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Home / Flooring Education / Flooring Shopping Guides / What to Consider When Shopping for Hardwood Floors

What to Consider When Shopping for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors for the living room | Twenty and Oak

When you decide to purchase gorgeous
solid wood flooring, you are bringing home a value-adding property investment that is preferred by prospective homebuyers down the line and will last for decades when properly maintained. We love hardwood floors for their unmistakable natural beauty showcased in every plank with distinctive grain patterns, stunning shades, fascinating texture, and unique markings. With so many eye-catching wood species and styles to select from, how will you narrow down your favorite hardwood option to uplift your inspired home? To help guide and personalize your purchase journey, here are a few common questions to consider when shopping for hardwood floors: 

What hardwood plank size should I shop for?

Your hardwood floors can communicate a certain feel simply by the size of the planks you select, as well as enhance your floorplan and décor. A traditional hardwood plank or “strip” generally features a 2 ¼” width and a ¾” thickness. Wider wood planks such as Somerset’s Wide Plank Collection can help a larger space feel more intimate and work well within a modern setting. For a creative, random design that adds extra authenticity, mixed-width hardwood collections like Somerset’s Hand Crafted Collection and mixed-length hardwood collections such as Azalea Lane’s Beacon Point Flooring feature hardwood planks of varied dimensions in each box. You can also work with an installer to calculate and purchase multiple widths of a hardwood style for a mix that’s all your own! Longer planks lengths can be used to easily enhance an open floorplan with flow and directional movement. To create a luxurious-looking finished floor, the popular look of wider, longer hardwood planks like Ashveille Flooring by Veranda will display more dazzling natural beauty, open up smaller spaces thanks to fewer overall seams, and lend an air of opulence. The plank size you select will be influenced by the specific dimensions of your rooms and the feel you aim to craft. 

Hardwood floors for the kitchen | Twenty and Oak

What hardwood texture should I shop for?

No matter what your favorite species or hardwood tone may be, the texture will help bring your desired aesthetic to life with detail and character. As you explore different varieties for your home, keep your décor theme in mind as you come across the most popular hardwood textures: 
  • Distressed– For a truly rustic design, distressed hardwood texture brings aged, authentic appeal with ramped-up character. A worn, antiqued floor like Riviera Flooring by Palmetto Road is perfect for adding dimension to popular farmhouse chic interiors that emphasize genuine wood beauty. 
  • Hand-Scraped – Just as the name suggests, this texture is scraped by hand to create a vintage look, optimize the character in each plank, and enhance visual interest. The uneven surface dances in natural light and styles such as River Ridge Flooring by Palmetto Road showcase the skill of trained craftsmen. 
  • Wire-Brushing - Wire brushing will actually remove the softer grain in the wood so that you are walking on the hardest, most durable grain. For contemporary, traditional, and even coastal chic designs, the subtle wire-brushed texture of the Azalea Lane Windsor Park Collection will showcase tremendous natural character and a charming vibe. 
  • Smooth - A smooth hardwood texture with minimal markings and muted or matte finish makes for an ideal modern hardwood floor. The presence provided by styles like Classic Engineered Flooring by Somerset in color Mystic will help bring purpose, precision, and proportion to the forefront of a modern interior.
Offering a natural camouflage for active homes, distressed, hand-scraped, and wire-brushed finishes will also help disguise scratches or dings that can emerge in high traffic homes with children and pets. Solid hardwood floors can also be refinished or refreshed with sanding to complement a new look over time! 

Natural Wood Floors for Den | Twenty and Oak

What hardwood color should I shop for? 

Factors such as décor theme, room size, natural light, and household activity level can all play a role in the hardwood color you select. Balance your favorite hardwood tone with wall color, furniture, and shelving to achieve truly dynamic results: 
  • Lighter Hardwood – White, cream, and blonde wood flooring, as well as whitewashed hardwoods, are prized for their ability to use natural light to brighten a room. Suitable for a variety of décor themes, combining light hardwood floors like Shenandoah Flooring by Palmetto Road in Winter Light with low-contrast wall colors can enhance the perspective of more space.  
  • Natural Hardwood – A classic natural finish, as well as classic stain colors such as warm brown, nutmeg, and honey, are currently in high demand for their ability to brighten spaces and complete a nature-inspired layout. We love the traditional warmth and timeless appeal of flooring such as Character Solid by Somerset in Natural White Oak.
  • Gray Hardwood – Gray hardwood planks, as well as greige wood and wood with grey undertones, offer a hip, familiar neutral that’s incredibly easy to design with. This versatile shade easily fits modern and contemporary décor, and a style like Charleston Flooring by Veranda in Oyster Shell adds sophistication while feeling fresh. 
  • Darker Hardwood– To create dramatic contrast, darker wood tones like black, smoke, and charcoal can help make larger spaces feel warmer and more intimate. Ideal for bold or minimal modern and contemporary design schemes, darker hardwood options including Wide Plank by Somerset in Midnight help complete unforgettable rooms. 

For an artistic-inspired hardwood, explore the two-tone staining process of Palmetto Road's Chalmers Collection, as well as the contrasting Hearthwood’s Dynamic Earth Collection. As long as your favorite hardwood color works well for your space and preferred décor, select the shade that you fall in love with!

Talk to a Flooring Expert for Advice!

Take our Floor Genius Quiz to fine-tune your hardwood shopping and we’ll send you fantastic product suggestions tailored to your preferences. Order your free samples and find a top Twenty & Oak flooring retailer in your area to bring home the undeniable hardwood beauty that elevates your interiors.
Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts
Twenty & Oak Flooring Experts are a team of flooring professionals with over 150 years of combined experience in the industry. They have hands-on experience with all flooring types and bring inside industry know-how to homeowners in the Southeast.

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