Basics to Think About When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

14 June 2022
 Categories: , Blog

No other flooring evokes the warmth and charm of solid timber. Stone, concrete, and ceramic can be attractive but have a colder aesthetic. Once you've decided to go with timber, you need to consider aspects such as species and plank size. To help, here's an outline of the timber hardwood flooring basics. 

Timber Species

You need to decide what timber species you want for the floor. Different species vary in terms of their colours. For example, Australian beechwood comes in creamy and honey shades. Bluegum features pink and red tones. Flooring planks are also available using overseas timber like oak from various parts of the world, adding more colour choices.

Think about whether you want light or dark flooring, with cool or warm tones. Light timber hardwood floors can help make a room appear larger, and darker floors can give an intimate and sophisticated feeling. The finish of the timber also affects its appearance. You can pick between different stains and also between polished or matte finishes. Shiny floors reflect light, making the room brighter, but polish can also bring out scratches. Matte wood looks more natural and hides imperfections.

The species also vary regarding their hardness, which is measured on the Janka scale. A higher number indicates that the timber is harder, so it will withstand more wear and tear without denting. Is the flooring you're laying in a high-traffic area? If so, you might prefer a more durable hardwood. Your installer can advise you on the specific options.

Plank Thickness and Width

You also need to consider the plank thickness and width. Thicker floorboards will allow you to sand them more frequently over the years to rejuvenate the surface. They may feel more solid underfoot as well. But they'll cost more.

Which plank width you choose depends on your aesthetic preferences and whether you like narrow or wide floorboards. Narrower planks look traditional, and they can be best in small spaces. If you lay wide planks in a compact area, you can emphasise its smallness. Wider floorboards can give your room a modern feel. Also, because the floor has fewer join lines and greater expanses of uninterrupted wood, the attractive grains and tones are apparent.

However, sometimes wide planks can suffer from expansion and contraction when the weather fluctuates, more so than narrower planks. Thus, the flooring can be more unstable, particularly in wet areas. Ask your installer for their suggestions.