Hardwood flooring types

Before choosing your new wood floor, you should know that there are different types of wood flooring. Selecting the right type of flooring depends upon the location where you want to install it and the type of sub-floor.

Continue reading to get familiar with the main types of wood flooring.

Solid and engineered wood flooring

Solid hardwood floors are one solid piece of wood from top to bottom and are generally ¾” thick.

One great benefit of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished multiple times.

Solid hardwood floors are, however, more sensitive to humidity and temperature changes than engineered wood floors. Too much moisture can cause the wood to expand and contract. So, they should only be installed on or above ground level, over a wood sub-floor, and must be nailed or stapled down.

There are different styles of solid wood flooring to choose from: strip, plank and parquet flooring.

Unlike laminate wood flooring, engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured by laminating multiple layers of different wood veneers. The top layer is of high-quality wood, while sub-layers can be of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes the floor very stable and reduces the expansion/contraction caused by changes in humidity and temperature.

However, engineered floors can be sanded and finished only a few times. But their biggest advantage is they can be installed on any level in the home, including over wood sub-floors, concrete slabs and in your basement. In addition, these floors come in a wide variety of widths, lengths, thicknesses and colors.

Unfinished and factory-finished wood flooring

Hardwood floors can come unfinished or pre-finished. Unfinished flooring must be sanded and finished after installation while pre-finished flooring is sanded and finished at the factory.

If you want your installer to do sanding and finishing upon the job site, you can purchase unfinished wood flooring. This option may be preferred if you need to match existing flooring or if you’re looking for a specific color.

If you buy factory-finished wood flooring, you just have to install it with no need to sand and apply a finish, as the finish has already been applied by the manufacturer.

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