Be in the know about grain and cut
Hardwood styles are the result of the wood species available. Some of the more common species are red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory or pecan. Each species has its own unique graining and texture. The graining on the boards is determined by the way it has been cut. There are two cutting processes. “Sliced Cut” shows a more uniform pattern, whereas “Rotary Cut” displays a larger and bolder graining pattern.Keep color in mind
Within each species of hardwood, you will have a choice of color and finishes. Here’s where it pays to shop carefully. When selecting a color, choose one that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinetry and furniture. Also, keep in mind that darker woods tend to be more formal while natural colors are more casual.Which finish?
You should be aware that there are different types of finishes depending on whether your hardwood floor is pre-finished or the job site finished. In general, lower gloss levels are better suited for active rooms. This is because lower gloss or matte finishes help minimize the appearance of dirt and scratches. Consider the elegant look of the high gloss finish for a more formal décor.Upkeep is no big deal
The days of having to wax and scrub your hardwood floors are pretty much gone forever. Manufacturers of pre-finished wood floors have developed sophisticated techniques to quickly apply hard, durable, urethane-based finishes right at the factory.
By using ultraviolet lights the pre-finished wood planks can have several coats of urethane applied within a matter of a few minutes. This is helping make hardwood floors both more affordable and much easier to maintain. Recently, the hardwood flooring manufacturers have begun to add small chips of Aluminum Oxide directly to the floor's finish which dramatically increases the life of the urethane finish.