Hardwood flooring continues to reign supreme in the American home, adding character and longevity that's unmatched. Though wood flooring usually means a bigger price tag upfront, you'll likely see a return on investment when you're ready to sell. Ready to upgrade your living areas with whitewashed hickory? Have your pick from a nearly endless supply of wood flooring types, hues, and grains that perfectly accentuate your home's best features.
Flooring choices abound that resemble hardwood, but only two options incorporate beautifully genuine wood into their construction:
Solid hardwood lets you invest in a durable natural material that will age gracefully alongside you and your family.
Engineered wood leverages technology to create a multi-layered, water-resistant floor that's topped with a layer of authentic hardwood, giving you both peace of mind and stunningly gorgeous floors.
Wood floors have been around for centuries, and they're not going away anytime soon. They deliver beauty and decades of durability, no matter which species you end up with. Oak, ash, birch, walnut, hickory, and maple are just a few of the more common varieties, and each has its own unique coloring, grain patterns, and hardness.
Wood flooring and realistic copycats are so popular, chances are you're standing (or sitting) on some right now! No matter if you're looking to update your rustic farmhouse with a hand-scraped oak or create a mid-century modern oasis with honey-hued maple, there's a hardwood floor out there to complement your design style. It all comes down to the color and tone of the hardwood, its grain pattern, and the plank width.
Color and grain - Light wood, such as birch and oak, as well as grey or whitewashed finishes fits naturally into a coastal cottage, a contemporary condo, or a modern farmhouse. If you'd prefer to add a more dramatic touch, consider darker finishes or hardwood with intricate grain patterns, like pine or walnut.
Plank width - Most hardwood is available in either standard width (5 to 6 inches) or wide plank hardwood flooring (7 inches or more). The latter has fewer seams, which plays a trick on the eye to give the illusion of more space.
Is it worth it to spend your money on a shiny new hardwood floor or should you go with a more budget-friendly option and spend elsewhere? Compare this pro/con list to determine what really matters to you.
Beautiful planks with a natural character that complements any design aesthetic
A return on investment with an increased property value
Durability to withstand decades of family foot traffic, gatherings, and pets
Easy to clean and maintain
A few potential downsides include:
Not appropriate for high-moisture areas since they can buckle, warp, or bow
Higher upfront cost
Can gouge or scratch from pet nails or moving heavy objects
You're on the hunt for supreme durability because your household is constantly on the go. Hardwood flooring can handle your toughest days, though the actual strength will depend on the wood species you choose. Hickory, oak, and ash are among the hardest wood flooring types, and each species will age gracefully and patina over time.
What's the difference between normal wood floors and engineered wood? How can you tell which one is better for your active home? The biggest difference between these two wood flooring types is how they're constructed.
Solid wood floors are planks of milled wood that's been harvested from trees.
Engineered hardwood floors feature a slice of natural hardwood as a top layer. The remaining layers are man-made.
While solid wood will give you decades of sturdy, beautiful flooring underfoot, engineered wood lasts less time while giving you a more resilient and water-resistant floor.
Once you have high-value hardwood floors gracing your home, you'll want them continually looking their best. To keep them well maintained, sweep or vacuum often. This not only removes dust and other allergens that can affect your indoor air quality but also prevents debris from creating minor scratches.
If your dog has an accident or your kids' cookie-making adventure goes awry, clean your floors ASAP based on the manufacturer's instructions.
Wood floors are notoriously long-lasting, just look at the weathered wooden planks found in decades-old historic homes across America. Once you've decided on hardwood floors for your home, you will actually have a big impact on how well they wear over the years to come. It will all come down to the decisions you make, like how well you maintain the floors and who you have install them in the first place.
We recommend you opt for pro installers, who will not only arrive with all the necessary tools but also follow the tedious steps required for a beautiful installation. You'll be happy, headache-free, and grateful the warranty protection is still intact once they're on their way.
Costs vary based on the hardwood species you choose, but in general, you can expect higher price tags on solid wood flooring products. The good news is that it's also entirely possible that you see your investment reflected back in a higher property value, plus you're getting several decades of stunning, durable floors.
Light, natural hardwood floors in ash, red oak, and birch are trending these days, largely because the lighter hues open up smaller spaces and make them feel bigger. You can also apply lighter finishes to other hardwood species to have a similar effect.
There are several species of hardwood that beautifully serve as flooring, including oak, ash, birch, walnut, and hickory. The best option really depends on your design style! From the perspective of durability, the densest hardwood flooring is hickory, followed closely by white oak and red oak.