How to choose the ideal wood floor for your home


(NC)—There is noth­ing like the time­less qual­ity and clas­sic beauty wood floor­ing can bring to your home. No other floor­ing op­tion delivers the warmth, splen­dor and value of wood. To­day there are count­less colours avail­able to choose from as well as dif­fer­ent and rare species, each with their unique char­ac­ter­is­tics.

This is why choos­ing the right wood floor to meet your spe­cific taste and dé­cor needs can be a chal­lenge. Ac­cord­ing to Michel Collin, Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor of Mercier Wood Floor­ing, one of North Amer­ica's lead­ing hard­wood floor­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, there are a few key fac­tors to con­sider when choos­ing wood floor­ing.

First, you should con­sider the fin­ished look you want to achieve for your dé­cor. “It's al­ways best to start with your floor when dec­o­rat­ing,” ad­vised Collin. “If you want a mod­ern or con­tem­po­rary look, you should con­sider wood species that have a cleaner look with less tex­ture and grain such as Maple, Birch, or Cherry. If you pre­fer a more rus­tic look, then White Ash or Oak would be best.”

An­other fac­tor to con­sider is the type of fur­ni­ture you se­lect for the rooms. If it's wood fur­ni­ture it's im­por­tant to en­sure it doesn't clash with your new wood floor. “You can ei­ther match the wood fur­ni­ture to the floor or you can opt for a con­trast which gives a very nice look,” he added. Dark ma­hogany, oak, or cherry fur­ni­ture for ex­am­ple will show up much bet­ter on a light coloured wood floor than it would on a dark wood floor.

Ac­cord­ing to Nancy Soc­cio of Dolce De­sign in Mon­treal, some man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Mercier Wood Floor­ing make the task of choos­ing the right wood floor much eas­ier.

“With their De­sign+ pro­gram Mercier of­fers so many colours, species, fin­ished, strip widths, and grade that the pos­si­bil­i­ties for per­son­al­iz­ing your floor are al­most end­less,” she said. “This pro­gram takes the stress out of se­lect­ing the right hard­wood floor for your dé­cor.”

Then there's the fin­ish. Solid hard­wood floors come ei­ther un­fin­ished or pre­fin­ished. “Pre­fin­ished wood floor­ing is a pop­u­lar choice to­day be­cause you avoid the la­bor, dust and fumes that come with fin­ish­ing a floor,” added Collin. He should know Mercier has been the leader in fac­tory-fin­ish wood floor­ing since it in­tro­duced the con­cept 30 years ago.

Trends to watch

More ex­otic wood species are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity with dis­cern­ing con­sumers to­day. “Our South Amer­i­can wood species like Santos Ma­hogany and Brazil­ian Cherry are sought af­ter by dis­cern­ing home­own­ers for their rich tones, beau­ti­ful grains, and su­pe­rior hard­ness,” Collin added.

An­other pop­u­lar trend is to­ward en­gi­neered wood floor­ing, a ve­neer of hard­wood in the species of your choice glued on top of three to seven thin sheets of wood. Solid wood will ex­pand or con­tract with heat and mois­ture, whereas en­gi­neered wood floor­ing, be­cause it's made of cross­banded lay­ers of wood, of­fers more di­men­sional sta­bil­ity. It's ideal for kitchens and base­ments where mois­ture is a fac­tor.

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