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Creating a Classic Look with Hardwood Flooring

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By Donovan Carrington

If you’re looking to create a classic and timeless look for your home, hardwood flooring is the way to go. Not only does it add warmth and character to any room, it’s also durable and long-lasting.

But with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the right type of wood, finish, and color. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a classic look with hardwood flooring.

First, it’s important to choose the right type of wood for your home. Oak, maple, and walnut are all popular choices for their durability and classic appearance. Each type of wood has its own unique grain and texture, so it’s important to consider the overall look you’re trying to achieve.

Once you’ve chosen the right type of wood, it’s time to select the right finish to protect and enhance its natural beauty. From matte to glossy finishes, there are a variety of options to choose from that can impact the overall look of your flooring.

By taking the time to carefully select the right type of wood and finish, you can achieve a classic and timeless look for your home that will last for years to come.

Choose the Right Type of Wood

To achieve the desired aesthetic, it’s essential to pick the appropriate type of wood. The type of wood you choose will determine the overall look of your hardwood flooring. There are many wood species available in the market, each with their unique characteristics.

When choosing the right type of wood, consider the durability and cost. Some species are more durable than others, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. However, more durable woods can be more expensive. On the other hand, some species are more cost-effective but may not be as durable as others.

Oak, maple, and cherry are popular choices for hardwood flooring. Oak is a durable and cost-effective option that can give your home a classic look. Maple is a harder wood that is more durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic. Cherry is a softer wood that has a distinct reddish-brown color and can give your home a warm and inviting feel.

Ultimately, the type of wood you choose will depend on your personal style, budget, and the overall look you’re trying to achieve.

Select the Right Finish

When it comes to selecting the right finish for your hardwood flooring, there are a few key points to consider.

First, if you want a natural look, you may want to opt for a matte or satin finish. These finishes will give your floors a subtle sheen without looking too shiny or glossy.

However, if you’re going for a more glamorous look, a high-gloss finish may be the way to go. This type of finish will give your floors a shiny, reflective surface that will make them stand out in any room.

Matte or Satin Finish for Natural Look

For a more authentic vibe, go with a matte or satin finish on your wooden floors. These finishes tend to have a more natural look than their glossy counterparts, which can make the wood appear plasticky or artificial.

Matte finishes have a flatter appearance and tend to be more forgiving of scratches and scuffs, making them a great option for high-traffic areas. Satin finishes, on the other hand, offer a slight sheen that can help bring out the natural beauty of the wood. They’re also more durable than matte finishes.

When choosing between matte and satin finishes for a natural look, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. Matte finishes can be more forgiving of wear and tear, but they may require more maintenance over time to keep them looking their best. Satin finishes offer a more durable option, but they can be more challenging to apply and may require more frequent cleaning.

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Popular wood species for a natural look include oak, maple, and hickory, all of which can be enhanced by a matte or satin finish. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your home.

High-Gloss Finish for Glamorous Look

If you want to add a touch of luxury and glamour to your home, a high-gloss finish on your wooden floors will make you feel like royalty. It gives your space a stunning shine that will leave you breathless.

But before you jump into this decision, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of this type of finish. First, you need to decide whether to DIY or hire a professional to do the installation. A high-gloss finish requires a lot of expertise, so it’s recommended to hire a professional to ensure the best results.

Another aspect to consider is durability and longevity. High-gloss finishes are typically less durable than other finishes, meaning they are more prone to scratches and scuffs. However, if you maintain them properly, they can last for years without needing a touch-up.

Ultimately, a high-gloss finish can give your home a glamorous and sophisticated look. But it’s important to understand the maintenance and installation requirements before making a final decision.

Consider the Room’s Lighting

Achieving the perfect ambiance for your space heavily depends on the lighting, so it’s crucial to consider the room’s brightness and contrast when aiming for a timeless aesthetic.

The amount of natural light that enters the room plays a significant role in the overall feel of the space. If you have a room that receives ample natural light, you may want to use lighter-colored flooring to accentuate the brightness of the space. On the other hand, if the room lacks natural light, using darker-colored hardwood flooring can create a cozy and warm feel.

When selecting light fixtures for the room, consider the type of lighting you want to achieve. Soft, warm lighting can make the room feel cozy and inviting, while bright, cool lighting can create a modern and sleek feel. You can also use accent lighting, such as table lamps or floor lamps, to highlight certain areas of the room and create depth and dimension.

Additionally, using dimmer switches can give you more control over the lighting and help you achieve the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the color temperature of the lighting. Warm lighting, typically around 2700-3000K, can create a cozy and inviting feel, while cooler lighting, around 5000K, can create a more modern and contemporary feel. Keep in mind that the color of your hardwood flooring can also affect the color temperature of the lighting, so it’s important to choose flooring and lighting that complement each other.

By taking the time to consider the room’s lighting, you can create a timeless and classic look with your hardwood flooring that will last for years to come.

Choose the Right Color

Let’s talk about picking the perfect color for your hardwood floors to ensure your space is both stylish and timeless. Choosing the right color for your flooring is essential to achieving the classic look you desire.

Color coordination is key in interior design, and your hardwood floors should enhance the overall aesthetic of the room. When choosing a hardwood flooring color, consider the colors in the rest of the room. You want your flooring to complement the walls, furniture, and accessories.

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If your walls are a light color, a darker flooring can add contrast and depth to the space. On the other hand, if your walls are already a bold color, a lighter flooring can balance the room and prevent it from feeling too overwhelming.

Another factor to consider is the natural lighting in the room. If the room gets a lot of natural light, a darker flooring can help absorb some of the brightness and add warmth to the space. If the room lacks natural light, a lighter flooring can reflect light and make the room feel brighter and more inviting.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can choose a hardwood flooring color that complements your interior design and creates a classic look that will stand the test of time.

Maintenance and Care

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect color for your hardwood floors, it’s important to maintain their beauty and timeless elegance. Regular cleaning is key to ensuring that your floors remain in top shape.

This means sweeping or vacuuming every few days to remove dirt and debris that can scratch the surface. You can also use a damp mop with a mild cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors to keep them looking clean and shiny.

In addition to regular cleaning, it’s important to take preventative measures to protect your floors from damage. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with cleats on your hardwood floors, as they can leave unsightly marks. Furniture legs should also be padded to prevent scratches and dents.

If you have pets, make sure their nails are trimmed regularly to prevent them from scratching the floors. Over time, even with regular cleaning and preventative measures, your hardwood floors may start to show signs of wear and tear.

This is when refinishing options come into play. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to buff and recoat the floors to restore their shine. If the damage is more severe, you may need to sand and refinish the floors.

A professional flooring contractor can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action. Protecting your hardwood floors from moisture is also important, as excessive exposure can cause them to warp or buckle.

Be sure to clean up any spills immediately and use a humidifier in the winter to prevent the air from becoming too dry. By following these maintenance and care tips, your hardwood floors will continue to add warmth and beauty to your home for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does hardwood flooring typically cost?

Looking to install hardwood flooring? The cost of hardwood flooring can vary greatly depending on the type of wood used and the installation process.

On average, hardwood flooring can cost anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot, with installation time taking anywhere from three to seven days. It’s important to factor in additional costs such as labor, underlayment, and any necessary repairs to the subfloor.

While hardwood flooring may be a pricey investment, it’s a durable and timeless option that can add value to your home. Consult with a professional to get an accurate estimate for your specific needs and budget.

How long does it take to install hardwood flooring?

When preparing for hardwood flooring installation, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth and successful process. First, clear the room of any furniture or obstacles to allow for easy access and movement.

Next, check the subfloor for any damage or irregularities that may need to be addressed before installation. It’s also important to acclimate the hardwood to the room’s humidity and temperature to prevent warping or shrinking.

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While some may opt to install hardwood flooring themselves, there are many benefits to using a professional installer. They have the necessary tools, expertise, and experience to ensure a high-quality installation that will last for years to come. Plus, professional installers often offer warranties for their work, giving you added peace of mind.

Can hardwood flooring be installed in a basement or below-grade level?

Installing hardwood flooring in a basement or below-grade level is possible, but it requires special installation techniques to prevent moisture damage. Basements are prone to moisture infiltration, which can cause warping, buckling, and cupping of hardwood floors.

Therefore, it’s essential to address basement moisture issues before installation. You can use a moisture barrier or underlayment to prevent moisture from seeping into the hardwood planks. Additionally, it’s crucial to choose the right type of hardwood for the basement, such as engineered hardwood, which is more resistant to moisture than solid hardwood.

With the right installation techniques and precautions, you can enjoy the elegance of hardwood flooring in your basement while keeping it safe from moisture damage.

What is the difference between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring?

When it comes to hardwood flooring, there are two main options: solid and engineered. If you’re looking to install in a high moisture area, such as a basement or below-grade level, engineered may be the better choice due to its ability to withstand moisture and humidity better than solid hardwood. However, solid hardwood can still be installed with proper precautions and maintenance.

Both options have their pros and cons, with solid hardwood being more durable and easier to refinish, while engineered hardwood is more versatile and can be installed over concrete subfloors. To maintain and care for your hardwood flooring, it’s important to avoid excessive moisture, use furniture pads to prevent scratches, and regularly clean with a hardwood floor cleaner.

With the right care, hardwood flooring can last for decades and add timeless beauty to any space.

Can hardwood flooring be refinished multiple times?

Yes, hardwood flooring can be refinished multiple times. This is one of the major benefits of hardwood flooring durability.

Refinishing hardwood floors can breathe new life into old, worn-out floors and can save you money in the long run. When you refinish your hardwood floors, you remove the top layer of the wood, which also removes any scratches, scuffs, or stains that may be on the surface. After that, the floors are sanded, stained, and finished with a protective coating.

This process can be repeated multiple times, depending on the thickness of the hardwood floors and the amount of wear and tear they receive. Refinishing your hardwood floors can also increase the value of your home and create a classic, timeless look that will never go out of style.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a classic look for your home with hardwood flooring. By following the tips in this article, you’ve chosen the right type of wood, selected the perfect finish, considered the room’s lighting, and picked the ideal color for your space.

Now that your hardwood flooring is installed, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and care. Regularly sweeping or vacuuming, wiping up spills immediately, and using furniture pads to prevent scratches can help keep your floors looking beautiful for years to come. And remember, if your floors do start to show wear and tear, refinishing can bring them back to their original shine.

Overall, hardwood flooring is a timeless choice that will never go out of style. With the right wood, finish, color, and care, your floors will add warmth and elegance to your home for generations to come.

Enjoy your beautiful new floors!

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Donovan Carrington


Donovan Carrington, a flooring expert with extensive experience of over 25 years, is the driving force behind Flooring Explorer. Initially working as a flooring installer, Donovan gained hands-on experience with different flooring materials such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile. His profound knowledge and expertise in flooring technologies and installation techniques have established him as a respected authority in the industry.