What’s the hype about hardwood flooring? Read on to find out and explore what type of hardwood flooring will add value to your home.
The unparalleled beauty of wooden flooring and the natural warmth it lends to a room makes it a timeless classic. Not only does wood add a touch of luxury to your home interiors but it is also a very durable material for flooring, especially hardwood. If you’re contemplating hardwood flooring for your home interiors, this blog will help you discover different types of hardwood flooring and finishes that are cut out for your lifestyle and fit your budget.
What Is Hardwood Flooring?
Hardwood, also called solid wood, is basically hard. It is the dense timber from trees that grow at a slow pace. Its high density makes it supremely durable, which is why it is an excellent choice for furniture and flooring. When it comes to looks, hardwood offers a luxurious appearance because of its rich fine-grained colours. On the other hand, softwood is less dense and lightweight which means it is not as durable as hardwood. It can be quite challenging to visually differentiate between hardwood and softwood, which is why we recommend working with an interior designer to make the right choice.
Types Of Hardwood Flooring
We understand what a daunting task it is to choose the right hardwood flooring option for a particular room. To help you make the right choice, we have listed below types of hardwood flooring options with their core features and average price per square foot. Typically, hardwood flooring costs anywhere between ₹ 550 to ₹5,000 per square foot.
One of the best-looking hardwoods, oak is the most popular choice for flooring because of its high density. Its classic look and distinctive patterns are sure to give your home a sophisticated touch. Moreover, it’s very stable under different weather conditions and is available in various natural colours. A well-finished oak flooring can withstand high traffic and show high resistance to scratches. The average price per square foot for oak flooring is ₹750.
Just like oak, maple too is a highly durable hardwood that doesn’t decay easily and will stay strong for generations. You’ll notice more uniformity in colour in maple flooring as compared to some of the other hardwood flooring options. Its light colour creates a sleek spacious look making it a hot favourite in modern home interiors. The average price per square foot for maple flooring is ₹600.
A supremely attractive hardwood, bamboo is an eco-friendly and sustainable flooring option. It promises a clean contemporary look and is easy to maintain. Like all other hardwoods, it’s durable too. But it scratches easily which means you will be refinishing it often to remove the scratches. Another con of using bamboo for flooring is that it absorbs moisture very quickly, so it cannot be used without a water-proof polish. The average price per square foot for bamboo flooring is ₹400.
Mahogany is the best option when you want to give your home a rustic touch. Its rich reddish brown colour adds character and makes the space look luxurious. It has multiple pros – high durability, stability, scratch resistance, water-resistant, and beautiful texture. But its extreme hardness makes it difficult to cut which makes the labour cost for installing it very expensive. The average price per square foot for mahogany flooring is ₹1,200.
This is one hardwood that will fetch your home a high resale value because of its distinctive looks and high stability in humid weather. It also has high resistance to water as well as scratches so you will be spending very little time on its upkeep. Be it high foot traffic or pets scraping the floor – hickory can take it all! But just like mahogany, hickory too takes a lot of effort to cut and install. The average price per square foot for hickory flooring is ₹800.
Acacia is one hardwood that doesn’t damage easily. Its deep brown colour and defined grain beautifully hide signs of everyday wear and tear and give your floor a very exotic look. What sets it apart from other types of wood flooring options is that it is resistant to fire. Acacia is a sustainable option and more durable than all the above-mentioned hardwoods. It is even resistant to fungal and mold growth. The average price per square foot for acacia flooring is more expensive than oak or maple at ₹800.
Why Is Hardwood Used For Flooring?
There are several reasons why hardwood is highly sought-after when it comes to flooring. Here is an exhaustive list of reasons why you should consider hardwood flooring for your home:
Aesthetics: Hardwood floors immediately enhance the visual appeal of a room. They give your home a premium feel that never goes out of style.
Versatility: Because of its natural look, hardwood can be easily used in most areas of your home. The numerous types of hardwood textures, grains, finishes, and stains allow you to execute both modern and traditional interior designs.
Heat insulation: Hardwood floors don’t just make a room look warm and cosy but also hold warmth. Their high thermal mass allows them to absorb heat which enhances the heat circulation in your home.
Maintenance: One of the best things about hardwood floors is that their upkeep doesn’t require too much effort. In case of stains or spills, they can be cleaned very easily – just wipe them!
Long-lasting: Because of their high strength and sustainability, hardwood floors will last you for decades to come. They can also be refinished every 8-10 years for a fresher look and longer lifespan.
Acoustics: Hardwood being highly dense absorbs sound and distributes it evenly throughout a room. It also acts as a great acoustic by stopping sound from escaping the room.
Better resale value: Not that you may need to, but a hardwood floor will boost the value of your property when you try to sell it in the future.
Points To Remember About Hardwood Flooring
While hardwood is a great option for flooring because it’s natural and strong, it has certain drawbacks as well. We’ve seen the benefits of using hardwood flooring, now let’s take a look at its disadvantages:
Pricing: Hardwood floors cost much more when compared to laminates or tiles. So adding hardwood flooring to the entire house can be a costly affair. If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend hardwood flooring only for bedrooms and living rooms to make the space look lavish and attractive. It doesn’t make sense to use them in areas such as the kitchen or bathroom for they are vulnerable to moisture and may deteriorate which won’t justify the high hardwood flooring prices.
Noise: Newly installed hardwood floors look stunning. But after regular usage, they will start being squeaky which can be offputting. When hardwood expands due to changes in weather conditions, the planks start rubbing against each other causing an unpleasant sound.
Water damage: Polished hardwood flooring is water-resistant. But excessive water spillage or water leaking in between the planks is a major cause of concern. Hardwood floors can be cleaned by sweeping with a dry mop or vacuuming. Using a wet mop is a big no-no as it can lead to irreparable damage.
Prone to termite attack: The biggest challenge a homeowner can face with wooden floors is termite infestation. Often, the infestation goes way too far before a homeowner can identify it. Hardwood floors that have been attacked by termites start creaking when you walk over them. The only way to get rid of termites in your flooring is to replace the flooring which is an expensive affair. This is why it’s crucial to choose the right hardwood flooring with the help of an experienced interior designer.
Difference Between Hardwood And Other Flooring Options
Now that you’re aware of the pros and cons of hardwood flooring and hardwood flooring cost, here is a detailed account of how it fares against other flooring options.
Hardwood Finishing Options
If you want your hardwood flooring to last longer, it must be covered with a protective layer of hardwood floor polish. A well-finished hardwood floor not just enhances the look of your home, but also ensures it’s less susceptible to everyday wear and tear, scraping, dents, water damage, and colour fading over time. In high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, you cannot install a hardwood floor that’s not finished as it can quickly become weak.
You can either go for pre-finished or site-finished hardwood based on your personal choice. As the name suggests, pre-finished hardwoods are already coated with a protective finish and you can directly use them for flooring. On the other hand, site-finished hardwood comes raw and will be finished in your home once the installation is complete.
Best Hardwood Floor Polish For Your Home
Different polishes give your hardwood a different finish. We have outlined below the three most popular ones to make it easy for you to finalise the best hardwood floor polish for your home.
Oil finish: An oil-based finish is the most common and best coat of protection for your hardwood flooring. Yes, it takes longer to dry but it gives your hardwood floors a lustrous colour and smooth look. Additionally, it costs less than the other finishing options and requires little maintenance, making it the ideal choice for homes with high foot traffic.
Wax finish: This finishing option has been used for centuries and gives a matte finish look to the floor. This allows the beauty of the wood to shine through. Even a single layer of wax finish can make a hardwood floor highly water resistant. The downside of this polish is that it requires regular maintenance to keep the floors looking fresh.
Water-based finish: Water-based finishes promise a clear look which ensures the natural colour of the hardwood doesn’t change. But then this means any defects or flaws will also be clearly visible. The reason why water-based finishes are popular is that they dry up quickly and ensure durability. Although they are environmentally friendly, they are the most expensive out of all three.
Hardwood floors are undeniably gorgeous looking and give your home an authentic natural vibe. They can be used in most areas of the house except areas with high moisture and standing water. We hope this blog has helped you understand the various types of hardwood flooring as well as the best hardwood floor polish. If you’re looking for ways to use hardwood flooring in your home interiors, you can connect with our top interior designers at DesignCafe and get a free quote! To help you take better care of your wooden floors, read more here:
- Tips to take care of your wooden furniture during monsoons
- How to detect and get rid of termites from wooden furniture
- Tips and tricks for cleaning wooden furniture