nwfa.orgFor Professionals nwfaexpo.orgFor Expo

Educating consumers for more than 30 years

types of flooring

When choosing the right floor for your home, it’s important to consider how different floors are constructed. The material, style and cut all affect the look of the finished product. There are many different species, types, and styles of flooring available. Let's learn more!

species selection

Choosing the right species of wood flooring is a matter of your style, budget, and personal preference. More than 50 domestic and imported species of wood flooring are available to achieve a unique look. As a general rule, light woods make a room appear more open and airy, medium woods make a room feel warm and cozy, and dark woods make a room feel stately and refined.

Wood floors come in a variety of species, offering numerous looks and color options. Wood, like all organic materials, is very dynamic. No two species will be alike, and there can even be a lot of variety in appearance from the same tree. In fact, there are many different factors that will affect the way the finished floor will look. These can include things like where the tree is grown, where the wood comes from the tree, how the wood is cut, and the finish that is applied to the floor.

solid vs. engineered

Solid wood flooring is made of one piece of wood from top to bottom and can be used in any room that is on or above ground. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times.

Engineered wood floors are also made of real wood, but include multiple layers, with the top layer made of high-quality wood. Because engineered wood floors expand and contract less than solid wood flooring, they are ideal for basement installations. While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.

styles

Hardwood floors are manufactured in three styles: strip, plank and parquet . Each style is available in a variety of species, colors and widths, so choosing the right one is a matter of preference. Strip flooring is less than 3” wide and often makes a room appear larger. Plank flooring is equal to or greater than 3” wide and often creates a more casual look. Parquet flooring varies in size and generates a geometric, non-linear look.

wood cut

There are many factors that impact the appearance of wood flooring, including its grade and saw cut. Wood grades are determined based on the physical characteristics of the wood. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each looks different. Additionally, the angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks and performs as well.