Know the difference before you buy!
Hardwood Flooring Options
The seemingly limitless array of hardwood looks and styles can be conveniently boiled down to fit into a few simple categories based on their construction. Both are made from 100% real wood, and with a basic understanding of the key differences between each, you can be better equipped to confidently choose the best hardwood flooring solution for your home, lifestyle and budget.
Solid Hardwood Floors
A single solid piece of wood consisting of just one wood species is used for each plank of solid wood flooring, and can generally be refinished many times. Solid hardwood is a high-end flooring option long coveted by homeowners for its traditional look. Solid hardwood is as strong as it is naturally durable, though it does not stand up well to drastic changes in temperature or humidity. It's best-suited for above-grade levels of your home, laid over manufacturer-approved subfloors.
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Various plies of real hardwood are fused to form engineered hardwood planks, which are more stable and offer better resistance to moisture and warping. They can be floated over nearly any type of subflooring as well, making them ideal for many areas where solid hardwood floors would not work well. They are also available in a wide range of exotic colors, textures and patterns that may be more difficult to find in solid planks.
Today's hardwood flooring market is rich with options. A variety of classic domestic options are available, including red and white oak, American Cherry, hickory and more. You'll find exotic hardwood species not native to North America, which a offer strikingly different appearance. Exotic woods can enrich your home and create a truly unique visual experience.
Both types of hardwood can generally be coated and recoated with finish several times throughout their lifespan. Some floors come pre-finished by their manufacturer, but others do not. Be sure to know which type you are purchasing.
Unfinished Hardwood Floors
Unfinished hardwoods arrive in their natural state - unaltered, but also unprotected. They require several days to install, stain and finish, which can be a messy process as well.
Pre-finished Hardwood Floors
Make installation simpler and more efficient with pre-finished hardwood floors. Without the need to add finish after installation, pre-finished floors are far less messy and can be laid completely the same day they arrive. Factory-applied finishes have great features, offering increased durability that cannot be duplicated by a finish applied during installation.