in your home. It would be a bad ending if you found floors you loved, but once they were installed you realized they did not match or compliment a single item in your home. It is also important to consider how dark or light the floors are going to be. If you have lots of natural light in your home dark floors will balance well, but if you do not have large windows or your home is just a little darker you may want to think about having a lighter floor.

Cost

Hardwood floors will cost you, approximately, $4 – $10/square foot for materials alone but are more realistically $10 – $15/square foot installed. This is truly a case of you get what you pay for. You might come across a warehouse of liquidation store getting rid of flooring for cheap but it may be worth your while to pay a little more and get you materials from a reputable company, as a liquidation store or warehouse may not store the materials as recommended by a manufacturer, or they may not have exactly enough of the kind you are looking for and you could run out of materials.

Ask for a Sample

When flooring is on display at a store, it will always look amazing because it is under the right lighting and is out in a big open space. When it is installed in your home, it might look just a little bit different, or even a lot different. It is completely ok, and actually recommended, you ask for a sample that you can take home to lay out over your existing floor. When you do this, make sure you put the sample in various areas, various types of light and exposure. When you compare a sample in areas of your home, you will get a better idea of how this flooring will actually look in your home.

It does not matter which type of flooring you install in your home because there are so many varieties available to you. It is recommended that you strongly consider how you live, what you’re willing to spend and where you want to install the floor before you go ahead with purchasing it. Further, almost all finishes and stains are available in various materials, so if you want a specific material or finish you are more than likely to be able to find it for your home. The bottom line is you should feel great about your new floors, and there would nothing worse than realizing it does not look as great in your house as it did in the showroom; this is a big purchase, so make sure it is the right one for you.

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