Once you decide on hardwood floors for your home and chosen the color you like, you may think your job is done. However, there are other decisions you must make before you are ready to purchase your materials. Each option has benefits and the decision will impact your home for many years.
With wood floors, size means the length and width of the wood. What you choose will depend on how you want the floor to look but also on the kind of care that is required.
- Wood strips. Each strip is a long, narrow board that connects to the next one with tongue-and-groove. They also come in many wood species. Maintenance requirements are easy; just sweep or vacuum with occasional waxing.
- Wood planks. Wider than strips and can come in many lengths. Also uses tongue-and-groove. Shows more grain than wood strips. Ideal for large areas. Requires sweeping for maintenance.
- Squares that are between six and nine inches and laid in patterns. It is expensive and best suited to more traditional rooms like dining or formal living rooms. It is recommended to apply wax to protect against wearing. Durable but not as much as strips.
- Wood tile. Squares like parquet but not placed in patterns. It is the least expensive and may include self-adhesive backing for easy installation. Very durable and requires only sweeping. May apply wax to new floors for extra protection.
These are the different types of wood flooring that you can choose. Each one is unique and will give you advantages. You may even want to different options throughout the house. For instance, wood tiles would work well in a kitchen while the wood planks would be well-suited to a large living room.
To Heat or Not
Another decision you must make is if you want your hardwood floors to be heated. If you hate the thought of sliding out of bed onto cold floors in the morning or stepping out of the shower, heated floors may be the answer. Tile floors have had the option of heating for some time, but now you can heat wood floors with radiant heating as well.
It does cost more to put in heat with your new wood floors, so you must consider where you want it. You may choose to heat the bedrooms and bathrooms, a family room or you may decide that the cost to heat the entire house is worth it. Depending on where you live, it may add quite a bit of value to your home if you should decide to sell.
Installing hardwood floors in your home is an investment well worth the cost. However, the type of flooring options you choose and whether you add heat can make an impact on your lifestyle and the value of the home for the future. Decide what makes the most sense to you and will give you the most benefits for your dollar. After all, value can be measured in many ways.
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