1. Start slow
Selecting flooring can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning. Rather than rushing to the first sample that catches your eye, Cameron makes a habit of walking through the store’s entire department before returning to take a closer look at some of the samples that really stand out.
2. Take another look at engineered flooring
Despite what some may think, engineered hardwood is, in fact, made from real wood. Take a closer look at a sample at the store and you’ll notice that what differentiates engineered hardwood from other types are the layers of plywood beneath the hardwood surface. Engineered flooring is great for use in a basement, as homeowners can install it directly onto a concrete floor. It’s also a great option for condos, where homeowners do not have the ability to nail down hardwood floor.
3. Explore laminate options
If real hardwood isn’t in your budget, try looking at a laminate ¬— there are plenty of new options that look like real hardwood. Feel it, too — many laminates are made to feel like real wood with a grain. (You can even opt for a hand-scraped look.) Laminates are a great option if you’re looking to cover concrete floor. Installing laminate flooring is a quick and easy project, making it an excellent weekend project.
4. Porcelain is a perfect alternative
If you want to create a hardwood floor look in your bathroom, entryway or mudroom, try a porcelain tile. It’s available in a hardwood look and is ideal for areas of the home that tend to get wet or damp. For an extra dose of style, lay the tiles in a herringbone pattern — this works well when using 6 x 24-inch tiles.
5. Try a timeless approach
If you’re looking for a real hardwood floor but aren’t sure where to start, Cameron recommends looking at a classic, stained hardwood in a warm brown tone. For a smooth, refined feel, try maple — its lack of a defined grain makes it a timeless choice.
6. Make a statement with texture
Texture can really influence the look of a space. Oak has the same quality appeal as Maple, but with a defined grain, making it a more statement hardwood choice. For maximum texture and a very current look, check out hand-scraped Oak in a wider plank.
7. Always ask for advice
Cameron’s most important tip? Spend plenty of time at the store and don’t be afraid to ask an associate for advice. By putting in the time up front, your freshly-floored space will truly benefit in the end.