Hardwood Selection Tips

Hardwood floors have an unparalleled beauty that goes with any décor, be it traditional, modern or country. If you are thinking about having hardwood floors installed and wondering where to start, you have arrived at the right place. Here is a complete guide on how to choose hardwood flooring to upgrade your home.

100% Proudly Canadian Made

Royal Image is widely famous for its impeccable manufacturing quality and supreme craftsmanship. All our products are eco-friendly and made from Canadian hardwood that will last for decades. We proudly invite you to visit our store and witness a wide range of 100% Canadian made hardwood flooring products.

Solid Hardwood vs Engineered:

If you are looking for traditional flooring, solid hardwood is the best option. Solid hardwood, as its name suggests is a solid piece of wood. Each board is made of a single plank of wood which is cut down to its ideal size. Because solid hardwood floors are thicker, they can be sanded and refinished a number of times. As it is prone to moisture and humidity, it may not be a good choice for below grade level or damp areas such as basements or bathrooms. But it is an excellent option for living areas, dining or bedrooms.
Engineered Wood is made from 100% real wood glued to two or more layers of both hardwood and plywood. This gives engineered wood good stability, making it a much better option for below grade basements and damp areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms. It is quite easy to install and is less expensive than solid hardwood.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid wood flooring is absolutely natural and 100% wood product with each board manufactured from a single piece of wood which is chopped down to the ideal size typically between the range of 18 and 25 centimetres. The style of the cut of the wood can differ from flat sawn to quarter sawn. The former style is one of the well-known styles with a triangular grain whereas, in the latter, material is divided into quarters. And lastly, there is a rift sawn style that gives a great finish to the horizontal grain. After the entire process of cutting is complete, the material is put into a furnace for drying and finish. Solid Wood Flooring is a tremendous way to give your place, either home or office a warm, natural and rustic ambience.

Type of Finish:

Finishes are commonly categorized into two parts: Oil or Polyurethane. Oil finish has a very soft, natural and matt look and feel, and it also penetrates the wood. Whereas polyurethane creates a hard top coat on the wood that is more resistant to wear and tear, especially when you have kids.
Oil finish makes hardwood softer and scratch prone but these scratches are less prominent. But with polyurethane, you either need to replace the board or get an entire section of floor recoated.

Choose Grain Pattern:

There is no good or bad when it comes to grain patterns, it entirely depends on what you desire and on the application. It is available in three types namely plain sawn, rift sawn and quarter sawn- yielding three different patterns. The first type is a traditional grain whereas the rift sawn is a long, consistent and linear grain. The last one though looks similar to rift sawn but has an additional figuring with a lustrous look.
Though it all depends on what you are looking for, some people go for patterns which are a mixture of rift and quarter sawn. People living in the city prefer quarter sawn to add a bit of life to their place whereas plain sawn is more suitable for a rustic property.

Wood Species:

The best hardwood floors are made with wood species such as oak or maple . Though there are some other species but the most popular ones are oak and maple. Oak is an extremely durable wood and takes stain quite well. With its appealing natural grain, it is widely available and can be purchased at reasonable prices. It is perfectly suited for heritage homes or consumers who love a traditional look. It comes in a variety of shades from natural to very dark. Oak floors can be sanded and refinished easily by professional s.
Maple is best suited for contemporary spaces as it offers a subtle grain pattern that works tremendously well in large open spaces or any area of your home. Though it is harder than oak but not as stable. It comes in different shades ranging from light one to deeper brown or reddish hues.

Plank Width:

Earlier hardwood flooring was installed in merely two- or three-inch strips, now many people go for wider planks. The wider the plank the more expensive it is. It gives you a sense of luxury when you install wider planks. The standard specification resides between four to six inch plank, depending upon the measurements of a room and the application.
A floor that is composed of wide planks will have fewer seams than the one with thin strips but these seams may become noticeable after a point of time when the wood expands and contracts.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Solid Hardwood Floors

  • Use vacuum or dust mop to eliminate dust, pet hair or dirt.
  • When vacuuming, use the floor brush attachment to abstain from scratching your floor’s finish.
  • Use a liquid cleaner periodically for deep cleaning. Make sure that the sponge mop is squeezed thoroughly so that the mop is damp and not wet.
  • Place doormats at all entranceways to keep dirt and moisture from being tracked in.
  • You can also use floor protectors to minimize scratches from heavy objects.

Keep your wood floors clean, polished and fresh to add beauty to your home.


Tips No. 1

Store the cases of the planks at the location at least 72 hours before commencing the installation work. Do not open or store the cases where there is no temperature control, for instance, a basement, shed or an unheated garage.

Tips No. 2

Before the installation process, ensure that the color and grade of the planks confirm with the standards. It is necessary to mention here that industry measures take into account a specific degree of manufacturing defects and natural imperfections (up to 5% of boards).

Tips No. 3

Make sure that you select the lower visibility areas that have manufacturing defects and natural imperfections to install the planks/boards. The subfloor needs to meet the installation prerequisites. Never install hardwood flooring over a radiant floor heating system or in a basement. Vapor barrier installation is recommended.

Tips No. 4

Set up your tools, select your planks, measure and lay down your hardwood flooring.


Feel free to consult us for the complete installation process on hardwood floors.