Choosing Hardwood Floors for Your Home 101, Part 3 – Choosing Your Wood Flooring


The decision to install hardwood flooring in your home is something you can take pride in. Not only are you adding to the value of your home, but you are also adding to the beauty and aesthetics of it as well. We have already covered why to choose hardwood floors, and we’ve covered understanding the needs of the space you’ll be installing them in. Now it is time to consider what species of wood flooring you will choose, as well as determining factors like pre-finished solid hardwood, engineered or floating wood flooring, color, grain, hardness, and other relevant considerations.

Wood Species

Some of the more common species used are Oak, Ash, Cedar, Chestnut, Walnut, Cherry, Redwood, Teak, and Tiger Wood. There are so many species used in hardwood flooring it would not be prudent to list them all. You can rest assured that there will be a species to fit most any need or look you are considering for your project. Don’t hesitate to call Winston or Andrew at Unique Wood Floors (952-994-9696) to help you with the decision on what species will be right for your home and your tastes.

Janka Hardness Scale

The hardness of a hardwood floor is determined by its Janka rating or the Janka Hardness Scale. It’s important to understand how the hardness of the floor you choose will hold up under the conditions it will be exposed to in your home. Wood floorings Janka rating is measured by the force it takes an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball to embed itself halfway into a type of wood. Basically, the scale helps determine a type of woods ability to stand up to denting and the normal wear and tear it will be exposed to in your home. As you look at a Janka chart you will see that woods are rated from hardest to softest. In the wood flooring industry, Red Oak has been determined to be the wood all others are compared to because it is a medium density wood. Here is a link to Wikipedia that has an excellent Janka chart to look at.

Your Environment

Let’s consider the fact that hardwood flooring is a natural product so you must consider that it will expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature. There are also species that are sensitive to natural sunlight. This means that over time they can fade, darken or even change shades. Make sure to describe to the staff at Unique Wood Floors the amount of sunlight exposure from windows and doors to the room you’re installing in. You should also consider the traffic the room will be exposed to. Generally speaking, the more traffic space will see the harder the wood should be.

Your Financial Investment

There are many factors to consider when determining the cost of installing hardwood floors. The rule of thumb is the overall quality of hardwood flooring will have the biggest effect on the amount you will invest in your project. Starting with the basics consider where the hardwoods originate from. This will directly affect their cost. Exotic hardwoods are imported into the U.S. and carry with them the extra costs in overseas transport. Domestic hardwoods come from in country and obviously have far less shipping expenses in getting them to the public. Another factor in price is choosing between a solid hardwood floor or an engineered hardwood floor. This would include the finish of the wood, distressing (hand scraped), size of planks, and even the warranty that is offered with the wood you choose.

Unique Wood Floors Has the Answers

This series of posts was designed to get you thinking about the various considerations you will need to think about when making such an important investment. No amount of writing, tips, or online guides can replace the knowledge you will find with our staff. With over 10 years experience in the industry and hundreds of thousands of square feet sold and installed the wealth of information we can offer is unique and indispensable.

Feel free to give us a call or email anytime at 952-994-9696 or [email protected]. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about this important decision.