Choosing the hardwood floor that’s right for you

(BPT) – After kids go back to school, homeowners finally have time to complete remodeling projects. This makes autumn a popular time for home improvements. In fact, home improvement activity is expected to peak in the final three months of 2014, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity developed by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Installing hardwood flooring is one of the most popular renovation projects. Homeowners desire hardwood floors for many reasons. They’re durable and can withstand the wear and tear of playful kids and pets. They retain a classic, natural look and feel, adding to a home’s elegance. Plus, hardwood floors are simple to clean and maintain.  

Since a floor is a key design element, it’s important to make sure the right one is selected based on its location and the homeowner’s lifestyle and personal preference. With the wide variety of flooring types, choosing the right floor for a space can be overwhelming. These key tips will help homeowners find and install the perfect hardwood floor.

Location, location, location

Where the flooring will be installed is an important consideration to ensure the floor will retain its beauty for generations. If on or above ground level, there are a wide variety of options available, from solid hardwood to bamboo varieties. For below-ground-level installations, such as basements, it’s important to choose a flooring type – such as engineered hardwood – that can withstand moisture.

Suit your lifestyle

If the hardwood floor will be in a well-traveled part of a home, or serve as ground zero for active kids and pets, it’s best to choose a wood variety that is at least as hard as red oak, as this is the industry benchmark for comparing the relative hardness of wood species. Viewing how floors compare on this scale and considering lifestyle attributes will help determine the flooring that’s right for a room. In addition, there are other flooring varieties to consider such as cork, laminate and vinyl for those who want the most durable hardwood alternative.    

Color your home with style

Various hardwood floor hues and finishes can complete the look of a room or set the foundation for a room’s design, so it’s important to base color and species on personal preference. Bellawood, for example, is a premier line of hardwood flooring that offers colors such as pewter and butterscotch, and low gloss, oil-finished looks.

To help find a color preference, online applications allow customers to mix and match flooring styles with room decor. The Designer Toolbox from Lumber Liquidators, for example, includes a Floor Finder App where different flooring styles can be placed within an image to help visualize a finished room. It also features an inspirational gallery of before and after flooring photos from homeowners. 

After finding the perfect floor, it’s time to install it. People can hire professionals or save money by doing it themselves. With online tools, such as Lumber Liquidators’ Flooring 101 guide, even novice DIYers can improve their homes with confidence.