Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular flooring materials. This is due to its versatility of function and design, as well as natural charm that gives each installation a unique personality and look.
Softwoods and Hardwoods
Softwood Flooring: This includes materials made from a variety of trees, such as Pine, Fir, and Cedar. These species tend to mature very quickly and are readily abundant. However, their rapid growth leads to the wood itself being less dense and therefore less durable. This can make it susceptible to dents and scratches. Despite these disadvantages, many people still prefer to preserve softwood flooring surfaces in their home, due to the beauty, and unique characteristics of the material.
Hardwood Flooring: The trees that hardwood materials are made from grow much slower, and end up being far denser, and more durable than softwood materials. Thus they last longer and require less maintenance.
Hardwood Flooring Design Considerations
One of the great things about hardwood flooring is that it never goes out of style. It’s been in use for thousands of years, and despite numerous changes in style and design, it has survived the test of trends.
Unique: Every plank, board, or strip used on a hardwood floor is a unique, with its own individual patterns, and colors. There are dozens of different species of domestic, imported, common, and exotic hardwoods to choose from, each with their own particular color and characteristics.
Character: Over time wood is going to change. It will get subtle shadings of color, and pick up small scratches, nicks, and dents, which will create a unique personality for your floor. That is the kind of character that cannot be bought but can only be attained over the course of years.
Large Spaces: Wood is a particularly nice flooring option for large open spaces. That is because of the fact that the patterns found within its surface will help to break up the monotony of the room, while also working to infuse interest and design into the space. This effect will be compounded by the use of plank, parquet, and small piece decorative hardwood installations.
How Hardwood Floors Feel Underfoot
Heat: Hardwood is a warm flooring material that maintains a relatively even temperature at all times of the year. Hardwood is compatible with underfloor radiant heating systems, which provides opportunity to keep them toasty even in the winter. This is also an efficient way to contribute to the warmth of the entire room.
Soft: Wood floors are usually soft underfoot. This is especially true when they are installed on joists, or over some sort of insulating underlayment. However, you should avoid installing it directly on concrete, as this can lead to it being very uncomfortable.
Noise: This can be one of the biggest drawbacks when it comes to hardwood flooring. Not only will you occasionally get problems with squeaks in the floorboards, but unpadded hardwood can also be very loud when heard by neighbors or family members who live down below.