As a homeowner, when you decide to get the best wood flooring for your home, it’s natural that you don’t know the number of decisions you will have to take. That’s because the market is flooded with several superb wood flooring types that compete with each other in design, finish, style and pattern. To be sure you’ve bought the right wood, go to the store and find out your options.

Wood flooring is steep in comparison with carpeting, linoleum and laminate. However, despite its cost, homeowners consider it a big investment in their homes.

Points to consider: When you want to replace your flooring, decide on a budget and the area you want replaced.

Next, look at durable flooring types. The highly used parts of your home will experience a lot of rough use, which will require highly durable flooring. Maple or oak are good options. These are just first thoughts, you needn’t restrict yourself to maple, walnut or oak but choose from many others.

It’s also time to check the pattern of various kinds of hardwood. You can check them out in strips, planks or parquet, which is usually laid out in geometric patterns. And, lastly, if the wood flooring you choose is beyond your budget, go in for engineered wood flooring. No matter which kind of wood you choose, the fact that it’s wood will give a facelift to your home.

Here are some types of wood flooring that you can choose from:

Red Oak: This wood type can easily be matched with any other design style–something that makes it a very popular choice. Its reddish tones lend it a unique beauty and its high resistance to wear and tear make it the obvious choice for highly used parts of your home, like the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Maple: When you see maple in wide planks, you immediately see the benefits it has for you. Being available in wide planks means that the room looks spacious with a lot of room to walk around, elegant and it has very few seams. It will also show off the grain and character of the wood, making your room arresting in its style and elegance. Besides, this kind of flooring is made from sustainable forests.

Ebonized Hardwood: If you want to make your space look luxurious, go ahead and use ebonized wood. With its dark look, it can easily complement a variety of design styles while also making its own style statement in a contemporary zone. For a really sleek and modern look, go for cherry, oak or walnut.

Reclaimed Wood: The benefit of reclaimed wood is that it gives the user a whole lot of warmth, besides being a great choice of flooring after being treated. It can be successfully used both in  traditional and contemporary settings.

Engineered Hardwood: This form of hardwood is best in appearance and cost. Not only is it highly durable, it won’t pinch your pocket too heavily either. It is highly stable, so you won’t find many changes in the floor due to expansion and contraction caused by atmospheric moisture.

Douglas Fir: The Douglas fir plank flooring is comfortable and inviting. By staining the fir, you can see its grain in great detail, which makes it visually highly appealing.

White Oak Puzzle Piece: A conversation starter doesn’t have to be a piece of art. Designer Jamie Beckwith designed The Enigma Hardwood puzzle piece flooring to challenge the traditional wood-plank flooring. It comes in 16 different patterns with six unique stain choices for a custom look.

Solid hardwood: This type of flooring is made from real wooden planks with a thickness ranging from 18mm to 20 mm. This is a top-of-the-line type of hardwood flooring, with its cost based on the kind of wood species, capability of sanding and refinishing several times for a new look.

However, the demerit of this wood floor is that it distends in humid weather and contracts in arid weather. Over a protracted period, this can bring changes in the shape of the floor, altering its overall appearance and creating further problems. To prevent this, it should be installed with great care, while maintenance should be regular to extend its life.

With so much choice before you, it’s going to be very difficult for you to decide on the flooring that suits your home and lifestyle. But take your time and choose the one you want to live with for a long, long time.

Author bio: Manisha Kumar is a freelancer writer, blogger and editor of Basic Woodworking. When she is not watching television, she is either writing her novels or managing her blogs.