Just to be clear.....I am talking about real wood....whether you choose engineered, cork or solid, actual wood material beats laminate EVERY time. Real wood can be resanded (usually), real wood can go back into shape once it dries out from being wet (ie: flooding), real wood sounds real...looks real....is real. It adds life, character and warmth to a home....and if you think that laminate is the less expensive option, think again. Laminate often costs just as much or more than solid. AND, its pretty much just a picture...on sawdust. Yes, I said it.
Here are the basics:
Start with a budget but be willing to expand or compromise if your tastes exceed what you are willing to spend.
Work with a flooring contractor that offer design services or one that shares your overall vision for your décor.
Be open to options that perhaps you hadn't previously considered, especially if they are options within your price point or are suggested as more cost effective by your contractor. A reputable contractor will not steer you wrong.
If you are on a restricted budget, steer clear of specialty labels such as "hand-scraped" or "wide plank". These are code words for "higher priced" and "trendy".
When you select a floor, you have basic species options to choose from such as maple, hickory, cherry, walnut, oak and ash to name a few. If you look at the different species they offer wider or tighter grain patterning and perhaps this is a good place to start. Choose either a tighter or more open grain and be open to options within that grouping.
Oak and Ash are options with a more pronounced grain pattern which are typically found in a more traditional home.....
Maple, Cherry, Beech and Walnut have a tighter grain pattern and can be better suited to contemporary and even modern decor styles....
|Jatoba / Brazillian Cherry|
The grade of your floor will determine how much colour variation (light and dark boards) there is in your floor. "Select" or "Clear" grade floors are most uniform in colour and grain pattern across a sample.
Just a word of caution about staining. Some wood does not take to staining well. Maple is a beautiful choice in flooring and is very stable. However, it does not like colour.... Maple floors end up blotchy and somewhat uneven in colour. Now if you want that....it's perfect.
Enough information? We do offer design services at Classic, so if this information seems inadequate in assisting your decision making process, give us a call for some added insight.