Wood has been a popular flooring choice for hundreds of years for good reason. Wood is durable and is available in such a wide range of materials and finishes that it blends well with any style of room. However, you will want to consider more than the way the wood flooring looks before you make your final decision.
First, you may want to consider how much wear and tear your floor will be subjected to. While hard woods, such as oak or hickory, are able to take quite a bit of traffic before they are damaged, soft woods, such as pine, will suffer from constant nicks and gouges. If you are using a country decorating style, you may actually prefer the look of distressed pine. If you decide you prefer pine wood flooring but do not care for the distressed look, you will need to look for flooring with a protective finish. You can also use heavy throw rugs or floor cloths to protect your floor.
Then, you will want to choose between Parquet and tongue and groove flooring. Parquet wood flooring is beautiful and elegant, but looks best in formal areas. It is harder to install than tongue and groove flooring, because you will have to be sure to lay out the Parquet tiles to be sure they form the proper pattern before fastening them down. Tongue and groove flooring does not have a pattern and looks wonderful in formal or informal areas.
Some people feel that using wood flooring is wrong because woodland areas are deforested faster than new trees are being planted. If you have strong feelings about not using wooden flooring because of this, you may want to consider wooden floors made with bamboo. These floors are just as beautiful and durable as other wood flooring products, but you can use them guilt free, since bamboo regenerates rapidly and the bamboo for these floors is grown specifically to be harvested.
Once you choose your wood flooring, you will need to install it. If you are installing a tongue and grove floor and rent or buy the proper tools, you can complete this project yourself. In fact, you should be able to completely install a wood floor in a single room in one weekend. Just be sure to ask your floor manufacturer for specific installation instructions before you begin. You will need a pneumatic floor nail gun, an air compressor, a rubber mallet, flooring nails, a saw, and flooring paper.
Finally, no matter which wood flooring you choose, the final product will look wonderful when it is properly installed and will actually increase the value of your home.