Consumers shopping for wood flooring have different needs and tastes. But by asking the right questions, a retail salesperson can recommend a product that best suits your needs.


There are many types of hardwood products on the market. Considering the specific usage is critical to selecting the right floor. Not only should you consider the physical conditions of the room, but your lifestyle as well.


Selecting the type of wood for the floor is usually a matter of personal preference. What makes wood distinctive is the singular color and grain pattern of each species. However, some woods are harder than others. The harder types of wood usually look better in heavy traffic areas.


The first thing you want to be concerned with is performance. You want a floor that will handle the activity that is happening in that room. Then you can choose a style and color to create the look you want.


How do you choose the right finish? All urethane finishes are durable, water resistant and require minimal maintenance. But there are distinct differences and advantages for each type. Consult a retail salesperson before deciding which one to use.


When deciding whether to buy a light or dark finish, remember a wood floor with a light finish makes a room appear larger. A darker finish can create a rich, traditional look for a room. Consider your decorating theme as well; for instance, a floor style with generous color fluctuations and grain patterns enables you to create a country feel.


The amount of foot traffic in the room is also a consideration. Take care when using a white or bleached floor because it tends to show dirt, scratches and scuffs more easily. Also, traditional urethane finishes or bleached floors may amber unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer.


If you’re debating on choosing a linear or patterned floor, consider that a linear floor opens an area and makes a room seem bigger. By comparison, a patterned or parquet floor enhances the design element of an interior.


Manufacturers have made major improvements in finishing technology, enabling them to produce pre-finished products requiring far less maintenance than wood offered years ago. When properly maintained and installed, an engineered wood floor can stand up to frequent wear and washing.


To ensure high performance and keep your wood floor looking new, always follow manufacturer’s recommendations for proper care and maintenance. Sweep or vacuum your wood floor regularly. Never wet-mop; standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue. And don’t use resilient floor care products because they may cause a wood floor to become slippery and appear dull quickly.