Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hardwood Flooring Characteristics - It's All Personal Taste

Which look do you want? Here are some of the more common woods and the look they will give you once they're laid.

Oak Flooring: Oak has a heavier grain throughout it than most other wood flooring products. This gives your room a more rustic aura with its mixture of 'tiger' or 'waterfall' markings. This is a very popular floor in North America. 3 inch or 5 inch width, this floor comes in a variety of colors and hues. This is NOT the floor for you if you want a custom, 'nobody else has this on the block' look.

When going with an oak, I prefer the Northern hardwoods in Nth America. It's a lot colder in the north so the trees grow slower and are harder with a much tighter grain than non-northern trees. Try to avoid exotic Asian woods (unless this is what you really want) as the tropical environment in Asia with its humidity and moisture has woods grow very fast but are softer and light sensitive. Oak flooring also has a low to medium shade variation. This means you won't find too much difference in color between one board and another.

Maple Flooring: This gives a very contemporary look with its clean lines and very light grain. Maples can be stained to fit almost any color..from natural white to sun burnt reds to almost black. These woods are quite hard (2300 PSI) and don't have the natural graining an oak floor has. Some like this clean look; others feel it resembles laminates too closely than genuine woods. Maples are a great choice particularly if you select a darker color but don't want the 'business' of a traditional oak floor. A maple floor's color variation is very low to low.

Hickory Flooring: The hardest of the main group, hickory has naturally occurring mineral streaks, knots and birthmarks that give the wood a deep character. If you like random, naturally occuring patterns in your floor, hickory is a great choice. Its color variance is high to extreme, often having one board almost milky in color and the next grey! There is nothing wrong with the wood; this is how God made it. It's supposed to look like that! It gives the room a rustic, warm feeling and if you want a custom looking floor and don't mind the large color variance, a hickory floor is a perfect choice.

Cherry & Walnut Flooring: Probably the most striking and beautiful floors around. They have a lot of waterfall movement to them and the stained woods are exceptionally eye-catchy. Since they are very soft, be very careful before deciding on one of these floors. When laid, these floors exude a luxurious and expensive look.

Pine Flooring: Also soft with the unmistakable 'zebra' lines running through the floor. Since they are very heavy in vertical line movement, they give an exotic appearance combined with their naturally occurring dark knotholes. Go with this floor if you're modeling a room. But keep away if you have a zoo.

So select your hardwood floor that fits your lifestyle first then narrow the colors down. You'll be a much happier hardwood floor owner.

Tyler is a writer for Best Hardwood Floors, which is a shopping guide on buying hardwood floors, we help you buy the right hardwood floors for your home.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tyler_Bond


walton02 said...

Interesting post,

Oak wood flooring is a timeless choice for the classy and modern look that provides quality and endurance of products. The real oak flooring can be a good option to replace the original wood or any other type of flooring. The best thing is that you can get it refinished many times, without any problems. It only has one issue, whenever it is laid over the under floor heating system, it can lead to problems.