Hardwood flooring elevates your home and works well in traditional or contemporary spaces. Choose from popular hardwood species, including hickory, oak, ash or maple.
Select a type of wood flooring that suits your lifestyle and your budget. Common options include solid hardwood, engineered wood and wood-look laminate.
Choosing the right material isn’t as simple as simply selecting your preferred color and grain. Location: The room and level of foot traffic determine what properties the material needs
Ease of cleanliness, durability and repairability, frequency and simplicity of resealing and daily maintenance vary by material Durability: Waterproofing, stain resistance, strength and scratch and scuff resistance Floating, nail down or glue down Addons: Type of underlayment, radiant heat compatibility Choose from six main flooring hardwood and wood-look options for any room in your home.
To bring a little history to your space, go for high-end, reclaimed, hand-scraped planks.
Or find the middle ground with good quality engineered wood. Solid unfinished planks are 100% genuine hardwood and are installed without a factory finish.
Instead, you can choose a custom finish that’s applied to the whole floor after the planks are installed. for the materials, and an additional for labor Complete moisture-resistant surface: Sealant applied after installation, covering whole floor, including seams
Susceptible to moisture damage and warping from liquid seeping into the unsealed seams between planks Often made of heartwood (the innermost portion of the tree), these planks bring a little history to your home and provide an interesting conversation point.
Expensive: Reclaimed hardwood costs $15-$30 per square foot, including installation including installation Reclamation, restoration and scarcity increase the price
Limited supply: You may not be able to source enough good quality reclaimed planks to cover a large space Hand-scraped planks have a distinctive, rustic finish that works well in farmhouse and traditional-style homes.
Weathered look means minor scrapes, dents and similar damage blends in
The increased durability makes it a good choice for kitchens and high-traffic areas. Wood-look laminate is not actually wood, but it’s a good inexpensive alternative for remodeling on a tight budget. A layer of printed plastic designed to look like wooden planks adheres to a high-density fiberboard or plywood base.
Once you’ve chosen the best type of flooring for your project, it’s time to look at wood species. Can be waxed to enhance warm appearance and improve moisture resistance
Minor damage easy to fix with DIY repair kits
Popular choice for modern homes due to its light texture and open grain pattern
Resistant to minor damage like scuffs and scrapes from chair legs Brazilian cherry is extremely hard, measuring 2,350 on the Janka scale
Straight, uniform, close grain that works well in traditional spaces Brazilian ebony is one of the hardest woods, measuring 3,700 on the Janka hardness scale High density makes it more resistant to moisture damage than other wood flooring
Eco-friendly, sustainable and widely available, as it grows quickly and is easily replanted If you’re struggling with hardwood vs. laminate or engineered wood, talk to a flooring professional who can advise you on the best options for your particular circumstances. The most popular hardwood flooring brands for availability, durability and quality include:
Ebony, cherry, live oak, or bamboo are the most durable choices. These extremely hard woods (and wood-like bamboo) wear well and are more resistant to minor damage than other options.
While it isn’t real wood, it’s a good alternative if you’re working with a tight budget.
Both of these can be installed as floating floors to make them compatible with underfloor heating.
Any wood with a high rating on the Janka hardness scale is a smart choice for those who need scratch-resistant flooring. No wood flooring is truly waterproof, but ebony, bamboo and engineered hardwood come closest.
This is a matter of opinion, however, exotic woods and those with interesting grain patterns and colors are often highly sought-after because of their appearance. If you have pets, you need flooring that resists scratches, such as ebony, bamboo, or engineered hardwood. In the bathroom, no natural wood should be used because it may warp from exposure to humidity and water.
Hallways tend to be high-traffic areas, so you need something hard, resilient, and easy to maintain. Ash, hickory, oak and maple fit these criteria and are warm, inviting and affordable. Basement choices are limited because most planks can’t be adhered to a concrete subfloor.
The best hardwood for resale should have a light or a dark stain with a brown or gray tone, not yellow. The most popular finish for hardwood is polyurethane with a base of water or oil. These products are easy to find at big box stores like Lowe’s and tend to cost the least. It’s possible to mix different species in a house, but you’ll want to find a professional hardwood installer near you. This design offers a unique look, but it can be difficult to place planks of different widths and styles. Solid planks of hickory distressed by the manufacturer are a great hardwood floor for dogs.
The ideal choice has a hard surface and a tight grain to minimize the appearance of scratches.