Hardwood floors continue to be some of the most sought-after floor coverings for homes of all sizes and themes. From bamboo wood to maple, hardwood flooring is readily available in a variety of styles, colors, finishes and cuts. Hardwood floors also have functional benefits, and the location of your home and its overall design will determine which type of hardwood flooring is most suitable for your living space.
Types of Hardwood Floors
You’ll find two basic types of hardwood floor construction: solid wood floors and engineered wood floors. Both are available in prefinished and unfinished styles, and the plank widths vary between 2 1/14 inches and 12 inches. The plank width is important when deciding what type of effect you want to create; wider planks are typically used for larger living spaces where you do not want to draw attention to the floor. Narrow widths are more appropriate for smaller spaces where you want to put the spotlight on the beautiful hardwood floor.
Solid or natural wood floors may react to changes in temperature, especially to humidity; you may find that these floors will warp slightly or wear easily within a few years of use. Engineered wood floors are much more durable and are very simple to install. These are less affected by the environment, and these types of wood floors are well suited for homes in the South or other humid climates.
Styles of Hardwood Floors
Different styles of hardwood floors can be used to create an elegant and formal ambiance, complement a rustic country theme or simply to accentuate a traditional interior. When you’ve selected between solid wood or engineered wood planks, you’ll need to choose a style that complements your living space.
Selecting the right type of wood and style for your home is easier when you determine what type of effect you want to create for the room and how the wood floors will complement your furnishings and décor.
Some of the most popular styles and their benefits include:
Bamboo hardwood floors – Bamboo continues to be a popular choice for eco-friendly homes or contemporary homes decorated in a nature-inspired theme. Bamboo is also an organic material that is resistant to decay and weathering, and it is readily available in several shades of brown, taupe and beige.
Oak strip hardwood floors – Oak continues to be the leading species of wood used for construction and remodeling in the United States; it is sturdy, durable and easy to maintain. Oak strip flooring complements a classic and traditional home. It is available in several shades of deep brown.
Maple hardwood floors – Maple floors are durable and sturdy and well suited for kitchens, foyers and other high-use areas. Maple wood can be finished in almost any color, making it a very versatile wood for flooring projects.
Birch hardwood floors – Birch flooring helps create a contemporary, country-inspired theme; the textured grains and fine patterns add some depth to the overall look of the floors, and this wood can also be finished in almost any shade.
Cherry wood floors – Cherry wood is another popular style, especially for the modern home. The sleek and elegant wood is available in several deep, rich colors and the fine-grained texture complements almost any style of décor.
Other popular hardwood floor styles include: ash, pecan, chestnut, gingerwood, mahogany and walnut. These can be purchased in planks, parquets and strips to create a fresh design for any living space.