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Which Types Of Wood Flooring Is The Best For Your Home

Wood flooring is popular worldwide. But which types of wood flooring is the best for your home? Hardwood floors are a good investment and can add value to your home.

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We’ll look at different types of wood floors you can install in your home. And we’ll also break down various types of wood and see 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 isn’t the case. There are a few different types of floors, so knowing what to expect may help you identify them. 

Solid Wood 

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Tamalpais Wood Flooring

Average Cost: $8/square foot

This is the true hardwood floors. 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
  • Looks extremely nice
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Scratches
  • Creaks in time
  • Swells
  • Difficult to install

Engineered Wood

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First Class Wood Flooring

Average Cost: $8/square foot

Engineered wood costs about the same as regular hardwood floors. This is because engineered wood is wood with multiple layers glued together. It often comes in boxes like 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 
  • Nicer than laminate

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install

Laminate

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Carpetworld of Martinsburg

Average Cost: $3/square foot

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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Wide Plank Floor Supply

Cost: Varies

You have two options for reclaimed wood. You can find wood in your 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/square foot

Bamboo isn’t wood, 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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Giulietti Schouten Architects

Average Cost: $5/square foot

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

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Tile Source Of Texas

Average Cost: $7/square foot

If you like the way tile feels but like the way wood looks, this is perfect for you. You can get tiles that look like wood with 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 about 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 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 pics below.

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.

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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. However, it’s also soft and easy to scratch.

Birch is used for accents because of its gorgeous color and softness. It is the perfect wood for beach houses. 

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Birch is used for accents because of its gorgeous color and softness. It is the perfect wood for beach houses. 

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

Mahogany

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Mahogany 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 US, hence the price tag. But it is very durable and well worth the money.

Brazilian Tigerwood
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Tigerwood offers a unique and gorgeous hardwood floor design.  The busy pattern may not be for everyone, but it’s pretty. It’s rare but yet more durable than mahogany. 

Oak

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Oak is one of the most popular hardwood floorings. The wood 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 scratches easy. 

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 available. It is pricey compared to other wood floors, like oak and walnut, but more durable. 

Pine

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Pine flooring ages well and is covered in knots. However, it’s softer, yet cheaper than most hardwoods.

Teak

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Teak is not as popular as hardwood, but people like it for its durability. The flooring has become a hot item. It’s shiny but requires oiling  to maintain this shine.

Beech

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Beech  comes from the largest trees in Europe and Asia. It isn’t common in the US, but popular in other countries. The wood is used for flooring and outdoor grilling.

Acacia

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Acacia is rare. The flooring is durable, but comes with a  price. However, since it can last over a 100 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. It’s cheaper and offers  medium durability. It stains due to its texture and light color.

Cherry

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Cherry wood is sensitive 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 over-harvested, it’s hard 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’s good for vinyl flooring. If you want cedar, consider 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. 

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Should I Install Cabinets Before Or After Flooring My Kitchen?

Install your cabinets first. If you’re using thick wood flooring, make sure your cabinets are almost as thick.  You want the countertop to be the perfect height from the floor. 

Is Wood Flooring A Good Idea For Bathrooms?

The last thing you want in your bathroom is wood flooring. Bathrooms have moisture, which is harmful to wood. 

What Can I Do To Protect Myself Before Installing Wood Flooring?

Before you commit to installing wood flooring, make sure your contractor has insurance. If they have insurance your home will be protected during the installation process.