There are few things that make a home look more beautiful and add more value than wood floors. They are more popular among homeowners than flooring of stone or slate. Beautiful wood adds a lovely color and warmness a home that you do not get from any other flooring.

There is a wide variety in choices of wood flooring. You can choose anything you like, depending on your taste or the kind of decor you have chosen. Wood flooring looks good in any area of the house, except perhaps the kitchen or bathroom where there is a lot of moisture.

One of the most popular choices for wood flooring is hardwood. Hardwood is a certain kind of wood that comes from trees that are more dense than others. These include bellawood, walnut, maple, hickory, cherry and oak. You can stain hardwood to just about any color you like, or you can leave the wood in its original. There are hardwoods, like walnut or cherry that have such a rich texture that you do not even have to stain them.

After you choose the type of wood you want, you have to decide upon how you want it finished. You can purchase prefinished wood, which has been pre-stained and covered with a coating of polyurethane. It is more expensive than unfinished wood, but it saves a lot of time.

Or, you can install the wood and do the finishing yourself. In this case, you have to do the sanding, staining and finish coat such as urethane. You let dry and sand the wood between coats, so this whole procedure will take several days. If you decide to put on extra layers of polyurethane, the process will be lengthened, but you will have more protection on the wood.

Some people liked the option of reclaimed flooring, sometimes called distressed floors. These floors have their own unique character, with a rough finish that does not show every little scratch and nick as a smooth surface will.

Outside of using traditional wood flooring, you can also choose laminate flooring. These resemble hardwood and with the best laminates, you will have a hard time telling the difference between the laminate and a real hardwood floor. Such well known flooring companies like Armstrong make quality laminates. Some other choices in wood flooring are cork floors, or bamboo.

If you take care of your hardwood flooring, it will last a lifetime, no matter what you choose: real wood, laminate or one of the other choices. Caring for them is essentially the same for all of these.

Make sure you dust or vacuum your floor frequently to reduce dust and dirt. These scratch the surface which, over time will wear away at it.

Put mats down at all of the entrances. This will remove a large portion of the dust and dirt from coming into the house at all.

Dust the floor lightly when required. Use a mop that is only slightly dampened when you mop; water sitting on the surface may leak between the boards and damage the floor, which will cause warping as the backing of the floor is damaged. It may also cause mold to start growing under the floor.

About the author: Kurt Schefken continually edits detailed reports on topics similar to floor installation and installing flooring. His abstracts on wood flooring can be found on his website.


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