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Which Types Of Wood Flooring Is The Best For Your Home

Wood flooring is one of the most sought after floorings in the world. Hardwood floors can up the value of a home and make it look like a million bucks. But there are so many different types of wood flooring!

We’re going to go over the different types of wood floors you can use in your home. We’re also going to break down the different types of wood in general and how effective they are when used as wood flooring. 

Types Of Wood Flooring

Although some people like to call any flooring that looks wood, hardwood floors, this really isn’t the case. There are a few different types of floors they could be referring to, so knowing what to expect may help you identified those bending the truth.

Solid Wood 

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Image from Tamalpais Wood Flooring

Average Cost: $8/sqft.

This is the only true hardwood floor. It is made from solid pieces of wood, cut right from the tree. It isn’t pieced together and it is always real wood. If you want real wood, done the right way, get a solid wood floor.

Pros:

  • Highest resale value
  • Can be refinished over and over
  • Looks extremely nice
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Scuffs easily
  • Creaks in time
  • Swells
  • Difficult to install

Engineered Wood

Image from First Class Wood Flooring

Average Cost: $8/sqft.

That’s right, engineered wood costs about the same as regular hardwood floors. This is because engineered wood is real wood that has multiple layers that have been glued together. It often comes in boxes similar to laminate. 

Don’t be afraid of engineered wood as it’s just as good as solid wood floors in every way that matters. It’s also becoming even more popular than regular wood floors as well.

Pros:

  • Less affected by humidity than solid wood
  • Can be purchased in easy-to-install cases
  • Can find cheaper versions 
  • Looks nicer than laminate

Cons:

  • Much more expensive than other wood floors
  • Standard boxes are difficult to install

Laminate

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Via Carpetworld of Martinsburg

Average Cost: $3/sqft.

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular flooring types in America. This is because of the wide variety of options and the great price. It varies from other “woods” because it’s compressed fiberboard with a photo printed on top. 

Pros: 

  • Much cheaper than hardwood
  • Can get any pattern or wood grain
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to replace

Cons:

  • Won’t look like real wood
  • Can shift as it’s not glued down
  • Not a good resale option

Reclaimed Wood

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Via Wide Plank Floor Supply

Cost: Varies Greatly

You have two options for reclaimed wood. You can find wood in your own old buildings to reuse or purchase it outright for a farmhouse look. The second option is more expensive than solid hardwood. While the other option can be free.

Pros:

  • Possibly free
  • Looks vintage
  • Environmentally friendly 

Cons:

  • Old chemicals may remain
  • Expensive if purchased 
  • Must watch out for nails

Bamboo

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Average Cost: $6/sqft.

Bamboo isn’t even wood at all, it’s grass. However, because of its appearance, many contractors will call bamboo floors, wood floors. This is acceptable, as it works just as hardwood does, sometimes even more durable.

Pros:

  • Sustainable resource
  • Very durable
  • Allergen-free
  • Easy to clean
  • Doesn’t gather moisture

Cons:

  • Can contain chemicals
  • Not waterproof
  • Can scratch
  • Darker bamboo is less durable

Cork

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Via Giulietti Schouten Architects

Average Cost: $5/sqft.

Cork flooring is quite cheaper than other wood floorings. However, it’s not the cost of the material that make it a cost-efficient option. Cork flooring is very cheap to install. If you hire someone, it will only set you back about a dollar per square foot.

Pros: 

  • Great insulator
  • Comfortable to walk on
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Eco-friendly 

Cons: 

  • Not as durable as hardwood
  • Subfloor needs a lot of work
  • Easily scratched and indented

Tile That Looks Like Wood

Via Tile Source Of Texas

Average Cost: $7/sqft.

If you like the way tile feels but like the way wood looks, this is perfect for you. You can get tiles that look exactly like wood with all of the perks that tiles bring. Some are even textures just like other wood floors.

Pros: 

  • Doesn’t scratch
  • Easily cleaned
  • Waterproof

Cons: 

  • Cold
  • Can break if something is dropped
  • Doesn’t feel like wood

Types Of Wood

Now that you know all you need to know about types of wood flooring, it’s time to move on to different types of wood. All of these types of wood can be found in nearly every type of wood flooring. All are fairly easy to clean as well. Here is what you need to know about cleaning hardwood floors.

Note: The wood floors recommended here are hardwood floors, both solid and engineered, as they are the most common type of wood floor. All are available on Wayfair and you can purchase all hardwoods found in the pictures below.

Walnut

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Walnut is a gorgeous dark, chocolatey wood that is one of the most common hardwoods in North America. It’s one of the most expensive hardwoods as well, despite being a soft hardwood that isn’t recommended for heavy traffic areas.

It is recommended, however, for upper levels due to its lightweight nature. It can also be used in direct sunlight because it won’t fade no matter how intense or long-lasting the sun in the room is.

Birch

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Birch is one of the lightest natural wood floorings. It’s popular because of the coloring and because it is plentiful, making it an open resource. It’s clean, attractive lines are alluring to many. However, it’s also soft and easy to scratch.

More often than not, birch is used for accents because of its gorgeous color and softness. It is the perfect wood for beachhouses. 

Mahogony

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Mahogony is a deep, rich wood that is darker in color than most. It is an exotic wood that tends to be on the pricey side. Real mahogany doesn’t grow in the United States, hence the price tag. But it is very durable and well worth the money.

Brazilian Tigerwood

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Tigerwood is one of the most unique and gorgeous hardwood floors that money can buy. Its busy pattern isn’t for everyone, but no one can deny how pretty and high-end it is. It’s a rare wood that is even more durable than mahogany. 

Oak

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Oak is definitely one of the most popular hardwood floorings. It comes in a variety of natural colors. Oak flooring is mid-range in price, color, and durability, making it quite popular all-around. It can withstand a lot of pressure but scrapes easily. 

If you put furniture on a floor like oak, make sure you put pads on the legs to prevent scrapes and cuts.

Hickory

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Hickory is one of the hardest hardwoods that are readily available. It is only a little more expensive than common woods like oak and walnut but ten times more durable. Because of this, it is often chosen instead of the others. 

Pine

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Have you ever heard the phrase, “tougher than a pine knot”? Well, it has nothing to do with the hardness of pine flooring. Pine flooring ages beautifully, and is covered in knots. However, it’s softer, yet more affordable than most hardwoods.

Teak

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Teak hasn’t always been a popular hardwood, but now that people have found out how durable it is, the flooring has become a hot item. It is naturally shiny but requires an oiling every once in a while to maintain this shine.

Beech

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Beech is a beautiful wood harvested from some of the largest trees in Europe and Asia. It’s relatively rare in the United States but popular in other countries, perfect for smoking meats, as well as making hardwood floors.

Acacia

Acacia is a unique wood that is relatively rare. The flooring is very durable, durability that you will pay for. However, since it can last over a hundred years, it’s generally worth it. Especially since the pattern is so pretty!

Ash

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Ash is a pretty, lighter wood that works well in chic or Victorian homes. This wood is affordable and medium in durability. It is easy to stain due to the texture and light color, so you can make it any color that you want.

Cherry

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Cherry wood is a rather sensitive wood, especially to light. It shouldn’t be installed in rooms with direct sunlight the majority of the time. Other than that, it is medium in durability and is usually stained with a pretty red tone.

Hard To Find Woods

These woods aren’t usually available to the general public but may be found in old homes or exotic stores online. You can also hire a contractor to find it for you, however, you will pay extra doing it this way.

Ebony

Ebony is the hardest wood used in hardwood floorings. But due to being overharvested, it’s nearly impossible to find. When available, it’s extremely expensive. The natural darkness of the wood makes it unique as well!

Cedar

Cedar can be used as flooring, but due to its softness, it isn’t common. For this reason, it can usually only be found in vinyl floorings. If you want cedar in your home, consider putting cedar planks on your walls.

Douglas Fir

Douglas fir may normally be used for Christmas trees, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice for floors too. If you don’t have heavy traffic, as it’s soft, much like other conifers. But it’s also one of the most uniform hardwood floors. 

Kempas

Kempas is so rare because most of the Kempas wood is imported illegally from Indonesia and Malaysia. Don’t buy any Kempas that isn’t from a reputable seller as it could be fake, or worse, illegal. So be careful!

Cypress

Cypress isn’t as popular as you may think. It’s a rustic wood that comes from Australia. Although it is rare and expensive, it’s also safe to use because Australia is very aware of environmental issues and keeps track of its imports and exports.