The timeless, gorgeous look of hardwood ﬂooring bring the beauty of nature inside and instantly enhances the character and value of your home. Whether you want ﬂawless, elegant tones with smooth ﬁnishes or unique, hand-wrought planks with a natural ﬁnish, hardwood ﬂooring will give your home an alluring quality that is both luxurious and rustic.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
When choosing hardwood, the color, character, ﬁnishes and construction type are the important factors to consider.
Color: The color of hardwood ﬂoors ranges from quite light to intensely dark—and everything in between. While, as a rule, lighter ﬂoors work well in contemporary settings and darker ﬂoors are elegantly at home in more traditional rooms, choosing is essentially a matter of preference.
Character: Naturally present in hardwood, grain variations help determine a woodʼs “personality.” Dramatic grain suggests a rustic feeling. Historically, moderate grain variations are associated with the traditional. And hardwood with very little graining has a sleek, contemporary look.
Finishes: At Unbelievable Flooring & Decor, youʼll have a multitude of ﬁnishes to choose from—gloss or luster level, scraping degree and technique, wire-brushing, etc. To choose what is best for you, ask our Flooring Experts to show you samples of the various ﬁnishes.
Construction: There are two basic choices—solid or engineered. For a different material with the same look & feel as wood, Bamboo is also a fantastic option.
What is the difference between Solid Wood, Engineered Wood and Hardwood? Weʼre glad you asked!
Solid planks are created from a single piece of wood and make a handsome ﬂoor that lasts for years.
Pros: Solid planks are created from a single piece of wood and make a handsome ﬂoor that lasts for years.
Cons: Solid wood is milled from a single 3/4" thick piece of hardwood. Solid wood ﬂooring expands and contracts with changes in your home's relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the ﬂoor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
Hardwood planks classified as “engineered” feature multiple layers (typically between three and ﬁve) that are bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. The layers typically include a top veneer of hardwood backed by less expensive layers of plywood, although some manufacturers use substrates made from recycled wood ﬁbers mixed with stone dust for improved durability and stability.
Pros: Engineered planks are made from several layers of wood (with a core of plywood or HDF) and are designed to withstand higher levels of humidity. This means they can go in some rooms solid ﬂoors canʼt and is often the preferred choice in areas where the humidity level can vary.
Cons: Engineered wood looks just like hardwood (because it has a thin layer of solid wood on the top), which is great! The only con is that because the top layer is so thin, itʼs not possible to “reﬁnish” engineered hardwood more than once or twice. While hardwood ﬂoor may last 100 years or more, engineered wood might last 15-20, depending on care and use.
Because of their striking physical similarities, Bamboo is an attractive and “eco-friendly” alternative to hardwood.
Pros: Bamboo boasts rapid growth and natural regeneration properties, which is why Bamboo is often marketed as being the “green” ﬂooring choice. It is similar to wood in appearance, price, moisture resistance and durability.
Cons: Bamboo is not graded and sorted for color or feature homogeneity. Because of this, you will often ﬁnd more variation from plank to plank with bamboo. Some people consider this more visually interesting, while others dislike the scattered nature of such an inconsistent look.