Turning any property you have bought into a home requires a lot of time. Attention to detail is also necessary to make the space feel homey. But one of the major things that give you the first feel about your new home is the flooring. Top 10 hardwood floors-
When you start laying down the floors, you will notice your house is shaping up. Of course, the question is what kind of floors do you want in your home. One of the best options available on the market is hardwood. And here are the top 10 hardwood floors you will fall in love with.
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Solid or engineered hardwood floors?
There are many options when it comes to wood flooring, but you first need to learn the differences and advantages of solid and engineered hardwood floors.
By the time these hardwood products are finished, you can’t really tell the difference between solid and engineered ones. But there is a huge difference between the two.
Solid hardwood floors are made from big chunks of wood, whereas engineered ones are made from plywood or fiberboard in the middle with a thin layer of solid wood glued on top (and bottom sometimes).
While solid wood can be refinished indefinitely, its disadvantages include susceptibility to water damage, and temperature and humidity changes. This makes it hard to install and keep if the climate of the room varies often.
On the other hand, engineered hardwood floors are not so susceptible to external conditions and, because it is only a thin coat of solid wood on top, are cheaper. They are also easier to install, making them a more DIY-friendly option on the market.
How to choose wood hardness?
So, another important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a hardwood floor is the Janka scale. It is a scale that lets you know the hardness, and thus durability, of any type of wood. The average rank for wood floors is 1000-2000 on the Janka scale, but there are those that far surpass the score, as well as those ranked far below.
Choose the finish wisely
Most of the wood flooring options come prefinished, but you can also try to shop for unfinished hardwood floors. The finish is what gives the floor its final look.
Water-based polyurethane is one of the most popular choices since it dries quickly, doesn’t leave a hard smell, and you can choose the level of shininess.
On the other hand, the oil-based polyurethane requires fewer coats because it is thicker, but it smells more and takes longer to dry.
Natural oils can also be used for the finish. They make the wood more durable, but any scratches are more visible and you need to refinish it more often.
Hardwax gives the wood a hard-looking finish, but it is completely natural and it is durable.
Top 10 hardwood floors you will fall in love with
Now that you know how to choose the best hardwood floor, let’s take a closer look at some of the best options on the market. These are the most popular choices, ranked based on their Janka score.
Red and white oak floors are the most popular ones in the USA. They are price is not too high and oak wood can last up to 100 years. It is also readily available. For a reasonable price, you will get a hardwood floor with a score of 1290 for the red oak, while white oak is more durable (1360). This is a great middle-range option.
9. Australian cypress
Australian cypress is not a very common choice, but it is a durable one with a Janka score of 1375. Since it is full of knots, it will give your floor a complex look. Paired with good lighting choices, any room will feel warm and cozy.
Maple is used for the basketball courts’ flooring, so it is very durable. The domestic version scores 1450, while the Brazilian maple scores a bit higher. You can get it in pale and reddish tones with straight or somewhat wavy grains.
Birch floors feel warm in a room and go with different styles. The most common type – yellow birch – scores 1290 on the Janka scale, while sweet birch is a better option with a score of 1470.
Hickory is a great choice and is one of the most durable hardwood floors, with 1820 on the Janka scale. It is incredibly grainy, so it is best used in larger planks that can show it off. And because it is dry wood, it easily accepts finishes.
5. Brazilian cherry
With a Janka rating of 2350 and red undertones, Brazilian cherry is a very popular option. With its wavy, tight gains it will give your floors, and the whole room, character.
Mahogany is an excellent, albeit pricy option. It is an exceptionally rich-looking and durable floor. Mahogany scores 2697 on the Janka scale and will certainly last you a lifetime.
3. Brazilian teak
Brazilian teak is much more durable (over 3500) than traditional teak (just above 1000). Brazilian teak varies from golden to red and has a noticeable gain pattern.
2. Brazilian walnut
American walnut is a much softer wood (1010), while Brazilian walnut is very durable (3600). Both options make for a dark-colored floor, which can be a great contrast to the pastel tones of walls and furniture.
Strand-woven bamboo hits well above 4000, making it the most durable hardwood floor option. It is also eco-friendly, as bamboo takes only 3-5 years to grow. It is probably the best high-priced option you can get.
So, now that you have all the necessary data, you can make an informed decision about your floors. But no matter the data, the smartest option for your hardwood floors is whatever you choose works best for you and your space.