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Just the Basics: Hardwoods for beginners

One of the most exciting things about owning your first home or business is also one of the most terrifying: there are so many areas that you might not be well-versed in that you need to make decisions about. For instance, if you need to make a decision about what kind of flooring to be installed in your new home or business, you could spend hours just figuring out which material to choose from. There is carpeting, hardwoods, laminate and vinyl tiling, and that is not saying anything about cork or bamboo and more. The point is, there is a lot to consider. The professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey have spent more than a few hours thinking about these things, which is why we are putting together this handy little guide, tackling each topic one at a time. Today we will be covering hardwoods, the backbone of the flooring world.

All Hail the King

When you think about hardwoods, more often than not you are thinking about one particular type of wood, especially in the U.S.: oak. Simply put, when it comes to hardwoods, oak is the king. There are many reasons for this, but basically what it boils down to is that oak is one of the most abundant species of trees in the country, making it a lot more economical to install. It is tough, so it can handle the daily wear and tear of everyday use, and it won’t show its wounds very easily. Another factor that makes it a popular choice for homes and businesses is that oak stains very nicely, so if the lighter shade is not what you want from your floor, but you like everything else about it, you can always change the color to something that suits you better.

All of the Others

Oak flooring is far from the only choice, however. If you are looking for something more durable, you might want to look into maple, which is a bit tougher, although you sacrifice some of the options that oak gives you since maple does not stain as well, nor does it have that built-in character. Maple is softer and easier on the feet though, so it really just depends on what your goal is. Hickory is another hardwood that can handle a beating, and has a similar, light-golden appearance to maple, although both are more expensive than oak on average.

If you don’t mind your floors changing and growing with you in your new home, then perhaps Brazilian walnut or cherry is for you. Both are a very strong species, with a deep coloring (brown and red, respectively) that gets deeper as time goes by. Although, as with any species of international tree, it is more expensive than most. The other main type of tree used for flooring is pine, which is one of the most character-driven types of hardwood. As one of the softest hardwoods, it will show the knicks and dents that build up over time. It also has a lot of knots in it, and each plank has tons of variety in its design.

If this all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t be. All you need to figure out the right type of hardwood flooring is to talk to someone who knows, like the professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey. We are excited about the prospect of helping.

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