Hardwood flooring can rejuvenate your home and help reclaim the appeal and vibrancy it once had. Popular among homeowners who are looking to breathe new life into their homes as they remodel, wood floors fit seamlessly in any room. They add style and a modern look while creating a comfortable atmosphere. The key is choosing the right style from the excess of styles and species.

This choice in home upgrades is so popular we wanted to make it a little easier on you and have compiled a short list of 5 helpful tips you can use to select wood floors that not only complement your rooms but complete them. You may discover that you have more options available – and more potential hurdles – than you realized.

kitchen with modern cabinets

Know Your Choices

When most homeowners begin exploring hardwood floors they’re surprised to learn how many choices they have. For example, you’ll need to select between solid and engineered wood (technically, laminate flooring is not considered wood). If you’re considering solid material, you’ll need to choose between strips, planks, and parquets.

Strips vary in thickness, but not in width. Planks vary in width but are generally only available in two thicknesses. Parquets are patterned boards that offer a unique appearance. Not only do you need to choose your cut but also the species of wood, which is almost endless.

Consider Wood Variety

In addition to the types of hardwood flooring available, you’ll also need to consider various wood varieties. Some are lighter while others are darker. Some are extremely durable while others are softer.

For example, red oak and white oak are both known for being dense and therefore, strong. They can resist years of wear and tear. In contrast, cherry wood is soft and pliable. While it’s not a good choice for high-traffic areas in your home, it can add a splash of style when used in accent areas. From Oak and Ash to Walnut and Maple, or even something exotic, most people will choose the species based on grain, look and overall appearance but you should do your homework as some varieties are as durable as others and that will add to your overall maintenance costs as softer floors may have to be redone more often.

Think About the Finish

Hardwood floors can come with a surface finish or a penetrating finish. The former is more popular. The strips, planks, and parquets are stained and then given a topcoat of polyurethane for protection. From that point onward, keeping them in good condition is mostly a matter of limiting their exposure to moisture. This simple care option will need to be refinished from time to time based on age and wear and tear.

However a penetrating finish soaks into the wood and a special wax is used to give it a sheen. Here too, you’ll have choices to make. You can select a low or high sheen, or a satin appearance. The wax must then be applied on a regular basis, making a penetrating finish more difficult to maintain and something you will have to continually budget for.

Price to Your Budget

Hardwood flooring is typically priced by the square foot, so you’ll need should measure the space where you’re planning to install your new wood floors. Even then, pricing to a budget can be difficult for several reasons. Prices can change based on availability, and the labor that goes into the installation.

Second, listed prices only represent the cost of the flooring material itself. When you notice that a variety of wood is priced at $3.75 per square foot, that amount doesn’t include the cost of materials needed for installation. If you’re installing the hardwood floors on your own, you’ll need to rent a nail gun or stapler, and buy fasteners, etc.

Third, if you’re installing a floating floor, you’ll need to buy an underlayment to place between the flooring and the subfloor. That can add as much as $2.95 sq/ft.

Plan for The Cost of Labor

Suppose you’ve decided to forgo the pleasure of a DIY installation and Instead decided to hire a hardwood flooring company to install it for you. You might also need to hire someone for paint touch-ups and caulking. This is an area in which your project’s cost can often get pretty steep. Labor costs can add up to another $10 per square foot depending on the complexity of the layout.

Hardwood flooring is a fantastic way to revitalize your home. Keep in mind there are more than a few choices you’ll need to make along the way. Educate yourself about your options, budget conservatively, and plan ahead. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that your remodeling plan will be a stunning success.