Hardwood floors never seem to go out of style – their beauty and durability is appreciated by generation after generation of homeowners. So if you’re planning to install wood floors, you’ll want some basic information in order to choose wisely.
According to Hardwoodinfo.com, hardwoods are “deciduous trees that have broad leaves, produce a fruit or a nut, and generally go dormant in the winter. Popular hardwoods include oak, ash, cherry, and maple.
Softwoods, says the site, are conifers, evergreen and cone-bearing trees including cedar, pine, and redwood. Softwoods are generally used for behind the scenes construction lumber, while the beauty of hardwood grains make them preferable for display purposes, such as in cabinets and flooring.
Sometimes older homes feature pine floors, and cedar is often used to line storage closets, but generally, hardwoods are preferred for high traffic areas like living rooms and dining rooms.
If you’re buying wood floors, you can get them unfinished, and they’ll be sanded, stained and polished on site, or you can buy pre-finished hardwoods. You can also buy engineered hardwood floors, in which several thin layers have been bonded together in planks for easy installation and water resistance.
Caring for hardwoods and softwoods is easy – use only cleansers that are recommended for wood. Keep floors swept often, as dirt, grit and debris carried by shoes can scratch and penetrate the wood. Avoid wearing heels on hardwood floors and put furniture protectors under furniture legs if there is no carpeting.