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Wood Floor Ideas

Featured image for "Wood Floor Ideas" blog post. Fat cat laying down next to a cup of coffee on a wood floor.

If you are looking for wood floor ideas, then you’re in the right place! Wood floors have a naturally attractive and elegant style, making them a wonderful floor remodeling option for many homeowners. If you’re looking for that authentic wood floor for your home, you don’t have to break the bank. There are numerous beautiful and affordable wood floor ideas to choose from.

Note, however, that scrimping too much on the materials for floor installation is generally not the best approach either; you’ll usually end up spending more money in the long run by constantly having to replace your flooring.

Durable wood flooring can last for decades, providing your house with a beautiful, high-quality appearance that will be sure to give you your money’s worth. It’s important to establish a healthy balance: budget wisely and buy the best wood floor materials that you can afford for your home.

In this blog post, we talk about the most affordable but durable wood floor ideas that will keep your house looking amazing without breaking the budget. At the end of this blog post, we’ll also provide some expert advice, ideas, and tips on maintaining your precious wood floor.

8 Affordable Wood Floor Ideas

Whether you have floor tile, old wooden boards, unwanted carpet, or even concrete, if you’re hoping to replace your old floors with beautiful wood flooring, there are a number of affordable wood floor ideas from which to choose.

Below, we have chosen a few of the most popular wood flooring in this flooring buying guide to help you figure out how to choose the right wood flooring for your home. Here are the flooring styles you need for the perfect wood flooring:

Hardwood floor with dog.
Hardwood flooring is a great long-term investment in your home.

1. Plywood Flooring

There’s a reason why plywood flooring has been around for a long time. Plain plywood planks are cheap, easy to buy, and quite durable. These planks are also very versatile and easy to work with for a variety of creative DIY projects. If you want, you can try painting the sheets with one color to create a standard color theme for the entire house. Whether you’re chasing the latest rustic, vintage wood flooring trends or a modern/contemporary feel, plywood is ideal for tons of unique design ideas.

Plywood is different from all other choices of wood, so here are some facts about plywood flooring to highlight the differences:

  1. Plywood is comprised of many layers of wood, with the cheapest wood in the middle, and the most expensive wood types on the outside, to make costs more affordable.
  2. Because of its numerous layers, plywood is extremely durable, less likely to warp, and easy to install.
  3. There are two varieties of plywood to consider for wood floor ideas: hardwood and softwood. Depending on which you want, you can choose either hardwood, which is made from maple, oak, birch, and other hardwoods or softwoods, like spruce and pine.
  4. When choosing plywood, keep in mind there are also a variety of wood grades: N, A, B, C, and D. Each grade has a specific strength, appearance, moisture resistance, and a number of blemishes that might impact your choice. For example, plywood that is D grade may contain visible surface defects, but N grade plywood is likely to have very few if any, surface defects.

Plywood flooring is a great floorboard choice for apartments because of its cushioning properties. So, if you live in or own an apartment complex, using plywood floorboards is a quiet option for upstairs residents. It’s also a great option for basements, garages, kitchens, bathrooms, and other dark or more humid indoor rooms due to its water-resistant properties, making your home less likely to acquire mold in dark spaces.

You also have the option of cutting the plywood sheets in half so that each section can be painted in different inviting shades, tones, and textures. Doing so will allow you to position the wood in an alternating pattern to achieve a more interesting look. Some of the decor colors for wood floor ideas that you can consider include contrasting light and dark colors such as brown and green.

Wood herringbone patterns or parquet can be used for home decoration or even for the actual design of your wood flooring. These patterns involve wood pieces cut to specific sizes, in which you layer them in diagonal patterns and glue them to a surface. Any leftover plywood that you may have is a perfect opportunity for a DIY interior design craft project.

While you can use herringbone patterns or parquet patterns for your entire floor design, they are commonly used as intricate home décor, like picture frames, tables, chairs, doors, cabinets, and benches. Try getting creative with any leftover wood by decorating custom accessories that match your floorboards!

Measuring plywood.
There are a variety of plywood grades to choose from.

 2. Pine Wood

Although pine wood is seldom used as a flooring material, you can still look into it if you are on a budget. There are some pros and cons to pine wood, however.

For one, it’s not solid hardwood, and since it’s quite soft, it can get dented when used as flooring for high traffic interior areas of the house. Make sure to place felt protectors on the bottom of any chairs and other furniture items you plan on moving around frequently. If you’re going to use this type of flooring, it is only recommended for low traffic areas such as the bedroom.

On the other hand, pine wood is known for its timeless, stunning beauty, and it’s easy to install too. With proper care and maintenance, this softwood can be as long-lasting as hardwood flooring. Kick back and relax as a home owner with the beautiful light and warm color contrast that pine wood flooring has to offer to your house.

Log cabin in the forest near a lake.
Pine is a popular material for many cabins.

3. Oak Wood

Oak floors cost more than plywood and pine wood, but this classic floorboard is hardwood, so it’s a very durable favorite for many homeowners. If you can afford to use this traditional, beautiful flooring material for all the rooms in your house, you won’t find the floors difficult to clean and maintain.

There are two types of oak wood from which you can choose: red oak wood and white oak wood. Both wood floor ideas are excellent options. Red oak is actually lighter than white oak. It has a light, red tone, while white oak is brown or yellow in color. You can stain these woods to change the appearance and make the red oak look darker than its natural color if you like.

As with most wood floor ideas, oak wood has its pros and cons, and one of the cons of oak flooring is its inability to handle moisture, so it’s not ideal for outdoor decks that are typically exposed to cold and damp conditions. It is therefore advisable to vacuum this popular type of wood flooring instead of mop it.

That being said, oak wood flooring variations are not good wood floor ideas for kitchen floors, gyms, or bathroom flooring. Since the activities that are typically pursued in the kitchen can expose wood tile flooring to spills and stains, it is more practical to use vinyl or tile flooring for this particular area of the house. Vinyl is popular for kitchens because it handles liquids well, without warping over time, as you will see below.

Red oak hardwood flooring.
Red oak hardwood flooring is a durable flooring option, but make sure not to expose it to too much moisture.

4. Bamboo Flooring

Although bamboo is a type of grass, it has many of the benefits and qualities of hardwood and can be used as an exotic flooring alternative for any home improvement makeover project. For light wood floors, bamboo gives any space a casual, beachy vibe.

This is a versatile type of flooring because it’s resistant to moisture; in fact, you can even use a damp high-quality wet mop every now and then when cleaning bamboo. Sweeping and vacuuming can also be implemented as part of your bamboo cleaning routine.

You will like that bamboo floors are very easy to maintain. In fact, you can sand its surface if there are already visible scratches, dents, and marks on it. Applying a fresh finishing coat will give your bamboo floors an excellent new and attractive look again. Smooth bamboo is particularly perfect for sleek coastal homes looking for a bright, comfortable beach decorative theme.

Bamboo flooring with a flower.
Bamboo flooring is not only affordable but is very versatile as well.

5. Laminate Wood Flooring

Though not a wood floor idea per se, laminate flooring is one of the best artificial wood floor ideas for large families in all seasons because it is one of the toughest types of floors. It can therefore handle the demands of high traffic situations in households and won’t easily wear and tear. Laminate slabs are perfect floors for an entryway that receives lots of traffic, as well as garage flooring and gym flooring.

Aside from being durable, laminate wood flooring is also attractive because it has a beautiful and classic natural design. It is therefore practical to use this gorgeous, stylish flooring for the whole house, especially the family living room. Being affordable, durable, and easy to maintain makes it one of the most practical and trending wood floor ideas when deciding on the type of flooring for one’s home.

Room with clean laminate floor.
Laminate flooring is one of the toughest types of flooring out there.

6. Teak Floors

Of all of the wood floor ideas, teak is perhaps one of the least affordable, but not super expensive, choices. Teak floors are tough because they are a type of hardwood floor, making them excellent for high-traffic areas.

Teak is highly recommended and is increasing in popularity for active families and for those who like keeping pets inside their home. As we all know, having cats and dogs can be very demanding on a floor, and constant cleanup is required. This type of floor can be vacuumed and cleaned with a high-performance wet mop without any damaging effect.

This type of wood flooring also comes in attractive, contrasting shades and colors that exude luxury. One of the most commonly used shades is the pale honey color since it gives an amazing natural wood appeal. You can also go for the lovely dark reddish-brown shade which is decorative in itself.

7. Walnut Floors

Walnut hardwood floors are gorgeous wood floor ideas for both their unique grain and stunning, luxurious beauty. For a dark hardwood floor, walnut will offer your living space depth and boldness with its warm appearance.

Both American and Brazilian walnut flooring are popular wooden flooring options for modern aesthetics. This is because these floor choices have elements that are resistant to decay and deformations that occur over time, due to the strength and durability of the boards. While the boards are hard, they are soft enough for you to be able to stain and finish them, which is why this wood flooring choice is a good investment.

Walnut is also a good choice for an ebonized floor, which involves staining the wood in a very dark color. This stain will give your home a very contemporary look. Make your studio, bathroom, or even kitchen areas pop with all the beautiful qualities that walnut wood has to offer to your interior space.

Walnut floor.
Walnut flooring is a strong and long-lasting flooring option for those desiring a contemporary look.

8. Vinyl Plank Flooring

In addition to the wood floor ideas above, you can also use vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is similar to laminate, only it lasts longer but comes in fewer style options and is slightly pricier. When it comes to your plank sizes, there are many vinyl wood flooring ideas.

For one, you can easily opt for plank floors of any size. Whether you want wide plank floorings, vinyl tiles, or narrow strips, vinyl floors are made to look like wood planks but aren’t actual wood, and thus it is easy to customize to your needs.

Vinyl planks also have the added bonus of being simple to install or replace any parts that get damaged. Some planks come with adhesive strips for easy application, while others simply snap into place, or require glue. Either way, all of these options are less time-consuming than traditional wood flooring, which is harder to install.

The Types of Hardwood Floor Ideas

When choosing a type of hardwood flooring, there are two types you can choose between: engineered wood or solid hardwood flooring. Below we go over the differences to help you with your wood floor ideas.

Solid Flooring

Solid flooring is the traditional flooring choice for hardwood floors. This floorboard option comprises of solid planks that will need to be nailed or glued down into a well-padded substrate. Solid flooring is sturdy and hardy, making it a good investment. However, this flooring shrinks and expands when exposed to humidity or temperature changes, making it more difficult to install by oneself.

Solid hardwood flooring and a brick wall.
Solid hardwood flooring is more affected by weather changes than engineered hardwood.

Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring is generally made from plywood, as it contains lots of layers of wood to create a sturdy, durable board. The surface layer of your engineered wood is the wood that will be seen, so it’s the most expensive wood layer, such as cherry, mahogany, or ash wood, while the underlayers utilize the many perks that come with using plywood or other layering woods.

Engineered flooring has a few major advantages over solid floorboards.

Because plywood layers are designed to be flexible and less rigid than traditional hardwood floorboards, they are less prone to warping and won’t get as easily damaged from humidity, making engineered wood ideal for humid climates and locations.

Engineered hardwood flooring is also easier to install compared to solid wood flooring, as it does not always require nails. Your subflooring will determine whether you will be gluing, nailing, stapling, or floating your engineered boards.

Living room with couch, slippers, laptop.
Engineered hardwood flooring is more resistant to humidity than solid hardwood.

Floorboard Sizes

You can choose from a variety of floorboard sizes. Larger, longer, and wider floor planks create an open feeling, making them ideal for open concept designs and larger spaces. Meanwhile, narrower planks are more suitable for smaller rooms. Note that wider planks tend to be more expensive than thinner planks.

Installing Your Floorboards

After reviewing all of the wood floor ideas, sizes, and types of boards, it’s time to install hardwood floors. Unfinished wood will need to be sanded, stained, and finished. It’s best to have a professional install your subfloors and floorboards if you don’t know how to install them, as it can be quite difficult to do for the first time, and you don’t want to ruin your floorboards. It can also be costly to buy all of the installation tools required if you do decide to install them yourself.

An installation professional can work with a designer to design the perfect floorboard layout for you ahead of time so that you know just how it will look without the stress of trying to figure it out on your own.

Refinishing Your Hardwood Floor

Have you recently ripped out that old carpet and discovered a secret, original wood flooring underneath? If your floorboards are able to be refinished and just need a little tlc, consider saving the trouble of having to remove old floorboards and install new ones by simply refinishing your old flooring.

You might be surprised to find that even old, scratched wood floors can be sanded, stained, and refinished to look as good as new. In fact, many durable hardwood floorboards can be refinished as many as 7 times!

So, before you decide to throw out old boards, have an inspector come by to evaluate the shape of your current wood floors. Even if you’re hoping for a different color wood flooring, you’ll be happy to hear that refinishing old hardwood floors is an easy way to improve the appearance of old boards.

Room with refinished hardwood floor.
If you have an old wood flooring base, instead of installing brand new flooring, you may be able to simply transform your old flooring by refinishing it!

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Let’s take a look at a few hardwood flooring ideas for refinishing your old hardwood flooring:

  1. Firstly, you will need to clean your home and prepare the hardwood floors. Start by removing all furniture or other items on the floor. You want the entire space to be free of any items so that you can move onto the next step: sanding.
  2. Sanding is often a tricky project for beginners, but once you know what you’re doing, it’s fairly straight forward. Make sure you have all of the necessary materials, such as a sander and sandpaper. Using sander tools with coarse sandpaper, evenly sand your entire floorboards. This will get rid of surface stains or scratches. Then, progressively use finer sandpaper until the boards are smooth.

If you’re not sure how deep you can sand your floorboards, we recommend hiring a professional to do the job. You’ll likely still save a lot of money compared to buying new floorboards, so don’t feel discouraged if you have to add on this expense.

  1. The next step is to stain your newly sanded floorboards. Before you do this, however, vacuum and wipe all floorboards thoroughly with a damp cloth to get rid of any sawdust or left-over sandpaper debris.

Whichever stain color you end up using, be sure to apply it evenly, then wipe it off and let it sit for a minimum of 24 hours before moving onto the next step.

  1. Lastly, to finish your newly stained floorboards, add a finish on top to maintain the stain. Polyurethane finishes are popular choices because they are waterproof. Though you can buy a finish that is hued, most finishes are opaque or matte.

DIRTY FLOORS NO MORE.

Completing Your Renovation

By now, you might feel inspired to tackle the entire house and need more than wood floor ideas! Indeed, there are many more aspects of a renovation you can take into account if you’re hoping to get all remodeling over with in one swift motion.

From inspecting your roofing to see if more installations need to be done, to vamping up your vacation house, cottage, or chic home, organization can help you know what styles you need to make your home feel like the right home for you.

House with interior lighting.
You’ve finished renovating your flooring, but now what?

Outdoor Remodeling 101

Wood floor ideas don’t have to be for just indoors. For those hoping to renovate an outdoor space, consider using reclaimed wood flooring to make it affordable. Reclaimed wood is old wood that can be repurposed. This trendy wood is a great option for building outdoor projects like decks, farmhouses, and porches.

To really make your outdoor flooring project look nice, consider buying hanging light fixtures in your decking entryway for an inviting curbside appeal to your home’s exterior.

If you’re hoping to add a gym to your house, rubber flooring is a padded wood floor choice that is great for absorbing shock and reducing noises in your at-home gym. Always invest in high-quality rubber flooring if you do choose to have it installed.

Interior Design

When completing the interior design of your house, it can help to look at magazines for building inspiration on how to complete your look. Consider the architecture of your home. Do you have beams, feature walls, or other characteristics that are unique to your home? You can bring out the special characteristics of your space by remodeling the area to better highlight those features.

From beautiful rugs, to modern or old-fashioned bookshelves, it’s fun and easy to show off your attention to detail by adding personal touches to your home.

Interior decorations.
Time to get creative with your interior decor!

Cleaning and Dusting Your Wood Floor

There is no need to feel overwhelmed when it comes time to clean and maintain your precious wood floors. In this blog post, we’ll provide some basic wood floor ideas and tips to make the task stress-free and easy.

The simplest way to maintain your wood floors is to create and follow a schedule. If possible, sweep your wood floor with a soft-bristled broom or dust it with an old-fashioned dust mop every other day. Once a week, vacuum your wood floor, setting the vacuum to the bare floor setting. It is best not to have the brushes on the vacuum touch the wood floor as they might scratch it. At least once a month, damp mop your wood floor with either clear water or a mild wood floor cleaner.

Let’s go into a little more depth for each of these steps.

There are three choices to get up the daily dust and dirt from your wood floor. You can choose a broom, a dust mop, or both.

Dust Mop Banner Ad 4.

Using a Broom to Clean Wood Floors

In terms of using a broom for cleaning, one must choose carefully. Choosing a too-stiff bristle broom could be more harmful than helpful. Too-stiff bristles might scratch the floor. Also, when sweeping small particles of dust or dirt, a stiff bristle broom is ineffective.

A better choice for a broom is one that is manufactured with polypropylene bristles. Also, select such a broom that has “flagged” bristled ends. A flagged bristle means that the tips of the bristles were split at the factory. This makes the tips super soft, thus they will not scratch your expensive wood floor. In addition, a polypropylene bristled broom that has been flagged can also act as a dust mop.

Polypropylene tends to attract dust bunnies, hairs, etc. to the bristles. Also, the flagged tips of the broom allow it to sweep up extremely fine dust. An example of a useful flagged broom for a home’s wood floor would be the Champion Soft Sweep Broom. By the way, this broom is made in the USA!

Using a Dust Mop to Clean Wood Floors

The best and easiest strategy to upkeep your wood floor would be a particular type of dust mop. The dust mop we have in mind is useful but difficult to source. The mop in question is an old-fashioned dust mop that is virtually impossible to purchase from brick and mortar stores.

There was a time many years ago where you could walk into any hardware store and ask for this type of mop. Unfortunately, they’ve been replaced by expensive and wasteful disposable dusting floor tools.

The best type of dust mop for the home would be one that uses a specific type of yarn in a rainbow of colors that naturally can attract dust and dirt without the need for any toxic dusting chemicals. These yarns typically have gone through a unique time-consuming process that gives the yarns a sort of magnetic property that attracts dust to the yarn. They are so effective, you simply run the mop across your wood floor and after you’re done, you simply step outside and shake away the dust!

Typically, a properly constructed mop should have a sufficient amount of yarns with a wedge-shaped design. If you are lucky enough to source a mop made in the USA, then you can expect such a useful cleaning tool to last for many years and make maintaining your floor a simple quick and easy daily task.

There is a company that does offer an old-fashioned dust mop. It fits all the requirements and amazingly, it is made in the USA! The mop is called the Champion Old-Fashioned Dust Mop.

Using a Floor Cleaner on Your Wood Floors

When dusting is not enough to make your wood floors look clean and shiny, you may need to use a mild wood floor cleaner to clean up some of the more stubborn dirt stains.

When choosing a hardwood floor cleaner, try to purchase one that is water-based and non-toxic. It should be designed and made with no hazardous ingredients. It should not leave any dulling residue and should be neutral.

Having a high-quality floor cleaner like Champion’s Ultra-Concentrated Degreaser will protect the most delicate floorboards, porcelain, countertops, appliances, backsplashes, ceramic, and vinyl areas of your house, keeping your home’s interior both clean and in the best shape possible for years to come.

Such a product is considered manufactured from naturally derived ingredients and does not require any solvents. Just mist on lightly and then mop.

Before mopping your floor with a non-toxic hardwood and laminate floor cleaner, you should be sure to carefully vacuum up, sweep, or dust away any excess dirt or dust. Next, lightly mist on a small area of your wood floor. Only do a small area at a time to prevent the solution from drying. When mixed with water a 32 oz. bottle of Ultra Concentrated Degreaser can make up to 256 gallons of cleaner!

Ultra concentrated ultra value banner ad

Mopping Your Wood Floors

Before we go on, let’s discuss the best mop for this job. Again, there are many choices when it comes to a wet mop. Our personal recommendation would be a unique mop that is manufactured from synthetic non-woven material. Here again, unfortunately, is another mop that is difficult to find, but well worth the effort in sourcing it out.

It is quite the popular mop in Europe and at one time there was an American company that offered it here in the US for many years. This synthetic non-woven material is very absorbent. When wet it has a sort of spongy feeling and importantly it won’t leave any lint behind. Your wood floor will be left streak-free.

Typically, this unique material comes in a yellow color. Fortunately, Champion has the Super Yellow Mop to meet all of your needs for maintaining clean, spotless floors. It is extremely lightweight and very easy to use. It is the perfect home mop for the task of quickly cleaning your wood floor.

  • Step One: Get the Super Yellow Mop.
  • Step Two: Put it into a pail of water, then wring it out well until it’s just damp.
  • Step Three: Then, proceed with the first step, as stated already, of misting on the non-toxic wood floor cleaner. When mopping the area, follow the grain of the wood.
  • Step Four: After you’re done, allow the floor to air dry.

Warning: do not mop your wooden floor with a dripping wet mop. Using too much water will most likely cause damage to your floor over long-term use. Water can seep in between the cracks and over time will warp your precious floor. If you dust your floor daily, you should only need to lightly damp mop your floor once a month.

One tip to consider is to put an indoor/outdoor carpet outside the entrance to your house so it can trap any unwanted dirt from entering your house and then place another indoor/outdoor carpet inside your home by the door entrance. An excellent choice for such a carpet would be a sisal. A sisal carpet is a carpet made from the agave plant. It uses the agave plant’s naturally long spiny leaves. It is a natural and eco-friendly carpet.

The Amazing Mop!

In Conclusion

We hope that whatever type of wood floor ideas you choose brings you much joy and pride. Follow the simple steps in maintaining your floor and you should get a lifetime of joy from your beautiful wood floors!

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