Hardwood Flooring Types
6 Best Hardwood Flooring Types

Without a doubt, the chief flooring material is still hardwood! Whether you want to build your dream home or a spacious office, a sophisticated hardwood surface is the first thing to consider. Durable, refined, natural, and aesthetic hardwood flooring elevates the interior of a place and makes it look more inviting. With wide varieties of popular hardwood flooring available, you need to choose the right type of flooring with a unique grain pattern and colors, regardless it is for your home or a commercial place.

Needless to say, the toughest decision to make while getting the interior of a place done is choosing the type of hardwood flooring it needs. Typically, there are more than 50 varieties of hardwood species and several flooring types. So, it’s natural to get confused and pick a flooring type that does not look good in your place. Well, give this blog a read to avoid anything like that and get the best hardwood flooring types for your residence or business space.

This blog is an extensive guide on the best hardwood floors and explains their benefits, features, durability, finishes, uses, and so on. Read here about everything and gather the expert hardwood flooring facts in your mind to finally choose the finest flooring for your place.

Table of Contents

6 Best Hardwood Flooring Types Known Today

As we said earlier, there are more than 50 varieties of hardwood species, and they determine the various types of hardwood flooring. For this reason, finding the best hardwood flooring for a residential or commercial fitting seems challenging. But, it’s not, if you sort out some of the suitable species and know the features of the most popular hardwood flooring types. Here, we can explain.

1. European White Oak

Oak is perhaps the most common species of hardwood and a widely-prevalent flooring type. It is often called the kind of English wood and is known for its density and resilience. It’s also resistant to moisture, mold growth, and fungal attacks. As a result, oak hardwood floors are not prone to decay and rot.

Most oak varieties have defined grain and are available in diverse colors for different tannin content. Its density and long-lasting nature make it one of the ideal and best-rated hardwood flooring. Also, it is a popular hardwood choice for residential places too all over the world because it is hard and enduring. Having the floors unspoiled and undamaged withholds the value of the property and helps in getting a proper resale price. Because of its greater strength and durability, oak is suitable to construct just anything.

Nearly 70% of homes and commercial places have hardwood floors of oak. As a company specializing in hardwood flooring, we can vouch for this fact because we get the majority of our clients wanting to put floors made of oak, either in the red or white variety. They find oak not only highly durable but also reasonably priced. It makes the entire flooring cost of a property affordable.

When it comes to the flooring and furnishing of a place, people always seek to choose the flooring type that will last longer and need low maintenance. Oak is that type of durable hardwood flooring! This popular hardwood species also has a strong grain pattern naturally engraved which will easily hide any dents, pricks, scratches, etc., on the surface. That’s why many of the floors that we have built with it are high-traffic places or houses with many members, kids, and even pets.

Technical Specifications of Oak Hardwood Flooring:

  • Density: 900 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 1290 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Mild
  • Family: Quercus
  • Tree Characteristics: The Oak trees often reach a height of up to 100 ft with width of up to 150 ft.
  • Geographic Area: Native to North America. Also found in the European continent.
  • Texture: Straight-grain; uneven texture
  • Luster: Matte to semi-gloss.
  • Color: Red Oak or White Oak timbers.
  • Working Characteristics: It stains evenly and with ease; they’re easier to install.
  • Applications: Dining rooms, hallways, walkways, living rooms; white oak also looks good in kitchens and bathrooms.

2. Maple: Shock Absorbent Hardwood Flooring

Next to oak, there is maple, which is the most durable hardwood flooring. It is widely preferred by many for its exceptional shock-absorbing property. Maple is also considerably low-priced and a favored choice for budget housing models. Despite being a cheaper variety of hardwood flooring, it still holds the finished and elegant look and never underperforms.

Among the various types of maple such as red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, etc., we prefer sugar maple. It’s because this variety is intensely dense yet gives a subtle and attractive grained hardwood surface. The colors or tones of the maple hardwood are exceptionally elegant like creamy white, light brown, and reddish brown. Apart from the flooring, maple wood is also used for building high-end furniture, kitchen cabinet, and accessories for its sturdiness and good appeal.

Maple is the next best hardwood flooring type for its incredible durability and smoothly-grained surface. Especially for its shock absorbent property, it is the best type of wooden flooring considered for places that take heavy loads, greater traffic, and poundings. Many commercial places like storage/warehouse, business shops, factory outlets, etc., where heavy goods are unloaded and transported in hand trucks and service carts use maple hardwood flooring. Maple is also the most popular wooden flooring used in bowling alleys, basketball courts, etc.

Technical Specifications of Maple Hardwood Flooring:

  • Density: 755 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 1450 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Low
  • Family: Aceraceae
  • Tree Characteristics: The Maple trees grow to about 120 feet with a diameter of about 3 feet.
  • Geographic Area: Throughout North America
  • Texture: Fine and uniform
  • Luster: Medium
  • Color: Reddish-brown heartwood with a white sapwood that can have a reddish-brown tinge.
  • Working Characteristics: Good turning, good ability to hold nails, polishes well, glues moderately well.
  • Applications: Flooring, furniture, bowling pins, turnery, distillation, veneer, crossties, pallets, woodenware, dance floors, piano frames.

3. Black Walnut

Walnut is a pretty attractive variety and a well popular wood flooring type for its deeper brownish tones with straight grains. It is the top choice for our clients who want to add sophistication to their homes or commercial places. Walnut is comparatively a less durable hardwood flooring type than oak or maple. While it can last longer for low and medium-traffic areas but can gradually show wear on the floors of high-traffic places. Due to its hardiness, it is damage resistant and can restrain even the hardest of beats and pressures without getting dent marks or scratches.

The color variations of the walnut flooring make them an appealing choice for customers since they can well match their floor surface with their interior décor and wall paints. Also, the straight grain patterns give the floors a highly consistent and urbane look.

However, some types of walnut species do not have straight but moving patterns that make the floors look gorgeous! It is a rich kind of hardwood floor option because of its darker and reddish tones. Walnut is quite resistant to water. This is perhaps the top reason for us to recommend users walnut over any other flooring types in open areas that have chances to get moisture or water.

Walnut hardwood floors are less produced because they are lower in demand and hence, it is a bit pricey hardwood type.

  • Technical Specifications of Walnut Hardwood Flooring:
  • Density: 640-700 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 1010 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Mild
  • Family: Juglandaceae
  • Tree Characteristics: The Walnut trees can reach up to a height of 40 to 60 feet with a similar crown area.
  • Geographic Area: North America
  • Texture: Heavy, hard, firm durable and straight grained
  • Luster: Dark, burly luster
  • Color: Brown colors that range from light to dark brown
  • Working Characteristics: Finishes well, dense with good shock resistance, stable and hard, good bending qualities.
  • Applications: Furniture, cabinets, flooring, gun stocks, paneling, veneers.

4. Ash: The Stylish and Contemporary Hardwood Flooring

If you are looking for a unique variety of hardwood flooring but do not want to export it from another region or country, consider choosing domestic ash. Its durability is unquestionable! Ash is even harder than oak. For this reason, it is considered one of the best hardwood flooring types for high-traffic areas or commercial places. Not only for flooring, but ash wood is also widely used for making axe handles, hardy furniture, cabinetry, etc. So, you perhaps got the idea of its robustness or strength!

We have numerous clients asking for high-quality ashwood floors because the end product is fully natural. It is the ideal choice of wooden flooring for anyone who wants sustainable and eco-friendly floors. Of its increasing demand, more species of ash are discovered and made available. This is also bringing their prices down and making them an economical variety of hardwood floors.

Ashwood looks contemporary yet it is quite stylish and novel. It is hence quite appropriate for workspaces or commercial places. It is durable, low-maintenance, and makes the interior look classy and professional.

You can see the strong and clearer grain in ash hardwood floor type just like the oak. It is available in light brown, creamy white, and gray tones which make them suitable for flooring in professional centers or service shops.

Technical Specifications of Ash Hardwood Flooring:

  • Density: 675 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 1320 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Very
  • Family: Olive timber
  • Tree Characteristics: The Ash trees often reach a height of up to 115 ft
  • Geographic Area: From northern Washington to Southern California.
  • Texture: Extremely fine grained.
  • Luster: Somewhat lustrous
  • Color: Beige-to-light-brown hue
  • Working Characteristics: Powerful and Lightweight; easy-to-use.
  • Applications: Weapons, wagons, flooring, furniture, cabinet, sports equipment and more.

5. Cherry: Most Prized Hardwood Flooring in America

Not least importantly, cherry is the top-rated hardwood floor that is known for its exquisite beauty. That is the main reason it is the popular choice of hardwood flooring for modern or luxury homes. Cherry is extremely hard and was the type of hardwood used at the beginning of the century. Therefore, there’s nostalgia attached to it.

While its popularity is declining as other harder and less expensive varieties of hardwood floors are emerging, cherry is now making a comeback. The manufacturers from whom we source our products confirmed this. They said cherry species is gradually seeing a new life today as people seek nostalgia and a retro feel in their homes i.e., the place of comfort.

Cherry hardwood looks precious for its warm reddish and brown hues, and its smooth grain lines. When it comes to durability, it is considered greatly durable for low-traffic areas. That’s why we see many of our customers asking to lay cherry hardwood floors in their bedrooms, study rooms/library room, and formal dining places.

There’s another reason for choosing cherry wood floors these days. Their domestic species are quite similar to the tropical hardwood species that are exotic and rare to find. Tropical species are not properly distributed across the world for transportation challenges and global supply chain issues and are hence high priced. Cherry is a popular and economical substitute for those tropical woods!

Technical Specifications of Cherry Hardwood Flooring:

  • Density: 630 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 950 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Most
  • Tree Characteristics: The Cherry trees often reach a height of up to 15 or 30 ft.
  • Geographic Area: Turkey and West Coast of United States.
  • Texture: Straight-grain, fine, uniform, satiny and smooth texture.
  • Luster: Medium luster that shines
  • Color: the wood darkens with time and sunlight; At maturity the wood will have a rich reddish-brown hue.
  • Working Characteristics: Medium strength, shock resistance, low stiffness, good wood bending properties; can be steam bent with care.
  • Applications: Flooring, furniture, cabinetry, veneer.

6. Hickory: The Hardest of the American Species

It is one of the common American hardwood species used for commercial and residential flooring. Hickory has an unusual bold grain pattern that is often sporadic and varies from one plank to another. This makes it a distinguished type of hardwood and gives it a rustic look. This is the key reason hickory is famous despite being a bit of a pricey variety. It is even more expensive than oak species.

Considering the domestic species, Hickory is suitable for flooring. It is one of the top durable hardwood flooring varieties that is also water-resistant and needs minimal maintenance. Due to its unique grain pattern, it looks more welcoming and classier. With enough durability, sustainability, and aesthetic look, hickory is taking place in most households, resorts, hotels, and offices.

There are darker and brighter tones of hickory, along with middle tones like creamy brown and golden brown. We used the light hardwood flooring in offices and saw the difference! It lightens up the room so much and brings a certain amount of positivity and energy that is good for a professional environment. Besides, most types of hickory flooring have a high finish which hides the stains and makes them clean always. You can use this for living rooms, study rooms, and bedrooms.

Hickory is even harder than the oak! So, it is considered super-harder since oak meets the durability standard of the flooring industry. For this reason, we have used it in high-traffic zones such as schools, gyms, reception areas of lodges, etc. that demand resoluteness as well as elegant floor surfaces.

Apart from these 6 best hardwood flooring types, a few more types are prevalent these days, such as cork and bamboo. Cork is a popular eco-friendly hardwood flooring that creates warmer and more comfortable for walking on surfaces. It comes in spectrums of beautiful shades and has similar grain patterns to other hardwoods. On the other hand, bamboo is grass but is used for flooring due to its incredible strength. Bamboo is the best wood flooring for the kitchen because of its aesthetic nature, hardiness, and renewable characteristics.

Technical Specifications of Hickory Hardwood Flooring:

  • Density: 600 – 930 (KG/m3)
  • Janka Hardness: 1820 pounds
  • Photosensitivity: Mild
  • Family: Juglandaceae
  • Tree Characteristics: The Hickory trees reach a height of up to 80 ft with a 2-foot trunk diameter.
  • Geographic Area: 5 or 6 species are native to China, Indonesia and India, and 12 are native to the USA.
  • Texture: Heavy, hard, strong, dense and shock resistant
  • Luster: Low
  • Color: Brown or reddish brown
  • Working Characteristics: Wood can be sanded to a good finish; extremely tough and moderately heavy.
  • Applications: Hardwood flooring, furniture, and cabinetry.

Best Hardwood Flooring Types for Different Rooms

Households are using the top-rated hardwood flooring types not just for durability but also for enhancing the beauty of their internal environment. Hardwood is the natural flooring option and adds warmth to your space.

Its natural grain patterns will give an aesthetic design to your place and make it soothing to your eyes and that of the guests. Besides, you have the option for customizing the floors after choosing a specific hardwood type and its colors. When we have applied different hues of our favorite hardwood flooring in your different rooms with customization, our home looks extraordinarily beautiful!

If you are planning to weave your dream of a new home and have got a property in hand, here is a quick guide on choosing the suitable hardwood flooring types for your rooms.

1. Hardwood Flooring for Master Bedroom

For master bedrooms, hardwood flooring is the classic choice because they need warmth, comfort, and novelty. Among the different hardwood types, the best flooring option chosen for master bedrooms by real-estate builders is white oak. It’s because of their flexible design options, higher durability, and higher resale value.

Some of them are the best waterproof wood flooring options that make the floors naturally resistant to moisture and molds. You can easily wipe out any accidental spills and get them dried in seconds. Therefore, master bedrooms built with hardwood flooring maintain freshness and do not easily give out odors if other stuff like bed sheets, curtains, and furniture are kept clean.

Another reason to choose hardware flooring for master bedrooms is that it is environmentally friendly! It does not amass dust particles, pollens, or any other allergens. So, anyone of you could rarely get allergies or breathing problems if you keep the doors and windows of the room open. Thus, maintaining the master bedrooms with oak flooring is quite easy, and it assures to last for longer.

Apart from oak, the flooring options that are suitable for constructing the floors of master bedrooms are ash, cherry, and maple. All these have subtle and loose grain patterns, which give striking variations in the flooring. Besides, all these are durable too!

2. Hardwood Flooring for Family Bedrooms

While choosing the flooring option for your home’s family bedrooms that kids and seniors occupy, you should consider the comfort and warmth of the floor surfaces. Children often walk through the floors on bare feet and toddlers crawl around. Elderly people tend to easily trip and fall due to their weaker eyesight or frail limbs. You need to choose a wooden floor surface that is softer with rugs and prevents any kind of injuries to the kids or senior members.

The two basic types of floors that we have been using in laying floors of the family bedrooms are ash, maple, walnut, and oak. We use both solid and engineered hardwood floors to bring the appropriate density and softness to the safe floors.

Also, a key concern for choosing the best hardwood flooring types for your family bedrooms is the environmentally-friendly surfaces. We also take special care of this and seek to build floors that do not accumulate allergens, dirt, liquid spills, etc. which can harm the health of occupants. They are also easy to sweep, clean, mop, and maintain. So, it is the ideal flooring condition for persons suffering from allergies.

Bedrooms of the room that are cozy places for sleep and relaxation need to smell good and look aesthetically pleasing. The natural variety of hardwood species with their unique grain patterns and exquisite tones assure that too!

3. Hardwood Flooring for Living Room

Out of all the most popular hardwood flooring options, those hardwood types are suitable for flooring the living rooms that are available in cooler and brighter tones. This criterion is a must to look at because the living rooms must look like the coziest and most lively place in the house where people can sit and spend a lovely time together.

That’s why we laid our living rooms to radiate a positive vibe and warmth, we used hardwood of calm and softer tones such as oak and maple flooring.

You need to take extra care while choosing the hardwood flooring for your living room because it is the center of attraction of your home. When we did that, it looked good and appealingly inviting to the guests, durable, and easy to maintain. Typically, living room surfaces should be resistant to the stains of liquid spills and oils.

In case of any accidental spillage, you can easily wipe the surface and restore its unblemished look and shine. Needless to say, the flooring of the living rooms should be as cool-toned as possible, making it look homely to the guests.

The best-value hardwood floors of the living rooms also need to be highly durable because usually, they get higher foot traffic compared to all other rooms in the home.

4. Hardwood Flooring for Bathroom

The three things that you need to take care of while choosing the best wooden flooring option for your bathrooms are water resistance, durability, and easy maintenance. While there is a variety of solid and engineered hardwood flooring available, not all of them are resistant to water.

While engineered wood is easy to maintain and prevents moisture damage from sudden spills or splashes of water, it cannot prevent damage from standing waters which is essential for bathrooms even if they are more durable.

For bathrooms, you need the best waterproof hardwood flooring types, which are white oak, teak, and Brazilian walnut. While the latter two are quite expensive because of their limited availability, white oak is the only best option left.

Modern white oak flooring is no doubt a safe and economical option for you that is easier to maintain and lasts longer.

When we installed our bathrooms with white oak flooring, we got the same results despite the high moisture, standing water, and higher foot traffic in the bathrooms. Interestingly, you can also choose among the different types of grain patterns, textures, and tones in the white oak category to make your bathrooms distinguishable from boring bathrooms.

5. Hardwood Flooring for Kitchen

For the kitchen, you should consider the factors like durability, tones, pattern, and finish. You can install engineered hardwood as well as solid hardwood. But which one of the hardwood types is suitable for your kitchen? Apart from the cost, you need to consider the water-resistant and stain-resistant factors for getting top-quality kitchen flooring because food and liquid spills are common there. Continuous stains and spill marks on the floors will make your kitchen look untidy and unhygienic.

While choosing among the top hardwood floor options, consider costs and durability first. It is a bit challenging to assure all the factors together and select the best hardwood for kitchen floors, we recommend you choose durable types like oak and maple.

If your kitchen is large and experiences higher footfall throughout the day, these are the ideal types of flooring. If that is not the case and you need a stain-proof floor to make your kitchen look posh and clean all the time, choose softer hardwood species such as ash. It is comparatively less durable and takes lighter foot traffic.

6. Our Favorites

After assisting numerous households and interior designers in installing suitable floors, it is easier to pick our favorite type of hardwood floors. We noticed that designers or homeowners prioritize the colors and grain patterns of the hardwood species after durability to build classy and elegant homes. It is the oak and walnut flooring types that fulfill these and so we have them in our list of best hardwood flooring types.

Oak available in exotic shades like chalky white or creamy white defines class and so is our favorite type to install for our offices as well as our clients. Oak is sturdier and gives hardy and finished surfaces that need low ongoing maintenance.

Along with water-resistant properties, it is also resistant to indents, scuff, and stain marks. Among all varieties, especially white oak is the finest oak hardwood flooring that we prefer and recommend to others.

Walnut is our next favorite which is demanded by our clients for its luxury appeal. Interior designers in charge of large and modern homes asked for walnut flooring to make their homes beautiful and extraordinarily warm.

You can also find different patterns and unique hues of walnut like purplish brown and orange-brown, which help in creating homes with one-of-a-kind interiors.

As a specialized hardwood flooring installing company, we not just focus on durability but also some added factors such as affordability, ease of maintenance, and flexibility in design.

As a flooring service company, we have seen our interior designers and clients wanting hardwood floors that are not affluently priced and hence, are worthwhile flooring types for spacious homes.

We emphasized the other factors because floors that are easy to maintain can be kept polished always and so it adds to their durability quotient. Also, we gave importance to flexibility in designing because we had clients asking for distinguished patterns and planks that go well with their furniture and wall paints.

7 Incredible Benefits of Hardwood Floors

Households and business places are nowadays switching their preferences to authentic and high-quality wood floors instead of tiles and other concrete materials. Hardwood flooring types are not only durable but also give a classy and natural look to the interiors. As per our insights, many prefer hardwood floors over anything because they are easy to clean and need low maintenance.

What do you prefer? Hardwood flooring or tile floors for your place? Well, we give you here 10 prominent reasons to choose one of the top hardwood flooring types for your home or commercial place.

1. Hardy and durable

When it comes to hardwood, there is no room for doubt regarding its hardiness and durability. They can withstand the strain of the higher foot traffic. Hardwood floors do not easily get scratches, cracks, or dents when it encounters heavily loaded carts or beatings. A few of the top hardwood flooring are shock-absorbent too, and hence are ideal for use in playing courts or alleys.

After maintaining the hardwood floors constantly, they can look good and last for decades. The floors that we laid for our clients years ago are a testimony to this fact.

2. Upgrades the look of the interior

Hardwood flooring enhances the look and feel of the place by manifold. They are naturally beautiful for their straight, smooth, familiar, or unique grain patterns. Hardwood flooring brings a touch of nature to your home or commercial place and creates a sense of warmth. In short, it makes the interior look aesthetically beautiful and more inviting to visitors.

On being asked, most of our clients said that they prefer hardwood floors because of their pleasant and pristine looks. It makes a great impression on the guests and reflects their upgraded personality!

3. Adds value to the property

The best hardwood flooring types are exquisite and high-quality, and hence, add value to your property. There are better in terms of durability and appearance than tiles or carpet-laid floors. It becomes easy to sell a property that has hardwood floors because people rarely want to get a place with used carpets or stained tiles.

Hardwood surfaces when taken good care of look as new as before! So, you will be able to sell your property faster and get more value for it. This is a prime reason we get a lot of customers who want to upgrade their surfaces with hardwood flooring.

4. Lower maintenance costs

The best prefinished hardwood flooring is easy to clean and maintain. You can easily sweep, mop, and steam-clean them. You can swiftly vacuum the dirt, dust, or any debris without scratching the surface. Also, their finished surfaces are resistant to dust mites or dander from pets. You do not even need to clean the hardwood surfaces regularly if it’s a low-traffic area and still know that they are not harboring germs or fungus.

Hardwood floors are also stain resistant. You have got an accidental spill and forget to clean it immediately? No worries! Just wipe it away with a proper cleaning solution.

5. Cost-effective

Since hardwood floors are long-lasting, easy to maintain, and hardy, they are cost-effective too. They do not need frequent replacements but can remain the same and sturdy for decades. However, the prices of flooring vary according to the hardwood species you choose.

While there are many highly durable hardwood flooring options at inexpensive rates, the top-rated hardwood floors with unique tones and grain patterns are a bit pricey.

6. This leads to better air quality

No one talks about this but as experts who handle and install hardwood floors for years, we know this fact! Having hardwood flooring in your place will enhance the air quality and hence, is better for the health of the inhabitants. The finished wood flooring does not accumulate dust, dirt, and other particles like pollens and pet dander. As a result, they do not breed allergens or particles that can cause allergies or breathing problems in the occupants.

7. Can be easily refinished

If you are worried about renovating or upgrading the hardwood floor surfaces of your place, then we can assure you that there’s no need to be anxious. You can effortlessly replace or refinish your hardwood floor when the time comes.

Also, we have been receiving requests for replacing floors with a different hardwood frequently because it’s not replacing the floors is not all expensive! It is actually less expensive than buying and installing new hardwood floors. You can also create a whole new look for your place by refinishing the hardwood floors and changing the tone, which is also easier and cheaper than replacing.

How to Measure the Durability of The Best Hardwood Flooring Types?

Durability is the prime factor for choosing the best type of hardwood flooring for your property! Whether you need to build the floors of a low-traffic or high-traffic place, you need to check for its durability. You don’t want a floor that easily gets scratches or dents with slight pressure, right? Then, try to choose the most durable hardwood flooring of all for your place.

For the hardwood, durability or hardiness is measured by a well-defined system called the Janka scale. It means the hardwood type with the highest Janka score, approximately more than 3000 ratings are considered the maximum durable. They are suitable for high-traffic areas or places that get frequent beating or disturbances. Hardwood types with Janka ratings below that and above 1000 are considered ideal for low-traffic and medium-traffic areas.

If you are looking for the best-rated hardwood floor that ranks the highest on the Janka measurement scale, then it is the Brazilian walnut. It has the highest Janka rating of 3680. Next to that, there is Brazilian cherry with a Janka rating of 2820, and Brazilian oak that has a 1912 rating. Both are suitable for higher foot traffic areas.

Other key factors to measure the durability of the hardwood flooring types and determine their potential life are:

1. Finish:

The finish gives the hardwood an additional layer of protection. So, the better the finish of the hardwood floor, the longer it is going to last. We had installed oil-based finished hardwood floors in many living rooms that gave extra hardiness to the surfaces and made them resistant to beatings and dents.

2. Color:

The color also determines the durability of your hardwood floors apart from enhancing the look of your interiors. It disguises stains, scratches, etc., and makes your floors appear pristine and unblemished for years.

If you’re looking for inspiration, explore trending hardwood floor colors in our latest blog for ideas that harmonize durability and style effortlessly.

3. Shine:

There’s a distinctive gloss in most hardwood flooring types that makes the floor surfaces long-lasting by hiding the stains and scratch marks by lowering the reflection of light. The floors installed in our common areas still look new and posh for this reason as they have natural oil and hard wax finishes.

Prefinished or Unfinished Hardwood Flooring Types: Which One is Better?

To decide which type of hardwood flooring is better, you need to first understand the difference between them. As the name suggests, prefinished floors are touched and finished in the factory by applying the coating of polyurethane.

They are further treated with aluminum oxide, which gives them a refined touch and acrylic finish. On the other hand, unfinished floors are the ones untouched at the factories and finished with the desired coating or an oil-based polyurethane on-site i.e., during the installation.

If you are worried about which finish to choose, we will say that prefinished hardwood floors are the best. Here are the basic reasons behind our opinion.

1. Pre-finished floors are instantly usable

With the unfinished floor, we have to undertake the finishing tasks at the time of installation. So, even if your property looks fully ready to move in, you will have to wait for days or even weeks for it till the floors dry. Moving in with the furniture before the wait time will make the floors susceptible to scratches.

The more coats you apply for an appropriate finish, the longer will be the wait time. This makes us remember the time when we applied 3 polyurethane coatings and then have to go weeks without furniture and had to walk on socks.

There are no such issues regarding the time to dry for prefinished hardwood floors. As a result, your room is ready for use right after installing the hardwood floor.

2. Installation of pre-finished floors is fully hassle-free and eco-friendly

You experience a mess-free process that does not result in the scattering of dust all around the house after the installation. You do not worry about cleaning the dust and hair to prevent them from getting embedded on the surface. It is for this reason we used pre-finished floors for extended constructions in an occupied or serviceable property. It did not cause any trouble or nuisances to the surrounding areas and dwellers.

Also, the prefinished floors do not expose our installers and homeowners to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that come out after giving a finish with the oil-based polyurethane to the untouched hardwood. Vapors or fumes from polyurethane resins and finishing solvents are harmful to health as they are carcinogenic. So, why let your family members or kids breathe in such toxic gases?

3. Installation does not take time at all for prefinished floors

For unfinished hardwood floors, the installers need time to stain and finish on-site. The various jobs for installing the hardwoods are sanding, fixing, staining, applying the polyurethane, and finishing with an appropriate number of coatings.

There’s also a time required for drying between each of the coatings! All these steps are time-consuming, so you need to plan the installation of your floors much before the expected time of moving in.

In contrary to this, the installers need just a few hours to install the prefinished floors. It could be done in just one session, and you will be ready to move in with furniture and use.

4. Prefinished floors are superior in quality

Prefinished or factory-finished floors are better in quality compared to unfinished floors. They are incredibly durable because of the premium finishes applied to them in layers. Pre-finished floors also look flawless after they are touched and coated with the finish multiple times. Many of them are also applied with PPG UV-cured resin, which makes the hardwood floors abrasion-resistant.

For all these valid reasons, they are a common preference for durable hardwood flooring among homeowners or commercial property owners. Most finishes of the hardwood last for longer, and so manufacturers provide a guarantee of up to 25 years for the floors if they are maintained well! Our hardwood floors are nearly 10 years older, and they have the same sheen and polish as we clean them regularly. There’s no trace of weakening of the floors, and they might remain the same for the next few years.

While all these explain the pros of prefinished floors, there are a few reasons that might urge you to choose the unfinished hardwood floor type.

Reasons to choose unfinished floors:

  • Unfinished hardwood floors are uncomplicatedly flat and hence, have an extremely smooth surface with no grooves or edges.
  • They are preferred when a site is newly constructed because in that case, you have lots of time to move in and use the property.
  • You can wish to install unfinished floors to make your floors outstanding and different than others. You can choose the finish and customize the installation of the floors according to your existing interior decor, furnishings, etc.
  • Lastly, the prefinished wooden floors let you choose a particular type of sheen on the floor finish. You can choose a lower sheen like matte that ensures a lesser appearance of wear and tear.

Solid or Engineered – Which Is The Best Hardwood Floor Type For You?

Solid hardwood, as the name says, is composed of solid layers of wood, especially hardwood species like oak, ash, walnut, or maple. In case of the solid wood flooring, there are layers of solid hardwood throughout the entire thickness of the floors.

Engineered hardwoods that look quite similar to solid hardwoods are made of just a thin layer of hardwood with underlying strata of superior-quality plywood. Needless to say, engineered hardwood flooring is pretty much less expensive than hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood floors have their advantages too such as aesthetic appeal, easy maintenance, higher durability, and contemporary styles! There are some best engineered hardwood flooring types that you can consider for your floor surfaces when you want style and durability at affordable rates.

To know whether engineered hardwood flooring or solid hardwood flooring is the ideal type for us, we have jotted down their differences here. Take a look.

1. Appearance and finish

Solid hardwood floors are usually narrower than engineered hardwood floors. It’s because a thin or moderate layer of solid hardwood species like oak or walnut holds similar hardiness and durability to engineered hardwood floors.

There is a great range of species available for the hardwood in numerous shades or tones while there are limited varieties of engineered hardwood.

You can find solid hardwoods in both prefinished and unfinished states and hence, you can choose a type according to your requirement. Most of the engineered hardwoods are available in a prefinished state and so there’s hardly any way to customize the flooring as per your preference.

Our take:

Go for solid hardwood flooring if you want to showcase your style with your property’s interior.

2. Longevity

Solid hardwood flooring has a remarkable lifespan! They can last longer up to 30 years or more. You can refinish them as many times as you want to maintain their look and appearance.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood floors have a limited lifespan, and you can sand them or finish them only a few times.

Our take:

Solid hardwood flooring is always the top choice if you want durable hardwood floors with no need for replacement or reconstruction.

3. Cost

Solid hardwood floors, especially pre-finished ones are costlier compared to engineered hardwood flooring. While the average cost of the former type of hardwood floor is $8 per square foot, an engineered hardwood floor ranges from $2.50 to $10.

Our take:

If cost is your prime concern and you want a budgeted choice for flooring, go for engineered hardwood flooring.

4. Water and Heat Resistance

Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring are resistant to heat. However, neither of them is waterproof flooring material except for a few varieties such as oak, walnut, and teak. Typically, engineered hardwood is better in terms of water resistance.

We recommend using them in humid regions because of their underlying layers of ply. That’s why engineered hardwood floors are truly the best wood flooring for concrete slabs. Solid hardwood floors cannot be used on concrete slabs in humid regions because the moistness will pass through the concrete and cause swelling and dampening of the floor surfaces.

Our take:

Go for engineered hardwood flooring without a second thought if your property is located in a humid region. Why let your costly solid hardwood flooring be damaged when you have a safer, and quality substitute?

5. Care and maintenance

Solid hardwood floor surfaces are easy to tidy up with sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. It is pretty effortless to clean them regularly and maintain them pristine clean always.

Cleaning and taking care of engineered hardwood floors are the same as solid hardwood floors. Simple sweeping, vacuuming and wiping are great to make them look tidy and polished. For both floors, you can do occasional damp mopping with an approved cleaning solution to put their shine back.

Our take:

Both categories of wood are easy to clean and take care of! So, choose your type putting importance on the other decisive factors.

6. Durability

Most solid hardwood flooring types are better in durability factor than engineered hardwood floors. It is chiefly because you can sand or refinish them several times within their expected lifespan, ensuring their thickness and hardiness. Contrary to this, you can refinish or sand the engineered hardwood floors only once or twice, and the surface wears out after that.

Prefinished forms of both types of wooden flooring are durable since they are applied with hard coatings.

Our take:

Not all types of solid hardwood flooring are durable. If you want higher durability within a budgeted price, choose engineered hardwood flooring because the multiple layers of wood and ply bond well to the floor.

Things You Should Consider With Hardwood Flooring

There’s a reason to choose top wood flooring for your home over any other flooring options, like vinyl flooring, tiles, decking, concrete, etc. The best hardwood flooring types prevalent today are lucrative options because they allow flexibility along with modernity and design.

While it may not be apt for bathrooms or laundry rooms that have a high chance to get wet, it is the ideal flooring option for other rooms of a house, from living rooms and bedrooms to the kitchen.

Whatever your reason to install hardwood floors or wherever you want to install them, these are a few things that you need to consider.

1. Hardwood species

Myriad varieties of good quality hardwood flooring types are available based on the wood species. Henceforth, your first consideration should be the species of hardwood that you wish to get for your flooring. Whenever it comes to picking a species, we never just look at the color tones, texture, or grain appearance of the species. We take a closer look at their functionality like how much durable they are, whether it is easy to install and maintain, and whether it is water-resistant.

While some species are more durable while some are better as water-resistant flooring, you need to know the specialty of every wood type to choose the perfect one for your flooring needs. Typically, oak is the most popular choice of flooring because of its durability and stain-resistant property. However, for areas that need to withstand much higher traffic, Hickory and maple species are an idea.

2. Appearance and grain texture

One prime reason to choose hardwood flooring for your home or commercial place instead of any other type of flooring is its aesthetic appearance. But, among the varieties of hardwood species available, some appear more beautiful with their unique grain pattern and colors. It gives a touch of elegance to interior design of your home

Grain pattern varies depending on the way, the wooden planks are cut. There are especially three varieties of grain pattern – plain swan (cathedral grain pattern), rift swan (stable board and very unique grain pattern), and quarter swan (wavier grain pattern). Out of these, rift swan is more expensive for their rareness i.e., long and continuous patterns.

To make the interior of your home artistic or luxurious, emphasize the pattern and make a smart choice.

3. Finishes

Prefinished floors are the best choice for hardwood flooring. But, do you know that there are two types of finishes? There are oil finishes and polyurethane finishes. The oil finish easily penetrates through the wood layer and makes the surface appear naturally shiny and soft. However, the oil finish is not resistant to scratches or stains and so can easily look spoiled after a few years or after experiencing greater traffic. Polyurethane finish, on the hand, provides a harder top layer.

While picking an ideal flooring for your home or business space, you need to carefully think about the finish.

4. Cost

The cost of top-rated hardwood floors is higher due to their quality build and thickness. However, the cost varies with the type of hardwood flooring and the finish you choose. Also, an installation by professional flooring installers raises the total cost of flooring. Usually, the cost of solid hardwood floors that are prefinished ranges between $2.50 and $13 per square foot. Of course, the best wood for hardwood floors falls in the costlier range.

In comparison to this, engineered hardwood floors are less expensive, and the price ranges between $1.70 and $9 per square foot.

5. Grade

The grade is one of the characteristics of the wood, which uplifts the physical appearance of the flooring. There are different varieties of grades depending on the types of knots and cracks present. Based on the grade, there is a rustic grade, character grade, select grade, and prime grade. While rustic grade has infinite knots of different sizes and also cracks or patterns are low priced, prime grade, which does not have any knots or cracks visible at all is costlier because it looks flawless.

Which Styles of Wood Flooring Are the Most Durable?

Look no further than the highly durable hardwood flooring if you want to construct a new home or business space. However, to choose one of the best hardwood flooring types that will make your surfaces highly durable in the long run besides being visually appealing, keep these two styles in mind.

1. Waterproof wood flooring:

We recommend you this because this type of wooden flooring has a water-tight finish layer along with an engineered wood binding. This prevents the absorption of water and hence, the swelling of the layers underneath the surface. This gives the floors everlasting resilience.

2. High-density wood flooring:

Choosing high-density wood flooring will make your floors resistant to compression. It is a genuine problem with wooden floors. So, isn’t it better to use high-density and quality hardwood for flooring that does not result in compression?

Both waterproof and high-density wooden flooring styles are appropriate for any house or commercial place that gets higher foot traffic or have to bear enough weight. This use engineered wood cores and are more stable than any variety of solid wood.

What Are The Best Surface Finishes That Make The Most Durable Hardwood Flooring?

We give special attention to choosing the finish of hardwood flooring to ensure it has the highest durability and requires us to spend on minimal maintenance. Getting the right finish for your desired hardwood floor will only make it harder and more resilient. Also, we can guide you in choosing the best possible finish that will make your durable floor eye-catchy, smoother, and shiny.

To choose the finish of your floor, expert opinion matters because the choice of the finish must be according to the type of hardwood floors you are installing. Also, if you are renovating your place, take care to decide on the floor finish that matches perfectly with your interiors.

With numerous finish options available, here are our top picks for the finishes best applicable for hardwood flooring.

1. Oil-based polyurethane:

This is our best finish option, which assures unwavering protection to the hardwood floors. It provides additional by seeping into the pores of the hardwood and hence, protects it from insider predators and external damages. It seals the wooden surface assuring its unmatched durability.

2. Water-based polyurethane:

This finish is quite similar to the oil-based polyurethane but ensures lesser durability. It hardens on the surface of the floors after applying a moisture-resistant hard coating. It is gradually replacing the oil-based finishes because it is completely environmentally friendly, dries faster, and does not disguise the real color of the wood.

3. Aluminum oxide:

Among all the finishes, aluminum oxide is the contemporary finish that is mostly applied to make high-quality prefinished hardwood floors.

Being a chemical substance, it is not eco-friendly but is high in demand because it protects your surfaces from scratches, stains, and UV fading. In other words, an aluminum finish will make your chosen quality hardwood floors maximum durable that stay untarnished or spotless for years.

4. Natural oils:

We particularly choose the natural oil finish for some of our favorite hardwood floors with unique designs and patterns. It maintains the higher durability of the floors and lets you get more of your shining floors. However, you need to reapply the finish after certain intervals to keep the floor intact for years and give it back a natural gloss or shine once again.

Top Floorboard Patterns For Your Hardwood Floors

After choosing a type among the best hardwood flooring types, do not forget to consider the floorboard patterns. This is the fun part of floor installation that involves laying the hardwood floors.

As per our expertise, these below floorboard patterns are the most popular types today.

1. Parquet:

It is an ancient floor pattern, usually seen in pre-war and ancient buildings. In this, the hardwood blocks are arranged in perfect geometric patterns. From simple patterns, called brick patterns ornate ones that include intricate inlay borders, there are many varieties of this type.

2. Straight:

In this pattern, we install only strong longboards from end to end. This is the most simplistic floorboard pattern that we have laid in commercial places or offices.

3. Herringbone:

This is a striking pattern that we create by laying short boards of hardwood in an interlocking V-shape.

4. Chevron:

Quite like the herringbone, the boards are interlocked to create this pattern but they are cut diagonally and placed. Thus, their ends align with each other.

5. Diagonal:

This too is one of the simple patterns to install. We just lay the floors diagonally from the walls.

6. Random:

As the name says, in this pattern, the width of the planks is not put in a consistent pattern. We typically use this for areas that need to look bigger and more spacious. You can lay this pattern either straight or diagonally.

7. Basketweave:

This pattern is usually applicable for maple or oak hardwood flooring and is placed parallel or in diagonal ways to the room. This pattern adds an unusual appeal to the floors.

The Most Common Hardwood Floor Finishes

To maintain the quality and durability of your selected hardwood floor, you need to provide it with a distinct surface finish. Depending on the hardwood species, you can opt for a super glossy, matte, little matte, shiny surface, or a wood coating. But, to make a decision, you need to know what the popular hardwood finishes are known today.

1. Water-based polyurethane:

As discussed earlier, one of the demanding finishes today for hardwood is water-based polyurethane. It is gradually taking the place of oil-based polyurethane for being eco-friendly. We also prefer using it because it provides a clear finish to the hardwood surface making it look new and lustrous. Sometimes, this finish makes the darker shades of hardwood look wet, giving the floors a mystic look. Applying this finish is easier and faster too. This is one more reason for this finish to be commonly used these days.

2. Hard-wax oil:

We used wax finish only for getting low-sheen on the hardwood flooring. Wax finish is easier to apply and retain. You can even combine it with the wood stain while coloring the floors with the waxing method. A big advantage that we noticed with the wax finish is that it dries out quickly and looks quite natural and beautiful with a low sheen. However, this finish is not at all long-lasting. To maintain the durability of the hardwood surface, you may require reapplying it in 2-3 years.

3. Acid-cured finish:

This is a specific finish, also called Swedish finish that is more long-lasting than any other finishes, including oil and water-based polyurethane. Its installation is quite riskier as it has higher toxicity due to the curing method. So, after you apply this, the toxic fumes remain on the surface for 3 days to a week or even a month, if it is a humid region. We mainly apply this for exotic hardwood floors, which are rare and need extra protection on their smooth surfaces.

4. Oil sealer:

It is a penetrating finish that we choose for finishing solid hardwood floors to increase their durability while enhancing the grain patterns, tones, and texture of the wood. This finish also needs touch-ups but not so frequently. A key benefit of oil sealer is that it makes the surfaces less glossy, which keeps up the natural feel and look of the floors.

What is The Best Pet-Friendly Hardwood Flooring Type?

When picking the best hardwood flooring types for your home, another crucial factor that you need to consider is whether it is pet-friendly i.e., resistant to scratches from claws. Also, pets bring dirt, mud, and other debris along with their claws, which make the floors lose their shine and luster. So, you need to reapply the finish on your hardwood floor surface even if it is a tougher hardwood species when you have a four-legged friend in your home.

To make your floors a perfect place to stroll and play for your furry friend, make sure it is abrasion-resistant and durable. As experts, we recommend you always check for the following aspects for choosing durable and great hardwood flooring to make your home pet-friendly.

1. Choosing harder wood species

To protect your floor from the playful scratches and leaping of your dog or cats, get stronger hardwood species like oak, hickory, or maple for your floors. These hardwoods are less susceptible to nail scratches, unlike the softer species like cherry and black walnut.

2. Stronger grain

The high-quality hardwood species that have stronger and more dramatic grain patterns are pet-friendly too because they can hide the scratches and strokes from the paws of their furry friends. In this regard, hickory and red oak are perfect choices because they have clearer and more prominent grain patterns, which easily camouflage small to large scratch marks.

3. Prefinished floors

We prefer using only prefinished floors for homes that have one or more than one pet. Those are sanded and sealed at our manufacturing facility. Those are not just easy to install but are much stronger and provide a protective finish that makes the surfaces resistant to scraping by nails.

4. Keep the sheen lower

When the floor has a lower sheen level or a matte finish, it tends to hide the scratches. The marks or stains made by your pets won’t appear and create any contrast if the sheen is lower.

5. Light colors

Our experience says that you should try to choose good quality hardwood floor surfaces with a lighter tone because they will not show your pet’s nail marks which are otherwise prominent on darker surfaces. We also suggest you avoid darker wood tones because they also hide the hair shed from the pets.

Affordable and Best Hardwood Flooring Types From European Flooring!

The interior of your commercial or residential place must be distinctive just like your personality and lifestyle. No doubt, the design comes first when it comes to choosing the ideal hardwood flooring for your dream property. For that, the sheen, grain pattern, and color of the hardwood species are crucial considerations. But, don’t forget that durability goes hand in hand with the design of the hardwood to make the flooring perfect for your place. With assured hardness and durability, your hardwood floors will stay the same for years with minimal maintenance and also resist damages from higher traffic, scrapes, spills, or blemishes.

We, as experts at Legno Bastone Flooring Gallery, have recommended here some of our best hardwood flooring types, such as oak, maple, walnut, ash, and hickory. Our flooring installation specialists and interior decorators have laid down premium-quality hardwood floors in various locations. Being the best hardwood floor brand, we have gathered immense expertise and understanding of superior quality hardwood floors over the years. To get suitable and popular hardwood flooring installed for your property, contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which hardwood is best for flooring?

Several factors play the role in determining, which is the best hardwood for flooring apart from the wood species. They are durability rating, price or affordability, ease of installation, maintenance convenience, and style/pattern of the wooden surfaces.

Q2. What is the most scratch-resistant hardwood flooring?

If you want to install hardwood floors that are scratch resistant, choose no other than hickory, white oak, and maple. These not only stand higher in durability factor and prevent dent/scratches but also have unique and prominent grain patterns. Their lighter shades camouflage the scratch marks.

Q3. Which is better solid hardwood or engineered hardwood?

None of these can be marked as a better wood for flooring because both are suitable for various conditions of flooring. While the popular solid hardwood flooring surfaces are durable but not water resistant, they are better for living rooms, bedrooms, office rooms, study rooms, lobbies, halls, etc. On the other hand, engineered hardwood floors are durable as well as water resistant. They are hence better choices for bathrooms, kitchens, or properties in humid regions.

Q4. What is the newest trend in hardwood floors?

Natural-looking hardwood floors with neutral colors and raw patterns are becoming a trend in the flooring industry. They help homes, or commercial places maintain the aesthetic appeal of the place and balance the environment.

Q5. What flooring won’t go out of style?

While there are myriad types of flooring prevalent such as hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring, laminate flooring, and tile flooring. Out of all these, the various best-quality hardwood flooring will never go out of trend.

Q6. What color of wood floor is timeless?

Most of the natural hues available in hardwood species are timeless. For instance, the dark chocolate hues of walnut or the deeper red tone of cherry fall in that category! But, if you want to use neutral hues that are also ageless and go with any type of interior, then pick pale brown and medium brown wood floors.

Q7. What color hardwood floor shows the least dirt?

The lighter shades of the hardwood, such as soft brown, creamy white, and light yellow hide the least dirt, dust, and pet hair. This makes the floors look cleaner and is an ideal hardwood flooring choice for commercial places.

Q8. What is the most expensive wood flooring?

Walnut is the most expensive hardwood flooring known, with an average cost of $15 per square foot. Next to walnut, the high-end variant of oak, especially red and white oak are the expensive hardwood flooring types. Their average cost is $10 and $12 respectively.

Q9. What’s the best low-maintenance flooring?

Engineered hardwood flooring is the best low-maintenance flooring since they have harder, scratch-resistant surfaces. This assures that you don’t have to think about frequent refinishing of the floor surfaces.

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