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Hardwood Floors – A Simplified Buyers Guide

The decision to invest in new hardwood flooring is not one to be taken lightly, and it comes with many considerations. So let's take a quick dive into some of the aspects, including colour choices, textures, style and room conditions such as humidity.

There is no doubt that of all the flooring types, hardwood is one of the most desired - and rightly so. It can be refinished as many times as needed, so no matter how much wear and tear it receives, it can be brought back to life. This highly sought after flooring also adds equity to your house or apartment and will certainly be a big talking point amongst potential buyers should you ever look to sell.

Typically when shopping for hardwood floors, there are two main considerations people will take into account: price and colour. Colour choices of hardwood can be the biggest deciding factor for many people when picking out flooring, and that makes perfect sense. If the shade doesn't vibe with the rest of your furniture, it's probably not going to work for you - unless you are designing a space from scratch that is.

At its most basic level, colour choice comes down to light vs dark. Light flooring will of course help bring brightness and an open feel to a room, however, in a high traffic area, it will be susceptible to showing dirt and marks from shoes. Dark hardwood, however, is naturally better at hiding unsightly scuff marks and providing you are able to stick to a cleaning schedule this will only be a positive. Darker colours are also great for promoting comfort and homeliness and have been trending for a long time - and this shows no sign of changing anytime soon. The benefits of dark hardwood also include the ability to have contrast against light coloured walls and furniture, making it extremely versatile by giving every room the pop that it needs.

Width and texture are also important factors to consider. The width of the planks can have a dramatic effect on the look of a room. Wider planks naturally have fewer joints or seams, which means the natural beauty of the wood will be more prominent compared to thinner planks that have been locked together in higher quantities. It's also not just the width that needs to be taken into account. The hardness of the wood will have an impact on a floors overall lifespan, for example; pine, spruce and fir are considered to be a softwood which simply means they are more susceptible to scratches and dents from heavy objects such as furniture. They are however, and inexpensive choice while at the same time looking great.

Being a natural material, hardwoods are sensitive to environmental changes such as temperature and humidity. During the summer months, hardwood floors will absorb moisture from the air and expand. This will cause the boards to put pressure against each other which can result in warping, which is normal providing the warp is not excessive. Should your boards warp beyond a normal amount, or even split, it could be a sign that your home has a damp issue which might require inspection. During the winter months, the boards will experience drying as a result of the additional heat generated in the home. This will cause the boards to develop gaps between each other and again there is the possibility for splitting. Once winter comes to an end and the heating is turned off inside the house, the boards will tighten up again; this process is completely normal and is the main reason hardwood flooring is not recommended for bathrooms.

Overall, choosing hardwood is very much a case of personal taste and once installed, you will have fabulous flooring that with the correct care, will last for many years and act as a great investment that will stir interest for everyone that enters your home.

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