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Things to Consider When Buying a Hardwood Floor

Buying a hardwood floor is a big investment for your home. Not only does it cost a fairly significant amount of money for the materials, but it can also increase the value if it’s done properly. There are a lot of questions to consider when making a purchase for a hardwood floor. Here are some of the top questions that you may want to find answers to before you make your investment:

Do I Need Solid or Engineered Wood?

Each type can be used in just about any room, but solid wood flooring should only be used above ground. Solid wood is exactly what it sounds like, so it will expand and shrink during different weather conditions and if moisture gets on it. Engineered wood is more stable than solid wood, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better quality. With all else being equal, deciding between solid or engineered wood just depends on preference.

Which Wood Species Do I Need?

This is where things can get a little tricky. With so many species to choose from, like oak, walnut, maple, birch and many others, it can be hard to narrow them down. The best thing you can do is narrow them down by appearance first. Once you have the ones that you like the appearance of, then you can look at the other characteristics that they have. You need to consider the hardness of the wood when making your decision. Softer wood will dent more easily, which means you will have to make more repairs. When you narrow your choices down to five or ten, then you can tailor your decision more to your personal living situation.

What Finish Do I Choose?

The finish really comes down to what you like most. Some people prefer a more natural-looking hardwood floor, while others like a glossy appearance. With a glossier floor, you may have to polish it more often because there is a higher likelihood of it getting dull looking. With a natural finish, you may see more scratches than you normally would with a glossy finish. The popular choices are going with a natural finish if you have a lighter colored wood, and a glossy finish if you go with a darker colored wood. Those are all preferences, though, so there is really no advantage of one over the other.

Should I Get A Hardwood Floor If I Have A Pet?

You would think that pets would scratch up hardwood floors with their nails, but they really don’t that much. If you happen to see a scratch on the floor, it is very likely only in the finish and can be touched up quickly and easily. To prevent scratching, you may need to sweep or vacuum more often because dirt and debris that gets tracked in can scratch the floor more than your pet’s nails will.

Will I Have To Clean Hardwood Floors More Than Carpet?

Every person’s living situation is different. In general, though, hardwood floors require a little more care than carpet. The main reason for that is because dirt and debris show up more on most hardwood floors. When dirt gets tracked on the floor, it makes it prone to scratching when you continue to walk on it. Also, not cleaning the hardwood floor frequently could cause it to become dull looking more quickly than normal. It will still take a long time before it starts looking dull, but it should still be in your best interest to at least sweep the floor periodically.

What Can I Do To Make My Hardwood Floor Last Longer?

Hardwood floors actually look better as they get older, if they are properly maintained. The wood may change color and you may notice some subtle changes in the grain, but nothing drastic. Sun exposure can cause your hardwood floor to change color, just like the type of finish can. You don’t have to be extremely careful all the time on hardwood floors, because they are built to last. Besides standard cleaning, you may consider putting on another coat of polish from time to time, but you really don’t have to do a whole lot of extracurricular work to keep your hardwood floor in good shape.

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