If your floors need to handle a lot of traffic, you have to look at grain, colour and texture before you make your final decision. Don’t fall in love with something from a magazine or TV show, and don’t base your entire decision on just colour. Be informed. Think about maintenance. Think about your lifestyle. Then think about what you want your floors to look like in 10 years and what you have to do to keep them that way.
Busy life, busy grain: If you have the kind of home where dogs or cats are running around, people are always coming through or kids bring their friends over to play, then you want a busy grain. A busier, grainier hardwood helps hide scratches. Oak, hickory and ash are among the best for this.
Lighter and more natural colours are also better options if you’re worried about scratches, which darker stains really highlight.
More texture, more leeway: More homeowners are also buying textured hardwood (wirebrushed), which comes in oak and ash primarily. Part of its appeal is that it’s new and different. Yes, it costs a little more than smooth wood, but it will look better for longer.
Remember, hardwood is more expensive then carpet or laminate, so you don’t want to have to replace it just because you followed a trend for bold colours, bleaching or hand scraping!
-Article courtesy of Mike Holmes (Postmedia News)