Determining the right type of wood floors for your home is as important as the color, style, grain and overall fashion. The type of wood floor that works best in your home will depend on the location of the wood floor as well as the type of materials that will support the new floor-the sub floor.

Wood floors can be installed over most surfaces, except for carpet, but may require underlayment, a moisture barrier, as well as some floor repair and leveling.

As you shop for wood floors, first tell you’re flooring professional the location of the new floor. Wood floors, solids especially, are very sensitive to moisture, making solid wood floors unsuitable for on or below ground level.

Wood flooring comes from one of two types of trees-soft (from conifers like pine) and hardwood (from deciduous like oak). As a rule, hardwood floors are harder than softwood, meaning they are more difficult to scratch and ding. And that makes them harder to install. Softwood is easier to work with but is easier to damage. Some, softwoods are harder than some hardwoods, so the issue of hardness is rated in the flooring industry.

Some species of floors are harder than others and can hold up to traffic better. Hardness refers to the ability of the floor to withstand denting and changes in surface appearance, and hardness should be one of the questions you ask when shopping for wood. Ask for comparisons and look at the price. Usually, the higher the hardness rating, the more costly the wood. For instance, pine is readily available, has one of the softest ratings and is relatively inexpensive. Brazilian cherry is one of the hardest woods and carries a premium price.