Elegant. Tradition. Adaptable. Since colonial days, hardwood flooring has been prized for its color, grain and lasting beauty.
Rich in appeal, hardwood flooring enhances virtually any decor style with its sense of natural strength and its variety of finishes. Casual or formal, modern or classic, hardwood is right at home in any home.
Generally, there two types of hardwood flooring— solid or engineered. Whether it’s a strip or plank, solid hardwood flooring is a single piece of wood, which can easily be customized and can be re-sanded to change finishes. Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is made of 3 to 5 layers laminated together with grains running at different angles. While engineered hardwood looks like solid hardwood, it is actually more structurally stable and can be used anywhere, even places like basements where moisture may be an issue.
Properly installed and sealed, hardwood flooring requires minimal care to maintain its good looks. Simply vacuum regularly and wipe weekly with a damp mop. And, since it’s sealed it can’t absorb spills, so it won’t stain.
While you can add an elegant appeal to most any room with the rich, traditional color and texture of hardwood flooring, there is some hardwood information you need to have before deciding which type of hardwood to select or whether to choose hardwood at all.
Since colonial times, solid hardwood has been a preferred choice for enhancing formal rooms and hallways with a beautiful, inviting ambiance. It’s also an excellent choice for areas where you may want to change looks at a future date, since it can sanded and refinished to meet changing tastes.
However, solid hardwood is not recommended for installation below grade (basements) or in rooms where excess moisture is present, such as bathrooms, saunas, and enclosed porches. It also tends scratch easier than engineered hardwoods, so careful consideration should be given to use with large pets.
Engineered hardwood is a perfect alternative virtually any place solid hardwood is used, except where you might want to change the look since engineered hardwood generally cannot be sanded and refinished. In addition, engineered hardwood is especially recommended for use below grade in basements and other areas where scratch resistance and added longevity are important. While it tends to resist moisture better than solid hardwood, it still may not be the best choice for bathrooms.