Considering Wood Floors

The warmth, beauty, and durability of wood make it one of the most popular of flooring materials. Wood can add a special feeling of quality, permanence, and livability to any room, and win last the lifetime of the house, if properly installed . If it is well protected and cared for, it will never have to be refinished, but will only look better as it takes on the patina of age. Wood is also an insulating material; and it is comfortable to walk on, due to its natural resilience.

Although wood materials can be attractive in any area of the house, you’ll want to look carefully at the room’s environmental conditions when you’re considering wood materials. Will the room be subject to a great deal of moisture? Kitchens and bathrooms usually have nigh humidity conditions, which can cause wood flooring to swell, and possibly even buckle if the finish is moisture-permeable. If the room has a good ventilation system, room humidity probably won’t affect the flooring. But if a lot of moisture tends to collect, a different material might be a better option. Water from spills or traffic can cause wood materials to stain, warp, or even rot if the surface finish can’t resist it, and if enough of it collects. A waterproof finish like polyurethane can protect wood materials from these conditions.

Wood materials are also subject to scratches and surface abrasion. If the area you’re considering collects a lot of sand or grit from traffic (in a beach house, for example), you should consider using a very dense hardwood finished with several coats of a durable wear-resistant surface finish.

When you counterbalance your understanding of the nature of wood material with the functions of the room where you’re considering installing it, you’re more apt to make the most appropriate selection.

Wide planking, plugged and toned dark, ties together the furnishings, bookcases, and architectural trim detailing of this traditional room, creating a unified and harmonious design theme.

Natural wood floors, along with soft and simple furniture lines, amplify the pleasant qualities of this room’s natural light.

Prev.: Introduction and a Perspective on Floors

Next: Wood Floors: Planning & Design

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Friday, 2010-11-26 13:30