Choosing hardwood flooring

You have decided that you want a hardwood floor in your property or in a specific room in your property. You may be re-decorating and sprucing up the property or you may be moving in and putting your own stamp on the place. When it comes to hardwood there are many options. Firstly there is the type of wood – oak, maple, Brazilian cherry and hickory are just a few of the different options available to you. Each wood comes in its own distinct colours and a range of hardness to suit a variety of options. Then you need to decide whether you want solid wood or engineered wood, the latter being a compression of many layers of ply that are stronger and not as costly. Choosing a hardwood floor is not just a case of saying “I want that one there”. Firstly you need to consider a number of factors to ascertain the best type of wood flooring for you.

The current floor structure

This will depend on whether it is for a ground floor or upper level and what type of subfloor you have.A subfloor is usually constructed of concrete, plywood or particle board. You shouldn’t lay a hardwood directly on top of a concrete floor – an engineered floor should be used. This doesn’t mean you are opting for something that is sub-standard. There are many really good quality engineered flooring options.  

The usage of the particular area

Where are you installing the new hardwood floor? Is it for a room that is used for entertaining and saved for special occasions or is it the kid’s playroom? Different words will withstand different amounts of wear and tear. If your child is going to be rolling cars along it or (perish the thought) has a habit of drawing on the floors or leaning on the floor whilst writing, you may want to re-consider your plan to put solid hardwood flooring down.

Does it need to match adjoining floors?

Are you just looking at installing a hardwood floor in one room? If so does it need to match the rest of the property? If it is going to run into a room that already has a solid floor do you need to match or will the run through look odd and mismatched? You may need to match the size of the boards and the colour as closely as possible. A good flooring company will be able to ensure that you know all of the options available to you.

The lighting in the room

Are you flooring a room that is dark with not much light available? If so you probably want to consider a lighter wood to try and create more of a light feel. Putting down a black floor is no good in a room that is already limited when it comes to light. Is the rest of the room and the décor light and airy? Does it need to match a theme or will you decorate to match the floor or vice versa? Different woods have different colours but if you really like the look and feel of a particular wood that may be rather light you can of course stain it darker.

Your budget

Budget will definitely have an impact on the type of hardwood flooring that you can have. Like anything the higher the budget the more options you have but most solid woods are affordable and won’t break the bank having said that hardwood solid flooring is not the cheapest option available. It does however speak volumes in the style stakes.

Maintenance vs appearance of the floor

What’s important to you – is it the maintenance and upkeep of the floor or is it the appearance? If you want something that you can just put the vacuum over and that won’t take much maintenance you will probably be better advised to go for a hardwood floor that has been pre-finished in the factory. This means that it will have had several coats of protection. It will have a glossy finish though so if you are more concerned about appearance then you may want to go for a more natural finish.

Talk to the experts

Of course with so many options and points to consider you may want some assistance and sound advice to aide you with your decision making. When it comes to advice make sure you speak to experts that know what they are talking about and will offer you the best opinions based on experience.


Hardwood Info, Retrieved Sept 2016, Types of wood, Retrieved Sept 2016, What is a subfloor?