Hardwoods are one of the most commonly looked for things in a home, and it’s easy to see why: they’re handsome, timeless, and durable, meshing with almost every type of home design. When properly maintained, they can last for a home’s entire lifetime and significantly boost its resale value.
But like any type of flooring, hardwoods come with their own set of considerations. If you’re looking to put hardwoods in your custom home, there are a few things you should consider.
Choosing a Wood
Most hardwood floors are made from oak, cherry, or maple. In addition to being lovely to look at, these are all grown in North America and are renowned for durability, making them the logical and cost-effective choice. More exotic choices like Brazilian Cherry can class up a room, but you’ll pay dearly for the privilege.
If you’re desperate for a high-end look without paying high-end money, fake wood and vinyl flooring has advanced significantly in recent years. It might not be real wood, but a lot of them can look pretty close.
All hardwood floors require some sort of sealing; without this, the wood wears down much more quickly. You’ll likely choose one of two options:
- Surface finish: typically polyurethane, these thin, moisture-resistant coatings are applied on top of the wood. Installation is simpler and the effect is usually more satin-like or glossy in nature.
- Penetrating finish: these finishes absorb into the actual pores of the wood, then covered by a thin layer of wax. This creates a more natural look that goes particularly well with certain aesthetics, particularly if you want a farmhouse look.
All hardwoods require significant upkeep and maintenance if you want them to last. All sealants have to eventually be reapplied, typically every 3-5 years. You may also want to polish them regularly to minimize surface scratches and dullness, especially for glossy finishes.
Hardwood floors also require special care to clean. Instead of using any old all-purpose cleaner to mop, make sure you use a special wood-friendly variety like Murphy’s Oil Soap or Bona. Also avoid stiff bristles when sweeping so you don’t get ugly micro-scratches.
Are you interested in a luxurious custom home with hardwood flooring? Tingen Construction can help! We’ve been building gorgeous homes in the Triangle for decades. Contact us today to get started!