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Guide to Hardwood Flooring: Types, Benefits, and Maintenance

Hardwood flooring is a timeless choice that brings warmth, elegance, and durability to any home or space—not to mention added value. With its natural beauty and longevity, hardwood flooring remains a popular option for homeowners seeking to enhance their interiors. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various types of hardwood flooring, delve into their benefits, and provide essential maintenance tips to help you keep your floors looking pristine for years to come.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

  1. Solid Hardwood Flooring: Solid hardwood is crafted from a single piece of wood and is available in various species such as oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. It offers unmatched durability and can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing for long-term beauty and versatility. Solid hardwood flooring can last 100 years with proper care.
  2. Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Engineered hardwood is constructed much like plywood: from multiple layers of wood stacked in a cross-grain configuration and topped with a hardwood veneer. This construction provides enhanced stability, making it suitable for areas with fluctuating humidity levels such as basements and kitchens.
  3. Exotic Hardwood Flooring: Exotic hardwoods, sourced from around the world, offer unique grain patterns, colours, and textures. Species like Brazilian cherry, tigerwood, and acacia provide distinct character and visual appeal, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking to make a statement with their flooring.
  4. Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring: Reclaimed hardwood is salvaged from old barns, factories, and other structures, offering a sustainable flooring option with rich history and character. Each plank tells a story, showcasing unique knots, nail holes, and patina that add charm and authenticity to any space.

Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

  1. Timeless Elegance: Hardwood flooring never goes out of style, adding a touch of classic elegance to any decor scheme.
  2. Durability and Longevity: With proper care and maintenance, hardwood floors can last for generations, making them a sound investment for your home.
  3. Improved Indoor Air Quality: Hardwood floors do not trap dust, pollen, and allergens, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.
  4. Increased Home Value: Hardwood flooring is a desirable feature among homebuyers and can significantly enhance the resale value of your property by an estimated 2.5% according to some real estate experts.
  5. Versatility: Hardwood flooring complements a wide range of interior styles, from traditional to modern, and can be refinished to suit changing tastes and trends.
Identical "Staton 7.5 Whinlatter" engineered hardwood finished in three different shades

Maintenance Tips for Hardwood Flooring

  1. Regular Cleaning: Sweep or vacuum your hardwood floors regularly to remove dirt and debris that can scratch the surface.
  2. Avoid Moisture: Wipe up spills immediately and use a damp mop or cloth for routine cleaning, avoiding excess moisture that can damage wood.
  3. Use Protective Pads: Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents caused by movement.
  4. Maintain Humidity Levels: Keep indoor humidity levels between 35% and 55% to prevent warping, cupping, or cracking of hardwood floors, especially during dry winter months. Many flooring manufacturers will not honour hardwood floor warranty if there is not a humidifier in place. 
  5. Refinish as Needed: Monitor the condition of your hardwood floors and refinish them as necessary to restore their beauty and protect them from wear and tear, ideally every 7-10 years.

Hardwood flooring offers a timeless combination of beauty, durability, and versatility that can enhance any home or space. Whether you prefer the classic appeal of solid hardwood or the enhanced stability of engineered hardwood, there's a style to suit every taste and lifestyle. By understanding the various types of hardwood flooring, appreciating their benefits, and following proper maintenance practices, you can enjoy the natural elegance and enduring quality of hardwood floors for years to come.

Hardwood Floors and Humidity

Hardwood flooring is very susceptible to fluctuations in humidity. Keep your indoor room temperatures and humidity levels stable to help your floors stay in great shape.