Anyone who has bought a house or condo over the last 15 years is aware of the popularity of hardwood flooring. It’s often the reason we buy one home over another.
Wood flooring, installed properly, in a suitable colour and wood type, can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Choose the wrong stain, wood or size of wood plank and you’ll have a trendy, expensive mess on your hands that isn’t always so easy to change.
“The biggest mistake people make when choosing hardwood flooring is that they try to follow short-lived trends,” says hardwood flooring expert Bill Schinas of Smithwood Floors in Etobicoke, Ont.
“Choosing a wood type and stain colour that belongs in the architectural style of your home will allow the wood floors to last a lifetime.”
Here’s a few of this flooring guru’s dos and don’ts when choosing hardwood.
Do: Choose a wood type that is suitable for your lifestyle.
Most open-concept style homes work best with a hardwood like oak or maple. Oak tends to give a more traditional feel to the house while maple floors offer a more contemporary feel.
Don’t: Choose your wood type around your decor scheme, but around the era/architecture of your home.
If you live in a modern condo, then choose a trendy flooring choice like grey-stained maple flooring. If you’re buying an arts-and-crafts style home then a deep cherry wood flooring would be most suitable.
Do: Follow trends of light or dark flooring as these tend to stick around for a long time.
The trend to dark wood has been around for about 10 years and slightly lighter tones are now emerging.
Don’t: Choose wide planked floor boards just because they are a trend.
They can make a small space feel smaller and will not suit the scale of most rooms in new condos and homes. Wide planked floors will always look great in either traditional or industrial style homes.
Do: Consider stain colours like walnut as it is the most neutral of all the stain colours.
Note that cherry stains will have a more orange colour, mahogany will have more red and driftwood will have more grey (which is a big trend right now, but I think it will be short-lived).
Don’t:?Allow your decorator to choose your wood type and stain.
If building a house and working with a designer and architect, allow your architect to make the flooring suggestion.
They will not be as affected by trends and will incorporate the flooring choice into the integrity of the house’s architectural scheme.
Do: Consider installing unfinished hardwood flooring.
Although there is more work to install on site, it will look more professional. The wood strip lengths are longer and they can be sanded and stained many times over the floor’s lifetime.
Pre-finished flooring often has microbevels between the planks, making it more difficult to sand and stain in the future.