Solid hardwood floors repay a little care with a lifetime of value. When you first glimpse a solid hardwood floor, you sense richness, warmth and natural beauty. Gradually, you get to know its distinct personality -- visual harmonies, the traces of history in the forest and in your home.
Take a closer look. Appreciate the color and pattern of the floor's strips, planks or parquetry. Read the grain: Is it bold-textured oak? Subdued maple or cherry? Check the condition of the underlying wood and the finish that protects it. Are there signs of neglect to erase (it's not difficult), or do you see a well-tended surface that needs just a light touch to maintain it?