Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide

Hardwood flooring is a favorite choice for homeowners in the greater Burlington and Oakville area. This is no surprise, given that hardwood flooring offers elegant and timeless style, wonderful design flexibility, and a level of durability that guarantees years of enjoyment. At Floor Coverings International Burlington ON, we know our customers want to get the right hardwood for their particular needs, so we have a large selection that provides many design options. Here is a guide to help you choose the hardwood that’s best for you.

The first thing to consider when selecting hardwood flooring is which part of your home it is going to be installed in. The main factors that will affect your decision are the moisture level and the expected foot traffic. Beyond that, you’ll want to decide what visual aesthetic you are trying to achieve in your room. You have many grain patterns and stains to choose from to create the look you most desire.


Hardwoods and excessive levels of moisture do not mix well. Solid hardwood flooring that has absorbed too much moisture may be prone to warping, twisting, and cupping. For this reason, solid hardwood is not recommended for bathrooms and basements. Engineered hardwood is more resistant to moisture damage, so it should be your choice if you are re-flooring a basement room or a kitchen. Stay away from both in your bathrooms. Rain and snow are obvious concerns around the Burlington and Oakville area, but don’t let this deter you from hardwood. Just be sure to quickly mop up whatever is brought into your house from outside.


Both solid and engineered hardwood flooring are very durable materials that can stand up to a lot of abuse. Still, it is better to keep certain traffic to a minimum. High heels, dogs’ nails, and the general wear and tear that children may cause will all be concerns for your hardwood. If you plan to install hardwood in a high-traffic area, it is best to select a harder wood. Each wood variety has a measure of hardness on what is called the Janka scale. Refer to this to help you make your selection.


Different wood types offer different aesthetic qualities due to their varying grain patterns and the way the planks are cut. If you prefer a prominent grain pattern that will make your floor a major focal point of the room, you’ll want to consider a species like oak or maple. If a subtle look is what you’re after, a denser, less variable grain pattern may be more suitable. In this case, consider cherry or walnut.


Lastly, you’ll want to make sure to choose a wood that compliments your décor. Take stock of the furniture and other permanent fixtures in the room you’ll be re-flooring, and also consider how big the room is. Your flooring shouldn’t clash with the other elements of your décor, and if you have a small room you’ll want to avoid dark colors that might make the room feel even smaller. Pine, maple, and cherry offer lovely lighter tones while mahogany and walnut are on the darker side. Staining offers a great deal of flexibility, but woods that are naturally on the lighter side offer far more options in this regard due to their greater staining possibilities.

Free Design Consultation

When it comes to hardwood flooring you have many options. Floor Coverings International Burlington ON is here to help you select the flooring that is best for you. Be sure to contact us to schedule a free design consultation with one of our flooring experts. Together we can build the floor of your dreams.

Photo Credit: Franck Boston