Each type of hardwood flooring has unique characteristics that affect its appearance, performance, and price. Here are some of the different types of hardwood flooring, which will help you make an informed choice.
Solid Hardwood Flooring: Authentic and Traditional
Solid hardwood flooring is milled from one piece of timber, and its thickness usually varies. Renowned for its authenticity, longevity, and the value it adds to a home, solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished a few times over its lifespan. Common types include oak, maple, and cherry, each offering a distinct grain pattern and color range.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Stable and Versatile
Engineered hardwood is a modern solution crafted from a top layer of solid wood adhered to a base of high-quality plywood.
This construction reduces the wood's natural tendency to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes, making it suitable for areas where solid hardwood may not be, such as basements or over concrete slabs. The most common species for the veneer layer are oak, hickory, and maple.
Exotic Hardwood Flooring: Unique and Eye-Catching
Exotic hardwoods, sourced from around the world, offer unique grain patterns and vibrant colors. Brazilian cherry, teak, and mahogany are popular choices, known for their exceptional hardness and distinct aesthetics.
However, exotic hardwoods are typically more expensive and may come with considerations regarding sustainable sourcing.
Prefinished and Unfinished Hardwood Flooring: Flexible Finishing Options
Hardwood flooring comes in two finishing types: prefinished and unfinished. Prefinished hardwood flooring is sanded, stained, and sealed by the manufacturer, allowing for a uniform finish and quicker installation.
Unfinished hardwood, on the other hand, is finished on-site, which can provide a more customized color match to existing woodwork and allows for a level of personalization that prefinished options may not offer.
Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring: Rustic and Eco-Friendly
Reclaimed hardwood is sourced from old buildings and barns, offering a rustic aesthetic full of history and charm. While this type of flooring can be more costly due to the extra processing required, it's an environmentally friendly choice as it reuses existing resources, reducing the demand for new timber.
Bamboo Flooring: An Innovative Hardwood Alternative
In the quest for sustainable and resilient flooring solutions, bamboo has emerged as a popular choice among homeowners. While technically a grass and not a hardwood, bamboo is often included in the hardwood category because of its physical similarities to true hardwoods.
Bamboo flooring is known for its strength, durability, and eco-friendliness. It grows significantly faster than traditional wood species, making it a renewable resource. In terms of aesthetics, it offers a clean, contemporary look with its light natural color and distinctive grain patterns.
However, its color may change over time due to exposure to sunlight and it's not as moisture-resistant as some other options, factors that are important to consider when deciding where to install bamboo flooring.