What wood flooring type will work best for you? Read about them all to decide.

Before you decide which type of wood flooring to choose for your next project, you should familiarize yourself with all the available options. There are pros and cons to each, and you’ll have to decide what matters most to you.

There are many options to consider including bamboo, laminate, engineered hardwood, cork, and natural or solid hardwood. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can get up to 40 percent off of any materials you choose for your hardwood floors if you decide to have us install your new flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Pros

  • Can float above most existing floor coverings
  • Durable, very difficult to scratch
  • Easy to clean
  • Resists stains

Cons

  • Not real wood
  • Non-insulated
  • Cannot be sanded or refinished
  • Homes resell for less
  • Cheaper laminates are difficult to snap / lock together, edges blow out
  • Does not stand up to puddled water, moisture causes it to separate / expand
  • Hard to walk on constantly
  • Can be slippery in sock feet

Cost

  • Starting cost is 50 cents per square foot
  • Luxury options average $6 per square foot
  • Labor runs between $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot for laminate floor installation

Designs

  • Light colors like maple and oak
  • Dark colors like cherry and redwood
  • Tongue and groove
  • Click together installation
  • Antique wood finishes
  • Stone and Marble-looking finishes
  • Both glossy and mat finishes

Solid Hardwood Floors

Pros

  • Can be refinished or sanded
  • Cleans easily
  • Durable
  • Adds value to the property
  • Insulated
  • One solid piece of wood

Cons

  • Not good for bathrooms and kitchens because of moisture
  • Cannot be installed over concrete floors
  • Does not work for basements or underground levels
  • Moves, swells, and can become uneven
  • Slippery

Cost

  • Minimum starts at $1.50 per square foot
  • Maximum can be as high as $160 or more per square foot depending on quality and finish
  • A Solid hardwood floor installer charges between $3 and $10 per square foot

Design

  • Hardwoods like Oak and Ash
  • Brazilian Cherrywood
  • Sakura
  • Tigerwood
  • Teak
  • Kempas
  • And many others

Engineered Wood Floor Covering

Pros

  • Tongue and groove installation
  • Comes in hard construction for superior durability
  • Better resistance to water and temperature changes than solid hardwood or laminate

Cons

  • Made in layers with a veneer top layer
  • Use of glues and other materials that are not environmentally friendly

Cost

  • Minimum cost is $4 per square foot
  • Maximum cost is around $12 per square foot

Design

Three veneer options-rotary peeled, sliced, and sawn face

Sawn face veneers are sawn across the log just as a solid hardwood is. It has the same visual appearance, is more dimensionally stable and less prone to face checking or other inherent problems associated with rotary peeled veneers. The Sawn face engineered hardwood is more expensive than the rotary peeled floor, however it is worth the money.

Same finishes and stain options as solid hardwood

Bamboo Flooring

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Sustainable natural product
  • Moisture resistant
  • Less impact on joints
  • Higher noise reduction than laminate
  • Can be refinished

Cons

  • Easy to ding and dent
  • Costs more to import
  • Can split across the meat of the board if not properly humidified. Manufacturer recommendations for maintaining proper humidity must be followed to maintain warranty.

Cost

  • Minimum cost is around $4 per square foot
  • Maximum cost averages $12 per square foot

Design

  • Solid bamboo comes in strand, flat-grain, and vertical-grain
  • Engineered bamboo
  • Variety of thicknesses and lengths

Cork Floors

16098278 – laying technology of cork floor on concrete base with layers of thermal insulation and soundproofing

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Better noise reduction than laminate or bamboo
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Resistant to insects
  • Shock absorbing
  • Natural beauty
  • Easy maintenance

Cons

  • Uses glue in some installations
  • Can fade in sunlight
  • Requires several layers of polyurethane for protection

Cost

  • Minimum cost starts at $3 per square foot
  • Maximum costs depend on color, plank size, and design, but it averages around $10 per square foot

Design

  • Variety of colors and patterns to mimic hardwood and bamboo along with stripes or swirls.
  • Glue and glue-less options are available for cork floor installations.
Selecting the right wood flooring type
Wood Flooring

And, in case you ever wanted to know how to clean unfinished wooden floors, check this article out.

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