Hardwood flooring selection guide

Solid hardwood flooring adds richness, warmth, and elegance to any room, works with any decor, lasts for decades, and adds value to a property. Here’s how to choose the right wood flooring for your home.

Do you want a domestic or exotic species?

When you come into our hardwood flooring company, you'll see hundreds of species. They are broken down into two categories: Domestics, which are harvested within North America, tend to be warmer and more traditional. Some examples would be white or red oak, maple, hickory (sometimes referred to as pecan), ash, and more.

Exotics, which are harvested in locations like Brazil, Indonesia, Africa, and Southeast Asia, are darker, more dramatic, and, some say, more contemporary. An example would be Brazilian cherry, with rich brown color and red undertones. It accepts stains well, and some people stain it to look blazing red.

Also, think about hardness because some hardwoods are softer than others. You might think about white oak, hard maple, or hickory if you have extra durability needs. All domestics are ultra-hard.

Do you have a preferred grain pattern?

Logs are cut three different ways, with each creating its grain pattern. Plain-sawn, the most traditional, has grains that fluctuate, creating designs called cathedrals. Rift-sawn planks have long, linear grains. Finally, quarter-sawn boards have linear grains with some irregular figuring.

Do you want pre-finished or on-site finishing?

Many like pre-finishing because they know right away what they are getting, and, samples in hand, they can start coordinating even before the floors arrive. Others prefer on-site because there are more stains from which to choose, offering greater customization. Also, decide if you want water, oil-based, or urethane finishes.

Now you can think about color

While it doesn't need to be an exact match, all colors should harmonize with the rest of your home. Also, keep balance in mind; for example, you might want a lighter, cooler floor if you have dark walls.

See for yourself what makes BiBi Floors and Kitchens stand out from the others. Then, to learn about wood flooring and get a free quote, we encourage you to come into our showroom in McLean, VA, where we service Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, and Reston. You'll be glad you came in!