There are basically two wood flooring options available to consumers: hardwoods and softwoods. If you choose to have hardwood flooring, you have three choices. Oak is a durable hardwood with a tight, dark grain. It is also the most popular wood flooring. The second most popular hardwood flooring
is maple. It has a lighter color and has a less pronounced grain. The third type is ash. It is also popular, but not as popular as the first two. It has a uniform light texture and grain.
Among the softwoods, there are three popular choices too. The first is pine. Pine is often found in older homes. Another type is the birch. It is somewhat similar to pine, but usually has more knotholes. The third and last type is called fir. It has large patches of dark grain. If you cannot choose between the two types, there is also the bamboo. A bamboo floor is more durable than most hardwoods. Or you could settle for specialty woods, if you have the budget. Specialty woods have a luxurious look about them. Popular choices include teak, cherry, and walnut.
Now that you have chosen your wood type, let us move on to choosing the perfect pattern. The most common floor pattern is a straight one where the wood strips are laid parallel to each other along the length of the room. It is also the least expensive pattern. If you prefer to dress up your floor in a much nicer way, you may want to go for a diagonal pattern. A diagonal pattern makes for a nicer floor without much cost. It is done by laying the wood strips at a 45-degree angle to the walls.
Parquet is another popular hardwood pattern made up of individual square modules laid in crisscross fashion. The floor would look like a checkerboard.
Similar to the parquet, herringbone also has individual square modules with wood laid out, but in a diagonal angle. Perimeter border is a design accent that can be added to any wood flooring. The patterns are added to the edges of the wood floor. This pattern works for formal rooms like the dining room or the living room. This design is also used on the floors to separate adjacent rooms that do not have walls on them. This is done by installing a perimeter border between two adjacent rooms, giving a visual impression that the rooms are distinct from each other without interrupting the open flow.
Next on the decision list is the choice of stain colors. If you wish to go “natural,” choose the natural stain color. It is wood color at its basic form. Light is popular because it darkens the grain and adds to a subtle tone to the wood. Medium stain is also quite popular. It is darker than light, giving both the grain and wood an obvious color. Dark stain gives floors a rich feel. But, this stain usually makes a room feel dark. If you are still undecided, you might opt for a custom stain color. This design includes a natural wood floor finish with a forest green perimeter border.