What type of hardwood do I choose? If you have trouble making decisions in general, you may feel especially overloaded with information and options when it comes to hardwood. There are almost too many choices these days, and it can feel overwhelming. We can help simplify it for you. Consider your budget, the dimensions and behaviors of the spaces you plan to refloor (e.g. bathrooms and kitchens versus entryways and main rooms), and whether you want to do it yourself or have it installed. Below are some basics about hardwood to get you started.
Plank flooring: Plank wooden floors, the early-American flooring of choice, originated in old-growth forests. Typically unfinished and rustic, these wide boards featured a tight woodgrain and greater durabilty than the plank wood derived from today’s species. Plank wood is defined as material wider than 3 inches (most commonly between 3-5 inches and occasionally as wide as 8 inches) with a thickness generally between ½ and ¾ inches.
Plank wood features a pastoral vibe; if your tastes favor the lodge or country look, this type of flooring may appeal to you. Its cabin style will fit well with plaid furnishings, steer motifs, and southwest geometric patterns. If you prefer a modern look, plank wood can offer a dramatic and effective contrast when paired with the decorating elements of today.
Rugged plank flooring is easy to install and is a good flooring choice if you’re set on doing it yourself. Don’t mistake its rustic look for a rough feel; feel free to walk barefoot on it. Plank wood is affordable and offers a variety of widths, species and colors. You can custom design the appearance of plank boards to look and feel like those of past centuries.
Strip flooring: Strip flooring differs from plank flooring mainly in terms of width; wood narrower than 3 inches qualifies as strip and is sold in widths of 1 ½ inches, 2 inches, and 2 ¼ inches. Its thickness ranges from 5/16 of an inch to ¾ of an inch wide. Strip flooring is ideal for rooms with smaller square footage, with a scale that creates an illusion of space.
Parquet flooring: Native to France, parquet flooring in its early years implied elegance and was rarely found anywhere but within the wealthiest of homes. Parquet is distinguished by its usually square-shaped tiles that can be arranged in a variety of geographic patterns. Durable and easy to install, parquet wood tiles are either glued down or nailed down to subflooring.
Today’s wood parquet flooring can be found across the spectrum of home interiors and is available in a range of species, colors and sizes. Originally considered a traditional design, today’s skilled artisans can create intricate and imaginative designs—just about any pattern can be achieved to personalize your flooring.
Make an informed decision and stop in our store for hardwood samples to try in your home. We’ll guide you every step of the way to be sure you’re satisfied with and educated about your flooring choice.