HOOVER'S HARDWOOD FLOORING EXPERTS
When choosing to install a new hardwood floor in your home, you may be shocked by how many different options you are faced with. Once you decide on the type of flooring and the material it is made of, you then get to decide on the stain color. There's a lot of pressure involved when you're making such big decisions like this, so at Hoover Hardwood Flooring Services, we try to help guide you through your decision making process.
We will show you samples of every type of flooring we have, give you information regarding the characteristics of each type, and help you make the best educated decision you can. Remember, if you end up not liking the stain color you chose, wood floors can be sanded and refinished over and over again, which should take a little bit of pressure off!
TYPES OF WOOD FLOORING MATERIALS
There are 2 main categories of wood floors, and every person prefers one over the other depending on their particular circumstances. People often ask us which type of wood flooring is the best, and there's no straight answer for that. Everyone is different and has different needs when it comes to flooring. Here are the 2 main categories of wood flooring:
- Solid Wood Flooring: The name of this type says it all. Each plank is solid wood, through and through. It comes either unfinished or pre-finished. With unfinished wood, we install them, sand them, stain them, and coat them all on site. The unfinished wood is the best option if you want your own custom stain color, but it also takes a great deal of time to complete the installation. Pre-finished wood arrives stained and coated and just needs to be installed. Our solid wood flooring strips come in different widths and thickness, and we also offer parquet flooring which is made up of geometrical shapes pieced together. Solid wood is the most expensive type, but truly lasts the longest because it can be sanded and refinished repeatedly.
- Engineered Hardwoods: This type of flooring is created by covering layers of plywood or plastic laminate with a real wood veneer. Because it is not solid wood, it is not as affected by moisture and humidity, so it is great for kitchens and bathrooms. Engineered hardwood is less expensive than solid wood, but definitely does not lack in quality. It is very easy to install because it can be placed over existing floors. One thing to point out about engineered hardwoods is that they cannot be sanded and refinished over and over again like solid wood. Because the wood veneer is not as thick as solid wood planks, if you sand too many times, you'll end up with a plywood floor.
COMMON TYPES OF HARDWOOD
Oak is the most commonly used wood for flooring and is usually less expensive than other types. It has strong graining, which helps to hide scratches and dents. It absorbs stain very well, making it very easy to change the coloring of your floors. Oak has a very classic and traditional look to it, and the majority of homes in the U.S. have oak floors.
Bamboo floors are technically grass, but are manufactured with the hardness of a wood floor. Strand woven bamboo is very durable and harder than oak (and more expensive), and then there are other types of bamboo floors that are much softer and show more dents and scratches. It does not take stain or sealant well, so pre-finished bamboo flooring is the best option.
Maple is a slightly harder wood and is lighter in color with light graining, giving it a sleek and modern look. Maple floors tend to turn yellowish with exposure to sunlight and do not absorb stain as well as some other types of wood, but the look of stained maple is very popular with a lot of people. It is slightly more expensive than oak floors.
Cherry wood has a deep red color and very smooth graining. The color darkens and deepens over time, giving it a very luxurious look. Cherry wood has a lot of variation in the graining, which some people love and some people hate. It's all about preference. It is a very hard wood that does not show as many scratches and dents as other wood types.
Hickory has a very similar color and graining to oak, but it is much harder. It is a great option for households with a lot of foot traffic and pets because it stands up to scratches and dents so well. Hickory has many different color variations, often found within the same board. Hickory floors are sometimes called pecan floors, and are more expensive than oak also.
Walnut floors are very similar to cherry in the smooth graining and luxurious look, but walnut is brown in color. It is one of the hardest wood species on the market and is often used on high-end decking because of its strength and durability. It also deepens in color over time. Walnut is more expensive than cherry wood, and both are more expensive than oak.