Installing wooden laminate flooringOne of the ways to see a home buyer’s eyes light up is to fling open the door to a home with wood floors! With so many different options out there, it can be difficult to know which way to go and what will please the widest audience. Should you opt for a harder or softer species? What about plank size? Below, we’ll review some of the different categories for wood floors, and offer some tips for choosing the best ones!

Solid Plank: Often referred to as “real wood,” solid plank floors are a sound investment because they last longer than anything else. Their total thickness generally ranges from ⅜’s to ¾’s of an inch thick, which allows them to be sanded and refinished down the line. The width and length of your boards will greatly change the overall design aesthetic, and many interior designers say they’re seeing increased interest in wider and longer boards. Keep in mind that width and length should remain in proportion to one another.

Color: There are numerous species of wood on the market, meaning the variety of colors is vast. Some people prefer darker wood floors, while others gravitate toward lighter colors, but what’s hot right now is gray or driftwood-colored wood flooring. These have a more antique or aged look to them, and offer a lovely texture.

Wood Species: Oak is still the tried-and-true favorite because it’s a hard wood that’s extremely durable. Mahogany, hickory, walnut, and pine are other popular choices, and selecting your species really depends on the color of floor you want and your budget. You can also look into reclaimed wood, which is wood that’s sourced from old buildings like factories and barns. These are great choices if you’re looking for that worn-in patina and are interested in sustainability.

Maintenance: Aesthetics aside, it’s also important to remember that wood floors will require maintenance, which can be more or less intensive depending on the wood species you choose. Pine, for example, is a soft wood that will show more wear-and-tear than mahogany or walnut. Generally speaking, wood floors will need to be refinished every four to five years.