Timber flooring is a classic choice for any home, and replacing old and worn carpeting with rich, warm timber flooring may even increase your home's overall value. While timber flooring can be a good choice for your home, it can be difficult to pick just the right type of timber, including slat sizes and finishes, that will work well in your interior space. Note a few factors every homeowner should know about timber flooring, so you can determine the right choice of wood flooring for your home.
Size of slats
When you choose timber flooring, you may know to pick a dark and rich colour of wood or stain for an elegant touch in the home, or something light and natural for a more rustic look. However, you may not realize how the size of the timber slats will also affect the flooring's appearance. Wide, long slats add to a rustic element, bringing in the look of a handmade log cabin, where slats are often very long and very wide. Thin slats offer a more modern, clean look.
Short slats of any width will have more treads or gaps between them, creating a busier look along the flooring surface; this can be good for a very long room where you might want to break up the look of the timber floor. However, for modern home styles, choose longer slats with fewer gaps, to keep that clean and simple look.
Types of finish
Below are two major types of timber finishes.
Engineered hardwood is a timber slat with just a thin piece of genuine wood glued to an underside of cheap plywood or another material. Some engineered hardwood slats have such a thin layer of hardwood on the top that they actually can't be sanded down and then refinished in the future! While these may be an affordable option, if you have children or pets, or if the floors will suffer heavy traffic for any reason, this may not be the best choice for your home, as that upper layer will get damaged and need eventual refinishing. Ask about the thickness of the hardwood when choosing engineered floors, so you know how often you can have them sanded and then resurfaced.
Pre-finished hardwood floors have a topcoat of stain or paint added at the factory, rather than your installer adding this coating after the floors are installed. Pre-finished hardwood ensures you know exactly what the finish will look like, and this may also mean a faster installation and less time before you can walk on the floors after they're installed.