Wood Floor Types

What to Consider When Choosing a Wood Floor Type for Your Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Are you looking to put a wood floor in your home? Do you know what type of wood floor you’re looking for? Do you know what type of wood species that you want? Do you know if you want to purchase finished or unfinished hardwood floor stock? Do you know what type of finish you want to see on your hardwood floors? If you don’t already have answers to the above questions then read on to learn a bit about wood floor types.

Wood Floor Species

There are several dozen types of wood species to choose from when selecting a hardwood floor type.

Of them red oak is the most popular type of wood species for hardwood flooring. Consequently it is one of the most economical hardwood flooring choices. Maple and White oak are second and third on the list for the most popular wood floor species. Beyond these three top sellers, there is cherry, cypress, teak and African padauk that are fairly common. Bamboo is another type of wood species that is also gaining popularity today.

Wood Floor Color

Most people choose a wood floor species because of its natural color and beauty and thus often just put a clear coat sealer over it. Consequently when selecting a wood floor species, also think about the colors you want to see in the room or home. Try to select a wood floor species that matches the interior design colors of the room it’s to be installed in.

Wood Grades

Wood is graded in two different ways and both ways refer to only the overall look and beauty of the wood. One chief parameter evaluated in the grading of wood flooring material is the number of knots in the wood.

The higher the number of knots per linear foot the lower the grade assigned to the wood. Stains and discoloration of the wood are other parameters that are also evaluated when grading wood.

One wood floor grading scale uses the terms “Clear”, “Select”, or “Common”, with the “Clear” wood grade having no knots or blemishes and the “Common” having the most. The second grading scale uses the terms “First”, “Second” or “Third”, with the “First” wood grade having no knots or blemishes and the “Third” having the most.

Solid Wood Floors versus Engineered Wood Floors

As the name suggests, solid wood flooring material is constructed entirely out of the same species of wood from top to bottom. It is milled from the same piece of lumber and is ¾ inch thick. Engineered wood floors, on the other hand, are fabricated out of many layers of wood veneers that are glued together.

All of the veneer layers are not necessarily made out of the same species of wood. In addition, the layers are stacked so that the grains associated with each veneer layer are placed orthogonal to one another. The top layer uses the wood species desired by the customer and is finished.

Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet

Solid wood floors expand and contract much more than engineered wood floors. Consequently engineered wood flooring is better for rooms with higher moisture levels. Engineered wood flooring is also the recommended choice for concrete subfloors. Engineered wood flooring is commonly found in oak, maple and cherry.

Solid wood floors, however, can be refinished multiple times whereas engineered wood floors, with their thin final topcoat veneer layer, can only be finished once or twice.

Wood Floor Styles

Besides wood species and types, wood floor styles are another important consideration when buying wood flooring. The three common wood floor styles include, strip, plank and Parquet. Strip and plank wood flooring comes in long linear length cuts of woods. Strips range in widths from 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 inch, whereas wood floor planks are typically 3 to 8 inches in width. Parquet wood flooring consists of small pieces of wood to form unique patterns or geometrical designs.

Strips are better for smaller rooms, whereas planks are better for larger rooms. Parquet wood floors are typically found in larger rooms.

So with this new insight into wood floor types go out and choose a wood floor type that meets both your aesthetic desires and functional needs.

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

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