During my hallway/kitchen renovation, I found these pretty cool tiles. They were slightly textured, in warm gray color, and their longitudinal shape was perfect for a random pattern I had in mind. The first person that came into my apartment after renovation said: “Wow, are those really tiles? They look just like a real hardwood floor!” Wait. WHAT?!
If you read our blog, you probably know by now that we are snobs when it comes to materials. Not in the way that we only like expensive ones, but in the way that we only like honest ones.
And hardwood floors are no exception. They are quite pricey, but if you can afford them, they are definitely worth the money. The thing is, imitations are not really imitations. They may look similar, but the texture is different, floor warmth is different, even sound of footsteps is different. While it is possible to get the look of the room with hardwood floors, you don’t get the feel of the room with hardwood floors.
Do you pay attention to floors when you’re looking at photographs of interiors you find beautiful? If you don’t, you’re in line for a big surprise once you start paying attention. It might become clear that all those interiors you thought you loved because of colors, or furniture, or lamps, or Christmas decoration – have similar flooring.
Since almost everything else you have in your apartment is connected to the floor, it is very important to determine a type of flooring (even tone of flooring) in the early stage of a designing process. After all, shoes make the outfit.
We wrote about the apartment in Basanavičius st., in our post about colors in interiors, and yet we can’t help but show you this floor again. The light tone of natural wood, the satin finish, the chevron pattern – everything about this parquet is just right!
How hard is it to choose hardwood flooring that is just right?
1. Plank flooring or parquet
The basic difference is in size – planks are wider and longer while parquet is composed of individual wooden slats. Meaning, if you choose plank flooring, you’ll end up with simple, sophisticated look (number one reason everyone loves Scandinavian interiors is probably the type of flooring), and if you choose parquet, you’ll have amazing, sophisticated pattern on your floors. Also sophisticated? Yes. Wood works that way.
We don’t have favorites here. It is just like choosing colors for your interior. You have to have the big picture on your mind to know what to do.
2. Kind of wood
Pine, larch, ash, beech, oak, cherry… choosing the kind of wood is the hardest part, and budget plays a big role in it since price varies a lot. The important thing to remember is that flooring is priced by the square meter – if you don’t need a lot of it, it doesn’t have to be too expensive. To estimate the cost, you should know the size of the area to be covered – you can use our free worksheet for help.
The best hardwood floors are made of wood species that are readily available and – you guessed it – very hard. In the terms of pricing, we can divide them into three categories from economy to premium pricing. The good choice always is oak, maple or cherry flooring considering their price and quality. A slightly better choice is walnut, ash, mahogany and even bamboo (which is actually a grass) and the best choice are more exotic species like Teak or Jarrah, but you’ll pay a premium price for them because of its durability.
These patterns are few of the most common patterns used for wood flooring. You can also think about changing the angle or combining two or more different patterns.
Do you remember the amazing thing EO arquitectura did in Reform Apartment in the Eixample we showed you in our post About tiles? Imagine that concept but with the same kind of differently patterned parquet.
A finish is a top coat that protects the floor and gives it color and luster. The finish can be applied after installation of flooring, but you can also buy prefinished flooring – which is great because that means no surprises (and you don’t want surprises when interior-designing). With the right kind, you can get that extra light or extra dark colors of wood, also glossy, semi-gloss and satin finish.
The important thing to consider is the connection line between hardwood floor and tiles, especially if your kitchen – dining room – living room is one integrated space. Sure, parquet that continues through kitchen area is amazing, if you’re not the kind of person who is known for dropping a full bottle of olive oil on your kitchen floor. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a classic, minimalistic edge profile. But if you feel frisky, hop over to our Pinterest board dedicated to floor and wall coverings and get inspired by creative and beautiful floor details.