Wood Flooring Selection Tips

Types and Descriptions of Wood Flooring Products

By Mark J. Donovan

Deciding to go with wood flooring in a room or home is an excellent choice. Selecting a wood floor material type, however, can be a real challenge. There are a multitude of wood species and wood flooring types. Wood species include oak, maple, mahogany, cherry, bamboo, pine, walnut, etc. In regards to wood flooring types there are three basic choices, solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, and laminate flooring.

Solid wood flooring, as the name suggests, is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. Engineered wood flooring consists of many layers of wood veneers glued together.

The grain of each veneer layer runs in an opposite direction to the layer above and below it. In addition, the veneer layers often are of different wood species. The top layer has the specific wood species and finish desired. Laminate wood flooring is constructed out of a wood chip composite base layer with a plastic / resin infused paper top coat.

Solid wood flooring offers the benefit of being able to be refinished many times over the life of the floor. Engineered wood flooring offers the benefit of being a very stable product that does not expand and contract as much as solid wood flooring products. Laminate flooring is very durable and is ideal for high foot traffic areas, however it is very susceptible to water damage and thus should not be used in wet areas.

In regards to wood finishes, solid wood flooring can also be purchased finished or unfinished.

Today most people choose to go with a finished solid wood flooring product as there is no work and mess of having to finish the flooring after it’s installed.

When selecting wood flooring it is important to consider the room that it is going to be used in. For example, in heavily utilized rooms such as a kitchen or family room area you may want to go with a solid hardwood flooring product. For less utilized rooms you may instead want to go with an engineered wood flooring product. Keep in mind that both solid and engineered wood floors can be refinished. However, with engineered wood floors the number of times they can be refinished is limited due to the thin veneer top layer.

It’s also important to select a wood flooring species and color that complements the room’s interior design. The last thing you want to do is install a wood floor that clashes with the rest of a room’s interior.

Wood Flooring Installation Tips

Always make sure to install wood floors on a suitable subfloor that is solid, level, and free of moisture. If you have a concrete subfloor then either go with a laminate wood floor or build a wood subfloor on top of the concrete floor for installing solid or engineered wood flooring products.

Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet

A click together wood flooring product can be tackled by the DIY weekend warrior. For solid wood and engineered wood flooring products hire a professional wood floor installation contractor, unless you have the experience and tools to do it yourself. The material cost of these types of wood floors is just too expensive for on the job training.

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.

Related Information

Additional Flooring Resources from Amazon.com

Free Home Addition Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on a house addition from one of our prescreened and licensed home addition contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your house addition price estimate.