At Floor Coverings International Birmingham, many of our customers choose hardwood for their new floors. It is no surprise that hardwood is among the most popular options for flooring in Birmingham. It is durable, versatile, and adds timeless beauty to any space. Depending on the species and finish, hardwood works well with any décor. Here are some things to consider when choosing the perfect hardwood for your Birmingham home:
Hardwood flooring is available in a variety of tree species, from oak to cherry. Species determines your hardwood’s color, texture, and grain pattern. Red maple is white to reddish brown, with a light, even texture and subtle ring patterns. White oak—one of the most common hardwood species available—is great for rustic spaces because of its medium brown color and course, uneven texture.
Species also plays an important role in your hardwood floor’s longevity. Ultimately, your floor’s durability comes down to the Janka Hardness Rating for its species. Janka ratings are determined by measuring the amount of force necessary to embed a steel ball halfway into a piece of wood.
Conifers like pine tend to be very soft, with ratings around 400. With a rating of 1,360, white oak is very durable and cost effective. Exotic hardwoods usually have the highest ratings. Snakewood has an astounding 3,800 rating, meaning that it will resist dings and scratches for generations.
The finish you choose for your hardwood floors makes a huge difference in its durability and style. The most common finish is an oil-based urethane, which is easy to apply and dries in approximately eight hours. Urethane tends to amber with age and has different levels of glossiness. Urethane finishes can also be solvent-based. These are very difficult to apply but are often non-yellowing, so you don’t have to worry about color changes over time.
Traditionally, hardwood is finished with wax. This method is time tested and produces beautiful, durable flooring. Wax differs from other finishes because it penetrates the wood. Instead of protecting the wood, it strengthens it. Unfortunately, this means that wear to the finish is also wear to the wood.
Learn from the Experts
Our showroom features thousands of flooring options, including many hardwoods and our expert staff. If you’d prefer to view samples from the comfort of your home, our mobile showroom is a terrific option. Call today for a free, in-home consultation.
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