On, Above, Below Grade

The Lowdown on Suitable Flooring Locations

If you are putting wood flooring in your home, you may want to do all of the floors in wood. Then again, you may not. There are factors to consider in all levels and rooms in the house so read on to find out more so you can make an informed decision on where you want for wood flooring and where you may not.

Although hardwood flooring can be used in every room of your home and on every level including upstairs, ground floor, and the basement, you will want to choose your wood and type of flooring according to the qualities they possess.


On, Above, and Below Grades

When you do your homework on wood floors, you’ll find that certain varieties are best for different levels on your home which is commonly referred to as on, above, and below grades. The reason for the classifications is that different levels are usually exposed to different treatments such as main level flooring tends to get more traffic while below levels may be subject to humid conditions. Above grades are best when sound-absorbing wood is used.

Moist Areas

Certain places within the home are prone to be humid and sometimes, even wet like basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, and kitchens. If you live in a humid climate, your entire home may be moist.

Best Type of Wood for Moist Areas

Aside from Vinyl and Laminate – which are excellent options for basements, bathrooms, and other areas with increased moisture – hardwood can also be utilized in more moist conditions. It’s important to note, however, that some types of wood are more waterproof than others. Cedar is a great wood to use for locations in your home that are prone to be moist because it is naturally waterproof to some extent. Cedar is used in saunas for the same reason. Hickory and Maple work well in moist areas too.

Engineered Wood vs. Solid for Moist Location

Engineered wood typically holds up better than laminate, but you may be surprised to learn that it may perform better than solid wood too. The type of wood you choose greatly determines whether it is suitable for a wet area or not but most types of engineered wood are designed to hold up in moist and even wet locations.
If you go with engineered wood, be sure it’s high grade. It should also be American made and 8 ply thick, at least.

But, if your heart is set on solid wood flooring, don’t fret. Just remember to pick a type of wood that can hold up to the moisture you’re exposing it to.


Best Type of Wood Flooring for High Traffic Areas

Rooms in the main level will take a beating with traffic and other abuse. Hickory is one of the best choices because it works well in high traffic areas and also is resistant to temperature fluctuations and moisture. Maple is excellent for rooms with excessive traffic too.

Leveling Up on Wood Flooring

When installing solid wood on above levels such as the second story floor of a two-story home, you’ll want to think of the sound factor. No one wants to listen to someone walking around above them. Choose from woods that naturally absorb sound such as dense exotic woods like mahogany and cherry which tend to be quieter to walk on.

Summing it Up

There’s nothing quite like hardwood flooring. It adds a unique look and feel to your home which can be customized by the type of wood you choose. When dealing with different levels in your home, each with their own characteristics, be sure to pick the best wood for its location.

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