Hardwood Flooring: Durable, Attractive, Great Value

Hardwood floors fall into two broad categories:

  • Engineered floors, and
  • Solid wood floors

Let’s talk about the differences.
Hardwood Floor
Engineered flooring is actually a layered material.  Only the top layer of engineered flooring is solid wood, while the rest underneath is a criss-cross plywood or laminate.  Engineered flooring comes in many different styles (including plank or parquet squares).  As a general rule, the cross-hatched layers of engineered wood floors give them excellent wear qualities. Engineered flooring materials are usually pretty cost-effective, and our Austin Hardwood Flooring store and showroom stocks a wide selection of colors, grains, finishes and styles.  We’re sure there’s one that’ll be a good fit for your home.

Solid wood floors are exactly what the name implies – a solid wood material is one piece from top to bottom, sawn out of one piece of wood.  Solid wood floors offer the greatest variety in materials, colors, styles and finishes, with species that range from common (southern white pine, oak, mahogany, maple) to exotic (kempas, zebrawood, purple heart, Brazilian cherry, African rosewood).  Solid wood floors can be hand-scraped or sanded (for a rustic finish), or may even be salvaged from a gymnasium, church or school building, complete with scrapes, dings and other imperfections.  Solid wood floors give more options for installation as well – they can be glued to an existing floor, nailed to a plywood or particle board subfloor or “floated” with a foam cushion underlayment over a concrete foundation subfloor.

Installation of solid wood or engineered floors can be tricky, though.  Some homeowners can feel pretty confident about doing their own floor installations…but others can easily get in over their heads.  It’s a good idea to come down to our showrooms, meet with our consultants and let them help you choose a floor material and style that will be a good fit for your home…and then let our experienced, qualified crews do the installation.

Usually solid wood or engineered floor systems can be sanded down and refinished, or coated with a layer of polyurethane (depending on the gloss desired).  Hardwoods or engineered floors should be damp mopped and waxed, but should never be wet mopped (due to the danger of buckling from the excess moisture). You’ll need to know that some species of hardwoods or engineered floors can change shade or color over the years.  That’s something you’ll want to discuss at the time of purchase, of course.  Also, remember that wood or laminate flooring in general is a good choice for about any room in the house except for bathrooms.  Regardless of what choice you make, though…whether it’s solid wood, engineered flooring or laminate…you’re going to get a long-lasting, durable, attractive floor that will need a minimum of maintenance to stay looking nice for a long time to come.