How to Choose the Right Wood Flooring for Your Home

A beautiful wood floor sets the tone for an entire room, making it look classic and timeless. But installing a solid wood floor gets expensive. How do you create the warm look of a real wood floor without breaking the bank?

If you love wood flooring but aren’t sure exactly what you need, you have options. Read on to learn about the different types of wood flooring.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is, as it sounds, milled in planks from solid chunks of real wood. The types of wood used for flooring include maple, cherry, oak, and hickory, with different looks and hardness. 


Hardwood lasts for decades, so it works well in high-traffic areas. Since it can warp or swell when exposed to water, you should not install hardwood in bathrooms or in basements which can have humidity rising up from the floor. 


Hardwood floors must be nailed to a wooden subfloor, which limits the areas in which hardwood can be used. Hardwood should usually be installed by trained professionals.

Hardwood comes both finished and unfinished. If you choose unfinished wood, you can choose from different types of wood floor finishes, but the labor to finish the wood can cost more than the wood itself. If you choose prefinished wood, it comes ready to install.


Since hardwood boards are solid, they can be sanded down and refinished many times. They are durable, especially if you choose the harder woods such as hickory.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood contains a layer of real hardwood applied over layers of compressed wood and resin sandwiched together. It’s available in most types of hardwood, including maple, oak, and cherry, and looks just the same as solid hardwood.


Use engineered hardwood wherever you want the look of real wood. Since the resins and polymers in engineered hardwood withstand humidity, you can install it in basements and bathrooms.


Engineered wood floor panels come with grooved sides so that you can attach them together without nailing them to a subfloor. Install engineered wood over almost any type of surface including concrete.

Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, so it does not require additional labor after installation.


The finish on the surface of engineered wood keeps it in good shape for years. You can sand and refinish the wood once or twice, depending on the thickness of the solid wood layer, but if you sand it too much you’re likely to sand the wood layer right off. 

Cost of Different Types of Wood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring usually costs less than solid hardwood in the same type of wood. Installing engineered wood can also cost less since the flooring comes prefinished and does not need to be nailed down, making it an inexpensive hardwood flooring option.

Choose the Best Type of Wood Flooring

The different types of wood flooring both have their own advantages, and they both look great. Solid hardwood lasts forever if you decide to spend the money, while engineered hardwood lasts for years and can cost less than solid hardwood. Knowing your options will help you choose the best floor for your needs.

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