Choosing Wood Flooring For Your House
Wood flooring is the common type of flooring found in western houses. It keeps the place warm and gives a rustic look. If you are planning to install wood flooring in your home it is important to know how to choose the best options. Although it is tempting to pick out the color and plank size that matches your decor and have it installed, to get the best flooring requires that you understand certain characteristics about wood floors and how they act under certain conditions. One of the most important characteristics of wood to be familiar with is dimensional stability. This refers to how a wood reacts to changes in humidity. All wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity, but certain wood, such as Santos mahogany, is extremely stable and expands and contracts significantly less than other varieties. If you choose to use air conditioning and a humidifier to keep a constant level of humidity in your home, you can use a less stable wood, such as maple or birch, whereas wood floors that are exposed to the elements or are installed over basement concrete floors should be stronger, more stable woods such as mahogany, cherry, walnut, or ash.
In addition to understanding dimensional stability, you must have realistic expectations of your traffic. High traffic areas must have the hardest wood flooring possible, while lower traffic areas may have softer wood. You should compare a wood’s hardness to its dimensional stability to choose three or four different options and then decide what fits with your decorating needs.
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