There are so many benefits of installing hardwood floors in your home. In general, they’re well-insulated, easy to clean, and beautiful to look at.
And, depending on the type you get, they can be extremely durable and long-lasting. Of course, these features usually make the flooring more expensive, too.
And that’s the real dilemma of the matter, isn’t it? With so many types of hardwood floors to choose from, where do you even begin?
Actually, you can begin right here with this guide. Below, we teach you all you need to know about comparing your many hardwood floor options. That includes the pros, cons, and features of each type of flooring and whether it’s a good deal for the price.
To learn more, read on.
Engineered vs Solid Hardwood Floor Options
Before we get to the specific tree types, let’s examine the differences between engineered and solid hardwood flooring. As you may have guessed, engineered wood flooring is always cheaper than its solid wood counterpart.
What you may not know is that this doesn’t automatically make engineered wood inferior. On the contrary, engineered wood is more flexible and versatile than solid wood. For example, it won’t be warped or damaged as easily by moisture or temperature changes.
And you can’t tell the difference between the two by looking at the surface, either. You see, the top layer of each engineered floorboard is, in fact, a thin plank of solid wood.
The Downsides of Engineered Wood Flooring
The main downside of engineered wood flooring is that it simply doesn’t last as long as solid wood flooring. For one thing, while it does well against moisture/humidity, it’s not very durable against scratches or damage by impact.
Even worse, engineered floorboards cannot be repaired once damaged. You might be able to replace individual boards, but you can’t refinish them because the surface layer is too thin. Thus, the new boards wouldn’t match the old boards.
This isn’t the case with solid wood. Solid hardwood planks can be sanded and refinished.
After refinishing, any new, replacement planks will look the same as the older planks that didn’t need replacing. As such, the overall lifespan of solid wood flooring is far longer than that of engineered wood.
Now, let’s look at specific flooring types by tree, starting with oak. Oak is a very popular choice because, as far as hardwoods go, it’s on the cheaper side of the scale.
Also, it’s very versatile in terms of color. Specifically, the lighter colors of oak can be stained to match any interior decor scheme.
Walnut is a dark, brown wood embellished throughout with marble-like swirls. This desirable appearance is the primary reason people choose it.
That said, it’s a bit softer than most hardwoods, meaning it’s easier to damage. So, you definitely don’t want to choose walnut for rooms that contain a lot of heavy furniture.
The most notable thing about cherry wood is its bright red color. Thus, like walnut, cherry wood flooring is mainly chosen for its appearance.
As such, you’ll need to have a very specific decor scheme in mind to go with it. Also, know that cherry wood’s color can fade with too much exposure to sunlight.
Like oak, maple is another good choice to go with any color scheme. This is due to its light color and mostly uniform grain pattern.
Furthermore, it’s one of the hardest hardwoods you can purchase for flooring. Since it’s extremely difficult to scratch or damage maple, you don’t have to be so careful about what room you place it in.
Even more durable and long-lasting is hickory. This flooring can easily outlive the person who purchases it, as long as it’s maintained properly.
Hickory is a light-to-medium shade wood with a reddish-tan color. Its grain pattern offers spectacular swirls of dark against light.
Ash has a greyish, driftwood-like appearance. It also has very dark grain patterns to contrast the otherwise light-colored wood. It’s light appearance is inoffensive to most interior color schemes.
However, it’s only a medium-hard hardwood, so you’ll have to be careful on it.
Teak is an exotic hardwood beloved for its dark, shiny appearance textured with beautiful marble swirls. It’s also extremely hard. Thus, it can handle heavy chairs, pets, and any other plans you have for it without incurring damage.
8. Douglas Fir
Douglas fir is light in color and riddled with grain patterns reminiscent of an old, wood cabin. Even so, the grain pattern is so prominent that it makes every board look almost exactly the same for an overall uniform appearance.
Unfortunately, it’s about as soft as hardwoods get and is therefore easily scratched. On the plus side, it’s very common and cheap.
Pine flooring is not very dissimilar from Douglas fir. Specifically, it’s common, soft, cheap, and has a similar grain pattern. Although, pine tends to be a little more colorful.
Mahogany’s features are so renowned that they hardly need stating. Namely, it’s very hard, durable, and long-lasting. Additionally, it’s known for its rich dark color, faint grain patterns, and high price.
Remember This Guide About the Types of Hardwood Floors
We hope you found this guide about the types of hardwood floors helpful. Even so, you might still feel a little overwhelmed by your options.
In that case, allow us to help. Contact Ulta Home Improvements here to discuss these options with our certified flooring experts.