by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers
The value of a hardwood floor is well known, but sometimes it just doesn’t stand up to the challenges of every application. Despite the growing shift toward more hardwood surfaces being installed in new construction and in renovation projects, sometimes carpet and tile floors are still preferred for comfort and practicality reasons. Old habits die hard, but with the burgeoning array of flooring options available today, there is absolutely no reason that the beautiful look of wood can’t be incorporated throughout the entire house. The diverse products available from Lumber Liquidators give you the opportunity to choose the perfect style and resilience for every single room!
Freedom in Living Areas
The living room and connecting hallways tend to utilize hardwood flooring even when other parts of the house do not. Perfect for easy cleaning in busy spaces and for a generally nicer appearance, hardwood is right at home in comfortable common areas and has a long history that supports its use in them. Red oak has been the traditional choice for quite a while, but there are plenty of other amazing species out there that will add beauty, color, contrast, uniqueness—whatever you want!—to a home.
The growing selection means you should take the time to really get a feel for what will work best for what you’ve got to work with. Modern architecture likes to utilize very light woods and neutral gray tones, while traditional homes like rich hues, often reddish, and a polished finish. Reaching beyond the norm is totally acceptable—you can make a bold statement and create a fantastic interior design all your own. It would be a waste not to check out the vast number of choices!
Durability for the Kitchen and Dining Room
The major concern for the high-traffic areas of the home is durability. Everybody knows the kitchen is where most of the action is on any given day, and hosting will put extra strain on the dining room, especially during the busy holidays when you want it to look its best. Splashing, falling pans, and the effect of so many feet treading all over can wear on a floor, so choose a species with a high Janka rating to lessen the chance of scuffs, scratches, dings, and other signs of damage.
Generally speaking, choosing a prefinished or engineered hardwood will give you the most hardiness and continued good looks. The factory finishing process produces a more resilient floor than can be achieved with planks finished on-site, and engineered hardwood is composed of multiple thin layers of wood that increase resistance to the effects of ambient temperature and humidity changes. As a bonus, these floors give you more installation options and can be put in much more easily and quickly.
Creating Comfort for Bedrooms
Many people who love hardwood still choose carpet for bedrooms, because it feels better on bare feet and dampens noise. On the downside, carpet requires more tedious cleaning and holds on to allergens, so it isn’t always the healthiest choice. The natural solution would be a comfortable floor that washes up simply, and it can be found in the form of cork.
Cork flooring is harvested from the bark of the tree and doesn’t require cutting it down, so it is one of the most sustainable choices around. It provides a cushioned floor that insulates sound and heat—it won’t shock you by being freezing cold in the winter!—and it also has some amazing properties you wouldn’t expect. It’s hypoallergenic and many of the options from Lumber Liquidators are Greenguard certified, so it promises to create a more healthy floor for all!
Waterproof Faux Hardwood for Bathrooms
The trickiest application of wood is in the bathroom, by far. All surfaces will be exposed to steam and general dampness regularly, and standing water can be a real concern. You could expect regular hardwood to experience warping and rotting under these conditions, which is why homeowners have relied on the imperviousness of tile for bathrooms even as product trends moved forward elsewhere. The style of bathroom tile has undergone a huge transformation over decades, though, and now it has taken on a brand new look that aligns with our desire to include hardwood in even the riskiest places.
Wood-look tile mimics the woodgrains of various species and comes in colors that match some natural hardwood products, so you can create coherent visual transitions while still choosing suitable flooring. The HD printing process yields tiles like you’ve never seen before, and they come in long rectangular shapes, like planks. Install these pieces just as you would with any other tile and you’ll be left with the water-resistant hardwood you’ve always wanted. Incredible durability and the fact that you can clean tiles so easily have opened the entire house to porcelain flooring—some customers have simply decided to install this everywhere, bringing tile far beyond the confines of the bathroom for the first time.
If you’ve got a flooring project in the works, find your local Lumber Liquidators to see all of the options available firsthand. The experts will help you come up with the best whole-house flooring plan, and the results will be exceptional!