Solid hardwood flooring varies in width. The wide planks measure 8 to 12 inches in width and were mostly used in homes built before the 1850s. Homes feel more rustic and homier when wide planks are installed. Houses built after 1850 had planks installed that ranged from 3 to 8 inches. The early 20th century had the narrowest selection of planks that run from 1 ½ to 3 inches- narrower strips make a room seem larger. There is also the option of reclaimed wood to add character with an aged look.
Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
Reclaimed hardwood is made from old-growth timber that has been cleaned and resawn. Much of it comes from buildings that have been dismantled. Choose a supplier that makes sure the wood is free of nails and has dried the wood in a kiln to eliminate termites or other pests. The wood also needs to be stabilized to prevent warping. Reclaimed wood is denser than new wood, is sustainable and comes in wood species that be otherwise hard to find.
Hardwood Floors Are Suitable for What Rooms Throughout House?
Hardwood floors can be used almost anywhere in your home. If you use them in your kitchen you will need to be more diligent about possible moisture problems that can cause warping. It’s a good idea to use floor mats in areas where water may contact the surface such as the fridge, dishwasher or by the sink. It is not a good idea to use hardwood flooring in bathrooms because the moisture levels are just too high a lot of the time. However, they can work if you take care of them properly. The basement is also another less than ideal place for hardwood flooring for the same reason.
Hardwood Floor Life Expectancy
Solid wood flooring can last for 100 years or more and rarely needs to be replaced. It comes in more than 50 domestic and exotic species. Historic favorites include red and white oak, maple and pine. Modern options include jarrah, purpleheart and bamboo which technically isn’t wood, but is an option. You can choose prefinished or unfinished hardwood flooring.
Prefinished & Unfinished Hardwood Floors
Unfinished is best for matching existing flooring because it can be stained to the right shade. Finished hardwood include wax, oil and urethanes and can be matte to glossy. It can also be distressed or hand-scraped for an aged look.
Hardwood Floor Design Layouts
Parquet design creates geometric patterns with small pieces of wood. This design became more affordable in the late 1800s when machines started doing the cutting. At this time medallion and borders were introduced. The 20th century ushered in the herringbone design that has become very popular. The reason hardwood floors last so long is because they can be sanded five to seven times, if not more, over the span of their lifetime. The finish on a hardwood floors can be lightly sanded and recoated numerous times without altering the wood itself.