Choosing the perfect flooring for you next project requires a lot of thought and careful consideration of before selecting the right wood. So often flooring is picked because we have seen the right look  in another space or in a picture that seems perfect.  However, there are a few factors you should consider that may alter your choice between solid wood and/or engineered wood, and the project’s expense.  To help in the process, here are a few thoughts:

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Type of structure
Knowing the underlying structure and sub-flooring of where the wood will be installed is critical. Foundations are either a concrete slab or a raised foundation with a crawl space or basement. Concrete slabs are more suited for Engineered wood products but may be altered with an added layer of plywood (for nailing down) if solid wood is desired.  This, of course adds to the expense.  There are some glue manufacturers that guarantee their product for gluing down solid wood directly to the concrete, but most installers are hesitant to do so and the glue can also be quite expensive.

SPACE
The size of the space will determine the options you have on the width of the boards. Any size room can take a narrower plank, but a larger 6-8” plank will require a larger space.

Traffic Pattern
The wear and tear on the floor as determined by the end use of the room is a critical factor.  A kitchen will get lot of traffic as well as food and liquid spills, whereas, a study will get much less wear and tear.

Budget
With the above factors in mind, your budget will help you determine the best options to get the wood that is best for your job and the look you desire.

AESTHETIC CONSIDERATION

Species
A particular species is important in choosing the right floor for the finish look you want to achieve.  Some species are rarer and more expensive than others. Of course, vintage or antique wood is sourced and comes with a patina that only time has created. 

Prefinished or Unfinished
A site finished floor has a different look than a prefinished floor.  Some may not notice the difference, but most prefer a site finished look.  A prefinished floor is more economical and quicker to install. 

Width
Today the wider widths (6-10”) are quite popular but the more traditional widths of 2 ¼”, 3 ¼”    and 5” continue to be available.  The wider widths tend to be more expensive so at times a budget can be met by using a “random width” which includes both narrow and wide widths.

Grade
The grade of the wood can make the difference between a very durable and aesthetic floor with a greater long-term value to a functional, inexpensive floor that requires a little more upkeep and/or protection with a shorter lifetime.  Beyond aesthetics, consider the amount and type of traffic that the floor must withstand.

Color
Color is important as the darker the floor, the more dust may show, the lighter the floor, more dark markings may show.  Also, you want to consider furnishings and wall colors.  All wood has an underlying natural color, but the correct stain can make the finished product look like a different wood.   If the perfect wood you have chosen is too expensive, consider a more practical less expensive species stained for the look you desire. 

Finish
There are many finishes and even textures for the flooring.  A very glossy finish may wear better than a matt or satin finish, but it is often less preferred.  Matte or satin finishes look very appealing but scratch more easily.  There are also different finishes such as oils, polyurethane, aluminum oxide, lime wax, oil wax and lacquered finishes.  Some of these finishes are easy to repair and some more difficult.  Consult with a qualified installer to determine what best serves your application.  Many floors today have textures like wire brushing, hand scraping, character or saw marks that add interest and can create a “forgiving” floor.

At E.D.  Woods we are committed to helping you make the right choices to get the desired look for your project.