4A Flooring Flooring How to Choose the Right Type of Wood for Your Floors

How to Choose the Right Type of Wood for Your Floors

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So, you have decided to get hardwood floors. Choosing a wood floor is as complicated as finding the best looking product. You have to keep in mind several factors while deciding for hardwood floors.

Solid or engineered?

Both solid and engineered wood floors are made using real wood, and both are environmentally friendly. The question is where you want to install it?

Solid wood floors: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom, and thickness ranges between 3/4” to 5/16”.  Solid wood floors can be installed in living room, dining rooms, bedrooms and even in the kitchen. The benefit of solid wood is that it can be sanded and refinished many times.

Engineered wood floors: wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers. It will expand and contract less than the solid wood floor during fluctuations in temperature. It can be used for basement installations, and any room above, on or below ground.

Wood species?

Wood species vary in their durability, hardness, color and grain patterns. You should decide a look of your floor before choosing a wood type.

Oak is popular in hardwood flooring for different reasons. It is a durable wood, and it has naturally appealing grain. White oak is demanded design circles as it doesn’t have the pinkish tone of red oak.

The domestic black cherry would be a good choice for the retired couple since their floor will see less traffic. The Brazilian cherry might be a better choice for a busy family with young children and pets so that the scratches can easily be sanded out.


The site-finished floor is better for me or factory finished? Both have their advantages; it depends on your personal preference.

Site-finished: with a job-site finish, you can choose the type of finish to be applied to your floor. But you should expect noise, dust, and disturbance at your place. During the time for the finish to dry, you will not be able to walk on your floor.

Factory-finished: it is applied at factory long before it reaches your place. It does not give you the level of customization which job-site finished floors would give. But there is minimal dust and noise during the installation process.

  • You may need to order slightly more flooring than it is needed to be installed. Extra material will cut down to fit the exact space. Your contractor will estimate the material that will be needed to complete the project.
  • You can choose the finishing by your own. Gloss finishing reflects more light and shines brighter. Semi-glass finishing offers some shine and reflects less light, while matte finishing will reflect the least light and shine less.

Wood floors explore change over time. It will look more beautiful as the time passes. Time add beauty and character to the wood.  Species such as oak will experience minimal color change over time, while American cherry and Brazilian cherry will show more color change over time. These changes are natural.

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