Hardwood Help: What Type of Hardwood Floor Is Best?
Did you know that the North American wood flooring market size was worth $4.6 billion in 2019?
Many American properties have some type of hardwood flooring because it is a convenient and durable material, that looks great in homes. The most in-demand wood flooring in 2019 was engineered hardwood flooring.
Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of hardwood flooring and which type of hardwood floor is best for your home.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring?
One great pro is that hardwood flooring is very durable. It can last for decades, if not longer (depending on the type of wood used). Different materials can be used for different purposes, to suit your needs, for example, some hardwood flooring is better at withstanding constant use, such as oak or cherry.
However, nothing lasts forever, not even hardwood flooring. These are the most common signs that you need to replace your hardwood flooring.
If you don’t need to replace the floor, you can always give it an update or repair wear and tear. By opting for hardwood floor refinishing you can completely transform or fix any minor floor issues. Refinishing the floor will cost less than a full replacement, which is always a pro!
Another con of hardwood flooring is the initial cost. Sure over time you’ll save money, but the upfront cost can be expensive (depending on the type, size, and finish you choose). Boards can cost $15 per square foot.
However, an advantage that might make hardwood floors worthwhile is that they are easy to clean and maintain. There are plenty of guides on how to clean hardwood floors online, but ultimately the maintenance is regular sweeping or vacuuming and a monthly mop.
What Are the Different Types of Hardwood Flooring?
Engineered hardwood and solid hardwood are the two types of hardwood flooring available.
Engineered hardwood is constructed of multiple layers of wood, with the top layer often being a veneer of solid wood. Engineered hardwood flooring is often cheaper than solid hardwood flooring.
Solid hardwood is made from a solid species of one type of wood. Solid hardwood flooring can often last longer than engineered wood floors but comes with a higher price tag.
In addition to the types of hardwood flooring, there are also several different styles available.
1. Plank Flooring
Plank flooring uses wide strips of wood, usually between 3 inches and 8 inches. Plank is a great style option for those looking for a rustic or antique-like feel.
2. Strip Flooring
Strip flooring is similar to the plank style, however, the strips are much smaller. Often strip flooring comes in widths of 1 and a half inches and 2 and a half inches.
Strip flooring is ideal for those who want a traditional wooden flooring feel. Strip flooring can also help to make a room appear larger and more spacious than it is.
3. Wire Brushed Flooring
Wire brushed flooring is a great option for those who want quality and style. The flooring is distressed to create a charming and homely feel to the flooring.
4. Hand-Scraped Flooring
Those obsessed with introducing characters into their home might want to consider hand-scraped flooring. This style looks similar to reclaimed wood, however, it has been finished with urethane, which makes it great for any home.
Which Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Right for You?
There are many considerations you need to think about before choosing the right flooring for your home. You might even decide that a mix of different flooring types is right for your home.
The first thing to do is think about the use of the room. Rooms or areas with high traffic need durable flooring, so solid hardwood might be the best option for your entryway, living room, and hallway. Whereas, rooms with water or moisture might benefit from engineered hardwood.
Cost and Budget
The second thing to think about is your budget. As we’ve mentioned, solid hardwood is more expensive and can cost up to $12 per square foot. Engineered hardwood is a little cheaper and costs between $4 and $10 per square foot.
On top of the cost of flooring, you also need to budget installation costs. Solid hardwood floors often need to be fitted by a professional, whereas engineered can be fitted by a professional but it can also be done by you. If you do decide to take on installing your own flooring make sure you know how to do it, otherwise it could be more costly!
The third factor that might influence your decision is the life span of the flooring. Solid hardwood floors may cost more, but they also can last over 30 years (well-maintained solid floors can last up to 100 years). Engineered hardwood floors typically last between 20 and 30 years.
The fourth thing to think about when choosing the right flooring for your home is the appearance. Although both types of hardwood floors come with a variety of options, some might not be right for you.
Solid hardwood floors often come in more colors and species than engineered wood. Solid hardwood flooring is also available in unfinished and pre-finished options. A key difference in appearance is that solid wood floors are usually narrower.
Most engineered hardwood floors are pre-finished and don’t have as many color or species options.
Durability and Maintenance
The final thing to consider before choosing the right flooring for your home is the difference in durability and maintenance. When it comes to cleaning, both solid and engineered hardwood floors are easy to maintain. However, further maintenance (i.e. refinishing) is different in the two options.
Solid hardwood can be sanded down and refinished many times, whereas engineered hardwood can only be refinished once (maybe twice). Both solid and engineered pre-finished flooring is the most durable of all the options.
Install Hardwood Floors in Your Home
Use our guide before diving in and making a hardwood floor purchase. Remember that there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to which is right for your home, however, certain types of flooring, styles, and finishes might be better in some rooms than others.
For more home improvement ideas and tips, don’t forget to peruse our other articles.