Different Types Of Hardwood & Laminate Flooring

Major improvements in wood flooring over the past few years mean that homeowners no longer have to compromise when considering new floors. Laminate flooring and hardwood flooring can now be installed in most indoor areas. With that, there are many different choices when it comes to the installation process. Here are a few things homeowners should consider when shopping for wood floors.

Solid Wood Flooring

As its name implies, this type of flooring is made of solid pieces of wood that are installed one by one. Available for purchase in both unfinished and prefinished versions, there are three main types of solid wood flooring.

  • Strip flooring: Sold in narrow planks, strip flooring ranges in thickness from 5/16 to 3/4 of an inch. It does not, however, differ in width. As such, there are fewer installation and design options.
  • Plank flooring: Because it is available in widths that range from 3 to 8 inches, plank flooring is often considered more versatile than strip flooring. Although it can be installed in nearly any space, it works best in larger rooms, where wider planks can add a sense of grandeur.
  • Parquet flooring: Easily identifiable, parquet floors consist of individual wood slats that form geometric patterns. Sold in tiles, they are often easier to install than either wood planks or strips.

All of the aforementioned hardwood flooring options are available in different wood species, including cherry, hickory, walnut, oak, beech, and maple.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Instead of one solid plank of wood, engineered versions consist of several layers of different wood veneers. Less expensive and more stable than solid floors, they are a popular choice in modern homes. Available in a wide range of colors and wood types, engineered floors can be added to an entire level of a home or business. Plank size and thickness may vary based on the manufacturer.

Laminate Flooring

Considered by many to be the next best thing to real wood, laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic product that imitates hardwood floors with a photographic surface layer. Available in a wide range of styles, colors, and textures, laminate is often difficult to distinguish from the real thing. Laminate flooring is available in the following installationtypes:

  • Glueless-click: Easily the most popular option, glueless-click floors can often be installed in a single afternoon.
  • Glued laminate: Gluing the joints together can increase stability and strength. Therefore, it takes more time and money to install.
  • Pre-glued: Generally pricier than the non-glued version, pre-glued flooring nevertheless cuts down on installation costs.

In addition to being able to mimic any species of wood, laminate flooring also gives homeowners the option of selecting the feel of the material. Customers can choose from smooth, textured, distressed, embossed, and even hand-scraped surfaces. All of these fairly recent additions have improved the authenticity and appeal of laminate flooring.

Both laminate and solid wood flooring are strong choices for your home's design scheme, and their refined appearances have made them extremely popular amongst modern homeowners. Though your decision will need to be based on your specific needs and lifestyle, the warmth and beauty of this type of flooring can add lasting style to any home.