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Exploring Wood Flooring Options

By Michelle Ecker on August 03, 2016

Exploring Wood Flooring Options

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers online interior design certification and because we do, we like to provide free tips for aspiring designers. Enjoy!

If you want to recommend flooring updates for one of your clients, wood can be a beautiful, easy to maintain option worth exploring. Getting started, your material selections will typically be divided into two categories- hardwoods and softwoods.

The majority of wooden floors are hardwoods (the standard being oak), since that type is more capable of withstanding heavy use and daily wear-and-tear. However, because of their sturdier, higher-quality make, hardwood options are generally more expensive than more fragile softwood selections such as pine or fir. Although some contractors work with softwood in an effort to cut financial corners, we generally recommend avoiding it for the sake of long term sustainability. Considering this, here are 3 common options worth exploring:

Oak- One of the most readily available wood flooring options, oak is actually relatively low in cost compared to other materials. If you’re looking to create a warmer interior aesthetic, ask to see red oak options. If you’re client would prefer a cool, paled look, check out white oak options instead.

Maple- Used much less frequently than oak, this option is usually a bit more expensive. However, it is generally considered to be better quality as far as toughness and durability. If your client is working with a broader budget, this could be an option worth considering.

Bamboo- Becoming increasingly popular as of late, bamboo is a preferable choice for several reasons. Because of the fast rate at which it grows, it’s considered to be an environmentally-friendly choice for many designers and their green-minded clients. Additionally, this rapid regrowth process allows for it to be generally sold at a much expensive cost than other, more difficult to regrow options.

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