How To Choose The Best Wood Flooring For Your Home
Often, the most exciting part of moving into your forever home is the renovating and decorating process; scrolling through Pinterest on your lunch breaks, spending your weekends in showrooms and creating your dream, family home.
However, it also comes with its own set of difficulties and challenges, especially if you are not quite the interior design expert.
Choosing the perfect wood flooring for your home is one of those tougher tasks. The flooring is usually the first thing you see when you walk into a room and it can make or break the finished look.
The sheer pressure of making the right choice alone can be enough to push you over the edge, but coupled with the fact that there are so many options and things that need to be taken into consideration when making this decision, and you have a recipe for endless sleepless nights.
If you’ve found yourself in that situation, then this is the best place to start when making a decision on what type, colour and style of wood flooring is not only the best choice for aesthetic reasons, but the most practical too.
The Perfect Wood Flooring Colour For Your Home
Choosing the colour of your wood flooring should be your first step as it’s probably the easiest decision to make.
You may already have a set colour scheme for the room and overall theme for the look of the house which will give you a clear idea as to what flooring colour to opt for.
However, if you are still undecided on this, then here are some tips to help you make that choice.
Consider the size of the room
The colour flooring that you install will have a significant impact on the feeling of space that you have in the room no matter what its actual size. For example, darker tones will create a smaller, cosier feel which works well in rooms of a bigger size. But in a smaller room lighter, natural colours instead should be incorporated to create the illusion of a more open space.
Think about what the room will be used for
Your colour choices should reflect the atmosphere that you want to create in the room which is based on the sole purpose of the space.
Typically, in a bedroom where the purpose is to relax and unwind, you may want the room to feel cosy and inviting so that it creates the right ambience for sleeping. Whereas, in a social space, like a living room, you might want it to feel brighter and louder to reflect the room’s purpose.
Brighter wood flooring with undertones of yellow or light oaks are great for social spaces for this reason, whilst dark greys and browns work best in quieter, more intimate rooms.
Access to natural light
Natural light will have a massive impact on the colour of the wood flooring throughout the day, so you do need to consider this and how it will change the finished look if you are installing the wood floor in a room that gets a lot of natural light.
Make sure that you are aware of how the wood flooring will look in artificial light, natural light and no light at all.
This may not be so important in a bedroom or bathroom as they are typically used in the mornings and evenings when there is not much sunlight.
Overall style of the house
As important as it is to make each room feel different and fit for purpose, you’ll probably have an overall theme in mind for the house that you’ll want to remain present in each space.
For example, if you have a new build with a lot of modern features then you may choose to embrace this by using a lot of fresh, bright colours (whites and greys are popular) and sticking to current trends.
Alternatively, a period home that has a traditional and classic feel will work better with rustic, darker colours.
Engineered v Solid Wood Flooring
Another choice you will be faced with when picking your wood flooring is whether you want to use engineered or solid wood.
We’ve looked closely at both options in our previous blog post, What Are The Main Differences Between Solid and Engineered Wood Flooring, and explored the pros and cons of each which should enable you to make an informed decision on what will work best in your home.
The Type of Wood for Your Wood Flooring
The biggest decision for many when choosing a wood flooring falls on the type of wood to use.
Without listing the dozens of options available and breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of each, here are some of the features that differ between woods and that you should consider when making a decision.
Grain and Grade
The grain and grade varies between woods and there is no perk to having one over the other, it just comes down to personal preference and the look you are aiming to achieve.
The grain refers specifically to the patterns seen on the surface of wood and can play a role in how natural the wood looks. For example, oak has a distinctive grain pattern which makes it a popular choice for those who want an understated and classic wood floor.
The grade refers to the amount of sapwood and knots that the floor contains, and varies from grade A (prime grade) to grade D (rustic grade). A prime grade floor will be a fairly similar colour throughout and won’t have as many knots and will give a beautiful minimalist clean look. A rustic grade will have more sapwood and therefore variation in colour as well as more knots, which provides a very characterful floor.
Softwood v Hardwood
The durability of the wood you choose will mainly depend on whether it’s softwood or hardwood. Softwoods, like pine, are less resistant to damage; whereas, hardwoods, like beech, oak and mahogany, tend to be more durable and less maintenance.
If you have your heart set on a colour then you may find your choice of wood types limited because certain woods can only come in particular natural shades. Oak tends to be lighter, walnut is richer, and so on and so forth. Hence, if colour is a secondary concern and you are prioritising the type of wood that you want to use then start here.
The Best Method of Installation: Floating or Glued Down?
Similarly to engineered vs solid wood flooring, you also have two options when it comes to how you want your wood flooring installed. It can either be glued down or floating.
We discuss both of these options in our ‘Should You Float or Glue Down Your Wood Flooring’ blog post, including the benefits and pitfalls of each.
Please note that, if you have opted for solid wood flooring, then floating is not really an option; hence, you may need to decide whether the installation method is more important to you than the type of wood flooring being installed.
What About the Wood Flooring Finish?
Wood flooring doesn’t just come in an array of colours and styles, but you’ll also be presented with a choice when it comes to the finish.
First, do you want unfinished or prefinished wood installed?
This simply means that the wood can be finished before it’s installed making the installation process a lot faster, or it can finished on site by a flooring expert which takes more time and is often more expensive but, it is considered to be the more aesthetically pleasing option.
You’ll also need to decide on the type of surface finish that you’d prefer which varies between high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte. We’ll be exploring the different types of finishes in more depth in a later blog post but, for now, here’s what you need to consider.
High-gloss finishes, such as water-based polyurethane, reflect a lot of light so if you are working with a smaller space that gets little natural light this can really open up the room and make it instantly feel brighter and more spacious.
However, it also means that dust, dirt and marks will be more visible so it will need regular maintenance and cleaning.
On the other extreme end of the scale, matte finished wood flooring is slightly more dull and natural looking so it’s the best choice if you want your flooring to look authentic.
Matte finishes also hide dirt and scratches a lot better so are a good option for high traffic areas as they don’t require as regular maintenance as high-gloss floors.
Alternatively, the perfect middle ground between the two would be considered a satin finish. It’s not too dull but not too shiny, allowing you to have the best of both worlds.
As you can see, we were not exaggerating when we said that there are many factors to consider when choosing a wood floor for your home.
Hopefully this has helped narrow down the search, but we can go one step further with our flooring consultation service.
We can visit your home, see the space in person and provide our expert advice on what would work best in the room along with a quote for our wood flooring.
If you’d like to learn more about our services or book an appointment, then call us today on 0121 684 4772 or contact us here