1. If you choose a solid wood floor in your home, make sure you consider a factory-applied finish, which will make installation much easier — no dust from sanding, no fumes from finishing and no waiting around for the floors to dry.
2. Consider your home’s activity level when deciding on a wood species. In homes with kids or pets, most floors (especially American hardwoods like maple, walnut and cherry) can weather a little abuse. Softwoods, like southern yellow pine, are great options, too — as long as you’re prepared for dents and scratches to surface over time.
3. Changes in humidity can lead to squeaking and buckling. This sensitivity to moisture rules out wood floor installation in basements and most bathrooms.