Once you have settled on hardwood floors, you need to decide between solid or engineered wood. Solid hardwoods are the classic choice. They are a single piece of wood, usually in long planks. They can be almost any type of hardwood, though they are usually oak or maple. They are available in many stained colors, so these solid hardwood floors can last for generations.
Engineered hardwood is still made completely of wood. However, instead of being a single layer the planks are made of several layers of wood laminated together. You see the top layer. It is very durable, and because of the engineered layers they are more stable and come in a variety of wider planks. Engineered floors offer many more choices than solid and now are becoming more popular.
Hardwood floors are very flexible. You can be trendy in your color choices, so that your floors reflect the latest. You can also choose cherry-colored woods or golden oaks if you want a classic, flexible look. Many of today’s designers choose an ashy or gray look for the hardwood floors, though they are starting to move away from the gray trend.
One of the selling points of natural wood is that it conveys a feeling of warmth. While the browns are neutral, they can bring a burnished glow to the room. You can choose all types of colors, but if you want a look that will endure for years and years, try incorporating that warm, natural look. Think of colors with warm undertones like honeys, golds, and cherries. If you want flexibility, we also suggest avoiding colors that are too light or too dark, since those may look trendy and dated after a short period of time.
Since you can get hardwoods of a variety of species, you can get different looks on your floors. The species of wood determines the look of the grain. You will see the grain even through the stain. The three most common choices for hardwood are oak, maple, and hickory. Oak is the most common. It is affordable, durable, and has a visible grain pattern. That gives the look a very organic appearance. Maple is lighter than oak, so you can get lighter colors. It is not quite as durable as oak, but it offers even more grain. So, it is still a great choice. Hickory is very durable and has a natural dark and light contrast that offers a slightly rustic appearance. Stain it a deeper color and the rustic look becomes very upscale.