Hardwood is made up of what the name suggests – Wood. Hardwood flooring consists of species that range from hard to softwoods. For example, Maple flooring is commonly used in homes but is softer in nature and can scratch easily. Species like Oak are much more durable and less likely to show wear and tear. Darker stains show dust and footprints easily, while lighter toned floors can be more forgiving. Hardwood often comes in smaller width pieces, around 2-3” wide.
Solid hardwood floors are comprised of multiple layers of wood that can be sanded and re-stained multiple times throughout its lifespan. Engineered wood allows for more playful textures (think the barn wood look), but often can only be sanded and stained 1-2 times as the layering process is different and is made up of fewer layers of actual wood.
Laminate floors used to be extremely fake looking and were avoided at all costs. These pre-engineered and manufactured floors have come a LONG way and are gaining in popularity due to their extremely durable nature. These floors come in all shapes in sizes, so if you love the wide plank style, this is for you. Pre-engineered floors will truly stand the test of time (and kids, and pets, and bikes in the house); however, be careful if they get scratched as the image is typically printed on just the top layer. Making damages harder to cover up and sometimes can require replacing an entire plank if you are not careful.
Everyone is familiar with carpet, but this most common flooring type has also come a long way. Remember houses back in the day that hard carpet in bathrooms and on the walls?! No more. Carpet is typically delegated to the “softer” areas of the home reserved for lounging, i.e.: Bonus rooms, bedrooms and playrooms. Carpets can come with many interesting features, including integrated stain removers, pet deodorizers, as well as silk fibres to up the comfort.
Still one of the most popular flooring choices out there, tile is making an impact lately with geometric designs and fun patterns using alternating sizes and widths. This is an easy way to add texture to the home, where you might not normally think of doing so. Choosing a contrasting grout colour in a darker tone is another way to add contrast and interest.