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Hardwood flooring – Choose the right option for your home

Hardwood flooring – Choose the right option for your home

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Hardwood flooring – Choose the right option for your home

Now that we’re in the dead of winter, it’s a great time to think about changing or installing new hardwood floors. There are so many to choose from, and it’s not only the type of wood, but the layout that is also important. Hardwood is the foundation for your whole house: It’s what warms up your space and adds harmony to each room, tying everything together. I run hardwood everywhere, even my bathrooms, which sometimes shocks people, but to me, it counterbalances cold surfaces and adds a real depth of feel and comfort to my home.

So many options

Herringbone is a timeless hardwood, and it’s also quite trendy right now. If I were to use this particular hardwood, I would save it for one special room in my house, whether that be a foyer or a sitting room. Because it’s a bold pattern, you wouldn’t want to run it throughout too many areas as it can overwhelm your space. It’s also a little more expensive to lay herringbone, so you want to consider that as well.

From oak to black walnut (my personal favourite) and maple, you can choose several different hardwoods, but what you want to think about is the overall style and design of your home. Hardwood is a significant investment, and it’s something you will have to live with for the entire duration you stay in that home, so you want to make sure you take your time and select a hardwood that will stand the test of time, as well as your tastes. The hardwood is your base layer from which you layer everything else on top: Furniture, your soft furnishings, lighting, everything.

Types of finishes

There is a vast spectrum of finishing products, from penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to polyurethanes, and most finishes fall into one of two categories: Oil or poly.

The oil penetrates the wood and has a soft, matte and natural feel – which is always my preference – but know that because of this, it won’t be impervious to damage or stains like a polyurethane, which creates this hard topcoat on the surface of the wood, making it much more resilient.

Even though oil finishes typically scratch more quickly, they’re straightforward to touch up compared to polyurethane. You would generally need to replace the whole board or buff and recoat the entire section of the floor, which is time-consuming and costly.

Decide the width

You can also select the width of your planks for your wood floor. Many homeowners are gravitating towards wider planks because it can give a sense of luxury: When you go beyond the standard size, it can make it feel somewhat special and unique. But, generally speaking, you need to take into consideration the size of your room: The bigger the room and the higher the ceilings, the wider the plank you should choose.

Lisa Rogers is EVP of Design for Dunpar Homes.

Lisa has shared her style and design expertise on popular television programs, such as Canadian Living TV, House & Home TV and The Shopping Channel.

Lisa is one of the most familiar faces on CityTV’s Cityline as a regular guest expert for fashion and image, health and wellness and design.


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4 Main Options when Picking Flooring for Your Home

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4 Main Options when Picking Flooring for Your Home

New floors can considerably change the look, feel and value of your house, especially if you are dealing with old flooring or need to replace the carpet. The good news is that there are many sweeping trends you can pick from. This article looks at the four main options you will have when picking the right flooring for your home renovation project.

Hardwood

The most prestigious material is definitely the hardwood. Hardwood is usually made from solid lumber that is a natural insulator. It is mostly preferred because it can match with just any interior décor, it’s easy to clean and adds significant structural strength. Oak, maple, and cherry floors are the most popular materials in Canada due to their hardness, thus durability. Hardwood floor will attract and retain less dirt hence reducing molds and allergens from your home.

The problem with the hardwood floor is that it is not moisture resistant. You cannot afford to leave spills for too long because the will be absorbed by the wood. Individual boards may also expand or contract when exposed to varying humidity levels indoors. For the best performance, you will need to keep the indoor humidity at between 45% and 55% throughout the year.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a much better alternative to a regular hardwood, although it is more expensive. These floors are made using the uppermost layer of dried hardwood and the lower layers are composed of solid wood, plywood or HDF. The pieces are pressure bonded.

The good thing about this option is that it is moisture resistant and more durable. You don’t need to keep a close eye on temperature and humidity levels when using this flooring. You also enjoy more flexibility during installation since there are many installation methods. The downside is engineered hardwood is costly.

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring has been very popular in Canada in 60’s and 70’ and up until 2000s was mostly used in commercial buildings. In the past few years Toronto homeowners have begun favoring cork flooring due to its unique retro-look and eco-friendly nature. Home gym, kitchen and kid’s room would benefit from cork floor’s shock-absorbent structure.

This flooring is made from cork oak tree and the tree itself doesn’t need to be cut to harvest the material. It is highly resistant to mold, mildew and bacteria which makes it a good option for people with allergies.

The downside is that cork scratches easily and it is not moisture-friendly. Most of professional contractors do not suggest using cork flooring in bathrooms, laundry area or basements.

Laminate Flooring

The forth option is laminate flooring. This one is gaining popularity mostly because it has longer life span and offers remarkable aesthetic effects; as well as several cost saving benefits. It is easy to install, clean and maintain.

One of the greatest laminate benefits is its versatility. Prints on laminate can simulate any desired pattern and color: from warm wood-like palette to modern grey stone or marble. And it will cost you much cheaper than actual marble floors.

Laminate floors are also a wise option if you are planning on installing in-floor heating. Nowadays homeowners in Toronto are including such floor-heating systems in their house renovation projects by default. First, it adds warmth and a comfort to any room. Second, it increases the house value overall making heated floors a rational investment.

Ceramic Flooring

Ceramic tiles are the best alternative to any other flooring if you need it to be waterproof or easy washable which makes them ideal option for bathrooms, kitchens or outdoor patios.

Ceramic floor is extremely durable and not so easy to crack when installed. Properly installed tiles can serve you for 20 years and even longer when properly taken care of. And even if one tile gets cracked it is pretty simple to remove it and replace with a new one.

In Toronto ceramic flooring would cost you between $1.50 to $6 per square foot depending on quality, tile size and pattern. This makes it moderately expensive option, but will long-term value to a property price.

Marble Flooring

Marble flooring is one of the most expensive, but durable and versatile type of floor. Most homeowners in Canada pay between 10$ to 20$ per square foot for professionally installed marble flooring.

Its luxury look and elegant texture can turn your house into a castle. Marble tiles come is various colors and sizes, easy to install and will last forever.

Another benefit of this floor compared to other soft flooring options is the fact that it’s easy to clean and hypoallergenic. It is also a perfect match for any floor-heating system, as a natural material marble stays warm longer after the heating system is turned off.

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