Selecting Among Hardwood Flooring Types

Rod Lorenz

Matching your choice of hardwood flooring to your tastes makes for a great result.

If you’re building a new custom home or renovating—and you know you want hardwood flooring—you have some fundamental choices to make.

Among these decisions, deciding between solid plank and engineered hardwood is extremely important for the rest of your process. In the same way, the choice between site-finished and prefinished floors will play a role in the appearance of the final product.

Let’s have a closer look at why it’s essential to make these decisions in advance and what the fundamental differences between these types of hardwood flooring are.

Solid Plank vs. Engineered Hardwood

Structural stability stands out as a notable difference between solid plank and engineered hardwood. Since engineered hardwood isn’t as susceptible as solid plank flooring to high humidity or moisture fluctuations, you can install it in high-humidity conditions, such as in below-ground rooms, over  radiant heating systems, and on top of concrete slabs.

On the other hand, solid plank hardwood can be re-sanded and refinished more times than engineered hardwood, which makes it more durable in a different sense. With solid plank hardwood, you know what you’re getting, while with engineered hardwood floors you need to take into account what its composite materials are and how thick the top layer of hardwood is.

Site-Finished vs. Prefinished

Much of the difference between site-finished and prefinished flooring is the length of the installation process and the level of customization. Site-finished flooring takes longer and, as its name says, the finishing is done on site. Its advantage is that it offers full control over what the finish will look like.

However, prefinished hardwood flooring can be a good option for homeowners who find that they don’t need to have a custom finish. It certainly is easier and faster to install.

Which Should You Choose?

These decisions will ultimately depend on your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Site-finished floors are about the same price as good quality prefinished floors., but they offer the most extensive customization possibilities, which many homeowners appreciate.

For example, sometimes you want your kitchen floor to match your cabinets perfectly, or you need to exactly match new flooring with existing floors—and site-finished hardwood is sometimes the only way to get a perfect match. Conversely, engineered hardwood is the only viable option in high-moisture conditions.

These are the first hardwood floor decisions to make, and they will greatly influence the costs and length of your project, as well as the final appearance of your floors. We’ll be happy to help you choose.according to your needs, and our friendly and accommodating staff will guide you through the process in more detail. Visit our showroom to see what we offer!

Image:  Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

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