Hardwood flooring gives a timeless and elegant look to homes in Charleston and the Lowcountry. From dark exotic species to varieties that could be found in your own backyard, a multitude of options gives you a wide range of choice in both style and performance. With all these alternatives, it’s easy for homeowners to get overwhelmed. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. We’ve put together this guide that will help you through 3 of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when picking out a hardwood floor that’s perfect for you.

Engineered Hardwood in a Lowcountry Basement

Do You Want Solid or Engineered Hardwood?

An excellent place to start is by comparing solid and engineered planks. The main benefit of solid hardwood flooring is its superior durability. With proper care, a solid hardwood floor can last for generations. That being said, engineered hardwoods have several strong points too:

Benefits of Engineered Hardwood:

  • Can be installed over concrete subfloors and in basements
  • Available in wider plank sizes
  • Resistant to moisture and humidity
  • Partially made from recycled materials

What Plank Width Do You Want?

Assuming you don’t want to go with parquet or random width flooring, another decision point you will face is plank width. Planks can vary from 2 ¼” all the way up to 12” wide if you include reclaimed woods. Rather than trying to compare all the different options out there, here is a more general comparison of the benefits of both narrow and wide planks:

Benefits of Narrow Planks:

  • Typically cost less than wide planks
  • Rooms feel cozy and intimate
  • There is a huge selection to choose from

Benefits of Wide Planks:

  • Rooms appear more expansive
  • Fewer seams in the floor can help prevent water damage
  • Shorter installation times

Brazilian Cherry in Charleston

What Species of Wood Is Best for You?

When it comes to selecting a species of wood, the trick is to balance the durability you need with the style you want. Rooms that see a lot of activity are good candidates for dense species like red oak or hickory. In more tranquil rooms, where damage is less of a concern, your options expand to include softer varieties like cherry and African mahogany.

We’re Your Hardwood Flooring Experts!

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices of hardwood flooring. Our staff at Floor Coverings International of Charleston is here to help. Let our experts help you decide on a floor that you’ll be happy with for decades to come! Book a free, in-home design consultation with one of our experienced professionals today!

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