Types of Wood Flooring

If you are a homeowner who’s ever lived with wood floors, you know that wood looks great and wears well.

In bygone days, wood floors were generally put down at the time a home was built because of the amount of installation and finishing needed. Not so with modern wood floors. Pre-finished floors and new product versions of wood have made it easy to install and very un-messy.Wood flooring is available in multiple products: solid, engineered and longstrip. Most of it is factory pre-finished or very easily finished on site at the time of installation or during renovation. Either way, the new wood floors have the potential to last for generations. 

Solid Wood Flooring is one solid piece of natural wood, usually nailed down. It is best not to install solids below grade (say, in a basement) because moisture can cause distortion.  There are solid wood products that need not be nailed or stapled to the floor. These can be clicked together and “floated” much like a laminate floor.

Engineered Wood flooring is made of numerous wood plys with your select species, usually a hardwood or exotic, as the surface ply. (Thus, engineered flooring uses less ray material than solids.) Depending on the top ply thickness, engineered floors can be completely sanded and refinished, though virtually all can be lightly buffed and recoated countless times.

Longstrip is an engineered wood designed for a floating-type installation. Many also can be nailed, stapled or glued down. Some can be installed directly over tile, vinyl and radiant heat. Longstrip is usually available in longer lengths than standard wood flooring and consists of one wide or two smaller hardwood strips laid into a larger panel of 3 to 5 inches wide and up to 48 inches long.

Talk to your neighborhood flooring retailer to see what type of wood flooring is best for your lifestyle.