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Harwood Flooring Guide in Ontario

Hardwood Flooring in Ontario

Durable, bold, and stylish, natural hardwood flooring is a classic option for any home. While décor trends have changed with the times, the lure of wood still beckons. These days, there are more hardwood flooring options than ever before, and new products are frequently introduced to the market. Since hardwood flooring can represent a significant investment, choosing the right one for your space is essential. Different wood species, finishes, and compositions are available to fit a full array of budgets, lifestyles, and tastes. There is unfinished and prefinished hardwood, solid and engineered, and many different performance features and styles. All can present excellent options for today’s modern homeowners. At Irvine’s Carpet One Floor & Home with two locations in Barrie, Ontario, we carry the latest and greatest hardwood flooring selection, and our staff is eager to help you find the perfect floors for your home.



Wood Species

We offer many different hardwood species, including walnut, hickory, maple, oak, birch, cherry, and many more. Each has a unique hardwood colour, grain pattern, and visual. They also are various hardness levels, and some are better at handling moisture than others. For instance, solid oak floors are one of the strongest wood options available.



Hardwood Styles

One species of wood can take on many appearances, so think about what kind of finishing style you would like for your room. You can choose light and dark wood colours for the stain, and some hardwood manufacturers use hand-scraping and other techniques to create unique textures. The hardwood planks may come with bevelled edges and multi-tonal shades. You’ll even find extra wide hardwood planks. These are perfect for a rustic feel. Additionally, you can choose parquet flooring styles and other special designs.



Solid vs Engineered Hardwood

There are two types of hardwood flooring to consider when shopping for new floors.


What is Solid Hardwood?


Solid hardwood is the traditional option in hardwood flooring. Its uniform and classic design allow the natural characteristics of the wood to stand out. Solid hardwood is beautiful and can help to add real estate value to your home, but it is limited in where you can install it. For example, solid wood floors should be installed in dry, cool spaces of your home that do not experience heavy foot traffic, like bedrooms or dining rooms. Solid wood is not recommended for basements or moisture-prone areas as it can warp in these spaces. You also want to be careful about using it in rooms that aren’t climate controlled and experience significant humidity or temperature changes, like sunrooms and screened-in porches. Although solid hardwood is an expensive investment, it is worth it in many ways as the planks are thick enough to be refinished multiple times through the decades. Solid wood planks are usually designed to last for the life of your home.


What is Engineered Hardwood?


Many homeowners have the misconception that engineered hardwood is not hardwood. Engineered planks are made up of three to seven layers of composite wood. At the surface is a real hardwood veneer. The layers are laminated together in a gross-grain direction to increase the stability of each plank. This makes the floor much better at resisting wood’s natural tendency to expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature. Wood is porous and tends to absorb moisture, causing it to swell. In drier months, the wood can become brittle and shrink, leading to gapping between the floorboards, splintering, and cracking. Engineered planks are durable enough to handle moderately trafficked areas and seasonal changes in humidity. While some engineered planks can only be refinished once or twice, others can be refinished many times to extend their lifetime in your home. Engineered hardwood can also be installed on all levels of your home, even in finished basements.



Hardwood Floor Installation

Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture, so keep them in dry rooms and areas that might experience water issues like the basement. Engineered products are more versatile. You can install them on any grade of your home and in light-moisture areas like foyers, kitchens, and laundry rooms. How your wood floors are installed determines their longevity and performance. We’ll ensure your new surface is put in perfectly for optimal function and style.



How Does Humidity Affect Hardwood?

Beautiful, long-lasting, and durable, hardwood remains a timeless flooring choice for many homeowners. If you have your heart set on natural wood floors, it’s important to understand how to properly care for them. Wood planks naturally absorb moisture in the air, leading to expansion and contraction. While flooring companies will install your wood planks with small gaps that allow this to happen, if the floors are exposed to extra dry or humid conditions, they can buckle, warp, cup, and crack. To keep your hardwood looking beautiful, we recommend maintaining the relative humidity in your home between 30%-50%. You can use a hygrometer to help measure this. Doing so is especially important during our hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. Using a humidifier in the winter will keep the floorboards from contracting and becoming brittle and less crack-resistant.


Beyond maintaining the right humidity levels in your home, you can also choose certain types of hardwood when you’re buying your new floors that can handle seasonal changes better. For instance, engineered hardwood planks are made by laminating layers of composite wood together in a cross-grain direction that resists wood's natural tendency to shrink and swell. We also have waterproof hardwood, which has a durable vinyl sublayer and a fast-drying surface. You can even install our waterproof hardwood floors in high-humidity areas like bathrooms and kitchens without worry.



Our Hardwood Selection

As the best place to buy flooring in Barrie, Ontario, Irvine Carpet One Floor & Home is your local hardwood store. We offer many different types of wood flooring, and our experts are here to give you advice on which will look and work best for you. As part of Carpet One, the world’s largest cooperative of independently owned flooring stores, we carry many of the best hardwood floors and brands available, including Armstrong, Mirage, and Nature’s Walk. We also frequently have hardwood flooring sales, and you’ll always find affordable, quality options with us. Whether you want natural oak floors or contemporary grey-washed wood, we have you covered. Visit us today to learn more at one of our showrooms or browse our hardwood flooring selection online now. 



Learn More About Hardwood



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Hardwood Warranties

As part of Carpet One, we offer industry-leading warranties with our exclusive hardwood brands.



Hardwood Installations

Take a closer look at the hardwood installation process with our flooring experts.



Invincible Hardwood Flooring in Medium Brown
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Our Hardwood Brands

Discover our favourite wood flooring brands and their unique performance features.