When selecting flooring for interior design, I think of several considerations. After moving from San Mateo to our new home in Pacific Grove, my husband and I were excited to get going on some design work in the new house! We had initially talked about refinishing the floors, but after noticing there was some termite damage, we realized we’d have to take on a much larger project.
The above pictures show what we thought the condition of our floors were when we initially pulled up the carpet, but as you can see, there was some much more extensive damage. Selecting flooring for interior design requires thinking about more than just color or visual appeal. I started the adventure by choosing new wood for the floors; I wanted a dark brown hue. After visiting two different stores last weekend, I found a few different colors and species of wood I thought would look good in my home.
Keeping the current aesthetics in mind, I paid special attention to the overall pattern of the wood, including the lines of each sample piece. Different species have different natural patterns and I wanted to be able to visualize what the whole thing would look like on my floor; sometimes samples look different in the showroom than in your home. I always make sure to test how a piece fits in with walls, furniture and color scheme.
There are two different types of hardwood flooring: engineered (pictured above) and solid wood. Engineered wood has a layer of finished wood on top with plywood on the bottom, while solid hardwood is a single thicker layer. There are advantages and disadvantages of both; with engineered wood, you can lay it directly onto a concrete slab without the need for a second layer. However, with solid hardwood you can refinish your floors numerous times without needing to worry about running out of the top layer.
We opted for a solid Walnut (pictured below) that has lots of beautiful movement. Even though it’s a softer wood, it provides the perfect color variation and isn’t too dark! It also provides better lasting protection against termites which are prevalent in our area.
Another consideration to think about when selecting flooring is how hard the wood should be, also known as the Janka scale rating. Oak is often the standard for wooden floors, and is considered to be one of the most approachable for homes. The necessary hardness of the wood depends on the kind of living you’ll be doing in your house; if you’ll walk in only slippers and don’t have pets, go for a softer wood, but if you’ll be entertaining in high heels or have pets with claws that could scratch, you might want to consider a harder species.
I also look at the finish of different woods to factor their fit in the home. While you can choose rough, smooth or satin, the current industry trend is an oil finish. A thick coating gives the surface a harder look and goes well with many interiors currently being designed. While it may take a bit of maintenance to re-oil the floors over time, they offer a flat rough appeal that feels earthy and organic. It also goes well with the popular gray tones in interior design today that was started by designer Axel Vervoordt.
How you use your particular space makes a big difference in the type of floor you choose; I love the new walnut flooring we picked out. For more tips on creating beautiful spaces through lasting interior design, read additional articles on my blog today.
Photos: 123RF and Jana Meewes Magginetti