There are so very many types, species, and styles of hardwood flooring to choose from. Solid or Engineered? Plank or strip? Do you want a hand scraped or wire brushed well worn reclaimed look? Furthermore, there is the species of wood. Oak or maple or perhaps an exotic wood with a unique grain like sapele mahogany? All of these options carry pros and cons. However, we are here to guide you toward the perfect hardwood to fit your individual needs. Keep reading for more details to help you have a better understanding of hardwood flooring!

Understanding Solid and Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood is all in the name. It is one solid piece cut straight from a hardwood tree. This flooring lasts for a lifetime and stands up to incredible amounts of traffic. Once it is worn it merely needs to be resurfaced instead of replaced. However, solid hardwood is susceptible to swelling and warping in moist environments. Therefore it is not recommended for homes or rooms with moisture problems.

Understanding engineered hardwood flooring is simple. It is hardwood planks or strips that have been manufactured out of multiple layers of wood. This process prevents the warping that solid hardwood may fall victim to. The top layer of your engineered hardwood is a veneer made from a solid piece of the wood of your choice. Therefore, you get the same look of solid hardwood without as much concern for moisture.


The first style options that you have to understand in order to choose your hardwood flooring is the shape of the individual pieces of flooring. They come in short wide planks, or long thin strips. The choice between these two shapes depends entirely on your personal preference. Do you want long, thin, elegant strips of flooring 1.5-2.5 inches wide, or short, wide, powerful planks of wood 3-8 inches wide? Your preference will vary depending on your room design plans.

The second style option that you should understand before choosing your hardwood flooring gives the appearance of reclaimed wood. Hand scraped floors appear that they were salvaged from a centuries old home. They give a gorgeously worn look that fits a rustic design. However, you may choose wire brushed hardwood flooring instead. Brushing achieves the same effect as scraping but to a lesser degree. This choice is for someone who wants wood that looks lived in with less distress.


There are multiple species of hardwood that grow in in North America and are readily available. Oak, Maple, Beech, Cherry, Walnut, Hickory, and Pecan. These species of tree are environmentally friendly since they are sourced nearby. However, if you are looking for a more exotic look, there are many options available from around the world. These will be more expensive than local hardwoods since they must be shipped from outside the country. Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, Sapele Mahogany, Kempas, Australian Cypress, and Ipe are some of the international options for an exotic hardwood floor.

Need an even better understanding of hardwood? Call or email Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers today for a free consultation. We know you only want the best in flooring and remodeling. That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we can guarantee you that’s us.

Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have been flooring and remodeling Kentuckiana for over 30 years. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the perfect floors for your home. Don’t take matters into your own hands—let us guide your next project.

About The Author

John Raisor is a well traveled carpentry and food writer.


Call Us Today!

Have Questions? – Our Estimates are ALWAYS Free!