There are a myriad of reasons to transition to hardwood flooring. Not only is wood beautiful and classic no matter what kind of home you have, it’s easily maintained and simple to keep clean. Carpeting holds onto dirt and traps allergens, so wood flooring may also be taken into consideration by those who suffer from dust allergies. Wood still gives you plenty of style options as well. Narrow mahogany or wide oak plank flooring? Hickory or maple?
Wood flooring can come in finished and ready to install, or you can install it unfinished and custom stain it yourself. Kitchen floors are best installed unfinished, because once stain is applied, the stain will seal the seams in the flooring and keep water from leaking between and under the wood.
You can also make the choice between solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood is as it sounds: complete hardwood from top to bottom. Engineered wood is a hardwood veneer glues to several pieces of wood beneath it. Solid wood tends to be susceptible to changes in humidity and isn’t recommended for below-grade rooms like basements, but it can be sanded and refinished several times as it ages. Engineered wood can withstand below-grade rooms and has excellent stability, but can only be refinished a couple of times as it ages depending on the thickness of its hardwood veneer.
If you tend to be hard on your flooring, for instance if you have a gaggle of pets and children running happily through your home regularly, you may want to consider a wood floor with a satin or matte finish. These finishes result in the least amount of shine. The glossier your hardwood, the more light it reflects, which means that any nicks and scratches will be a lot easier to spot. Also know that when ordering wood for installation, always order 10% more flooring then you expect you’ll need, so that everything will be able to be cut to size.
It takes a little bit of research to make sure you get the wood right for you and your home, but the end result is worth it.