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How to select the best hardwood for your home

Whether it’s solid or engineered hardwood flooring, a wood floor will add elegance and richness to any home. These floors are versatile and work with any decor, from the most traditional to contemporary to coastal and cottage. They are timeless, classic, and last for decades. Wood floors will also add value to your home.

Solid or engineered: a comparison

Solid hardwood is, as it sounds, one slab throughout the thickness. All hardwood is low maintenance, but solid can be damaged by excess water, so you will need to be mindful about wiping spills up immediately. Solid also shrinks and expands to adjust to the weather. That challenge is eliminated with an easy process called acclimation.

Engineered appeals to those who want beauty, but have a more practical side, the only difference is the construction. It is layered, making it more stable and better able to handle water. It is a great option for below-grade spaces like basements. Both solid and engineered can be used in the above-grade rooms.

Both types are real wood and have gorgeous undertones and knots, swirls, and raised grains. Both can be sanded and refinished, although solid wood can be sanded more times over its lifetime than engineered wood. If you’re not familiar with how each look and where they can be used, ask your hardwood flooring retailer to show you samples and explain the differences.

What kind of style?

While there are many domestic and exotic species from which to choose, the most commonly selected are maple, cherry, walnut, oak, and hickory. To make the best choice for you, you’ll first have to answer two questions: Do you have extra durability issues? Do you want knots and swirls? Some species are tougher than others and some also have more knots and swirls than others.

Some other considerations are: Do you want a wide or narrow plank? Wide ones are more traditional while narrow ones are airier and more contemporary. Should you care about thickness? Thickness is critical for both solid and engineered versions because it determines how often the floor can be sanded and refinished. Ideal for solid is ¾-inch, and it can be sanded many more times than engineered. Engineered has a range, from ⅝ to ½-inch.

Maintenance is easy; vacuum without beater bars (rotating brushes) and polish periodically. Mats can be placed strategically at doorways and using protective furniture pads when moving is advised to prevent scratches. Keep pet nails trimmed and avoid wearing high-heeled shoes on the floor.

Hardwoodis beautiful, but your selection shouldn’t be based on appearance only. We can guide you to the right type, finishes and width. Come into the Keesecker Furniture & Flooring showroom in Erwin, TN to speak to one of our wood flooring experts. We service Erwin, TN, Jonesborough, TN, Johnson City, TN, Unicoi, TN, Tri-Cities, TN, && Mars Hill, TN. Ask about our in-home consultations.