Hardwood is the preferred type of flooring in Los Angeles. Hardwood floors are beautiful, last a lifetime (and then some), and they are easy to clean and maintain. Those with allergies and asthma especially prefer hardwood flooring, and we are often ripping up carpeting to convert to hardwood, especially when people are moving into new homes.
If customers can’t afford hardwood flooring, they will sometimes revert to laminate flooring or carpet. While these surfaces cost less than hardwood, in the long run, they will cost more, as they will need to be replaced more often. Furthermore, hardwood improves the value of your home, so when it is time to sell – whether that’s in the next year or 20-30 yrs from now – you will more than recoup your investment.
Most customers will go for one of the extremes – either natural and as light as possible or very dark (e.g. Ebony, Jacobean or Royal Mahogany). If you are refinishing your hardwood floors, usually natural will cost you a bit less vs. a stained color.
2. Wider plank hardwood is preferred
Wider planks make the space look larger. Most homes in Westchester have the standard 2 1/4″ strip oak flooring. It’s amazing how much of a difference trading up to 3 1/4″ planks can make, and usually the cost difference between the two options is very small. I also have many customers going for wider 4″ and 5″ planks which can be very impactful. Please note that when you install solid hardwood that is 5″ or wider, you need to both nail and glue the planks (as they expand and contract more). This will cost a bit more, but it will prevent buckling and swelling when it’s humid.
3. Most popular Hardwood species:
- Traditional oak flooring will always be popular. This is a standard and will never go out of style. It’s a very practical hardwood both because it’s reasonably priced and because its strong graining helps hide the scratches (it’s great for pet, too). In addition, many homes in Westchester already have oak flooring in some areas, so many customers want to match what they already have as this will help make your space look larger. Also, oak flooring is easy to refinish and you can easily change the color from light to dark or even do red tones. So, if you add hardwood to other rooms, you can refinish the whole area to be whatever color you want.
- Bamboo flooring and other green options are hot. Bamboo replenished in the environment quickly and it’s very cool and exotic looking. It also tends to cost a bit less than solid oak flooring. And, bamboo can be glued or floated, so it works well in apartments that have concrete subfloors. For all these reasons (plus it’s been featured on many HGTV programs, bamboo is becoming more and more popular.)
- Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Brazilian Walnut and other exotic species for the high end customer. These products are beautiful in color and the graining is smooth and rich looking. Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Walnut are much harder than oak. They are also more expensive.
4. Satin finishes is the most popular hardwood finish. Satin has some sheen, but not too much. It tends to hold up better to scratches and dents as glossier finishes reflect the light more and show the dents much more. Probably 90% of my customers select satin finish.
5. Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is very popular. This is probably the most popular item we are currently installing in kitchens (followed closely by tile). Read more about the benefits of hardwood floors for the kitchen in this post.
Content published by Debbie Gartner