A Guide to the Different Types of Hardwood Flooring

Around half of American homeowners say they have hardwood flooring in their homes.

Hardwood flooring is one of the most desirable types of flooring, not just for its esthetic qualities but for durability and comfort as well. If you’re redoing your floors, going with wood flooring is a great idea, but you’ll have to choose from the many types of hardwood flooring available.

In this post, we’re going to tell you about the different types of wood hardwood floors and help you decide which is best for you. Each one comes with its own perks and pitfalls, so keep reading, and you’ll be equipped to make this important renovation decision.

Solid Hardwood

When you go with solid hardwood, you’re getting something cut from single strips of wood straight from the tree. Solid wood can be derived from a variety of tree species and comes finished or unfinished.

It’s a bit more expensive, but solid hardwood is incredibly durable and perfect for rooms with plenty of foot traffic. There are some more affordable hardwood floors, like oak or hickory.

The average solid hardwood plank is between 5/16″-3/4″ thick and 2 1/4-5″ in length. You’ll need to install it over a subfloor to provide better insulation, which is best done by a professional flooring installation service.

It’s also worth noting that solid hardwood can fluctuate as humidity levels in your home fluctuate. Because of this, homeowners will refinish these floors once or twice during their lifespan.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is created in a process that fuses several different thin layers of wood together with glue and heat. The main benefit of engineered hardwood is that it presents homeowners with a cheap hardwood flooring option. You get the look of hardwood at a fraction of the cost.

To install engineered hardwood, you simply click the planks together, which can be done on your own. As with any hardwood, the floors will expand and contract with the humidity, but in engineered hardwood, you probably won’t notice this happening.


For durable and eco-friendly wood flooring, you may consider bamboo. Bamboo comes in 3 styles: vertical, horizontal, or strand woven.

With vertical woven bamboo wood floors, the stalks are fused vertically for a consistent appearance. Horizontal fuses alternating bamboo layers together for a more “natural” appearance. Strand woven uses bamboo fibers and compresses them to give a more traditional hardwood look.


Parquet floors use small wood square tiles to piece the flooring together. You can get ultra-decorative tiles to give your floors a textured look.

These floors are glued down to your subfloor, and installation is best done by a professional. Parquet tiles are available in a variety of different woods, finishes, and styles.

Choosing Between Different Types of Hardwood Flooring

So which of the different types of hardwood flooring is for you? If you’re into the traditional hardwood look, solid hardwood might be your best option.

If you’re looking for cheap wood floors, engineered hardwood is perfect. Those trying to keep their home eco-friendly will opt for the ever-harvestable bamboo. Whatever you decide, make sure it fits your style and renovation budget.

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