Wood flooring is a product manufactured from timber that is explicitly designed to be used as flooring, either structural or aesthetic. Wood is a common choice as it can come in various styles, colors, and cuts.
Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber.
It is typical for homes in New England, Eastern Canada, the USA, and Europe to have original solid wood floors.
Laminate and Vinyl floors are often confused with engineered wood floors but are not the same. Laminate flooring uses an image of wood on its surface, while vinyl flooring is plastically formed to look like wood.
Difference between Solid Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood:
Solid hardwood is always in a plank format, is generally thicker than engineered wood, and is usually installed by nailing. Engineered wood is more frequently pre-finished, and is installed with glue or as a floating installation.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
While choosing wood flooring, we need to look at its durability. There are 16 types of hardwood flooring:
- Most popular
- It has a very subtle grain pattern that works well in both large and small spaces
- Extremely durable
- Does not absorb stains.
- Oak comes in a wide variety of stain colors and almost always has a distinct grain pattern.
- Highly resistant to dents and scratches.
- It can be refinished.
- Known for its beauty and color.
- Highly durable.
- Used to make furniture, boats, and musical instruments.
- Famous for its classic and timeless look.
- Light-colored hardwood
- Less expensive compared to other hardwoods.
- Goes with any or all designs.
- More common in rustic or log homes.
- It’s a character wood, not hardwood
- Famous for pinholes and knots.
- Neither cheap nor expensive.
- Darkens with time.
- Great finish and easy to maintain.
- Common in America.
- Very strong and durable.
- Ads shine to a home.
- Black in color.
- Hardest wood.
- Now rarely available.
- Used in ornamental pieces, tribal masks, and other decorative items.
- Oak looks like Ebony.
- Extremely uniform appearance.
- Its color is a mixture of orange and brown.
- Easily damaged.
- Naturally aged teak is beautiful.
- The unique blend of traditional charm and upscale swagger to any home.
- Needs maintenance.
- One of the softwoods.
- Relatively unstable.
- Reacts to moisture.
Brazilian Tiger Wood
- Grown in Brazil.
- Expensive and very hard.
- Belongs to the birch family
- Soft hardwood.
- Less expensive compared to cherry or maple.
- Red Alder, Western Alder, Oregon alder, and Pacific coast Alder are its types.
- Hard and durable.
- Slow growing hardwood
- Disease resistant.
- They live for 300 to 400 years.
- The grain is straight and uniform with a medium texture.
- One of the softest woods.
- Used for pallets, furniture frames, cabinetry, etc.
- Last for many years.
Janka Rating Test
This is used to test the hardness of wood; it’s a measurement of the amount of force (usually in pounds of force) required to create the 200 sq indentation on the surface. There is a standard deviation associated with each. In short, the more pressure a specific type of wood can take, the higher its Janka rating. Softer woods will require less pressure to create an indentation than harder woods.
The above chart showcases the typical Janka side hardness for some of the wood types commonly used in flooring. Some woods like snakewood have Janka ratings of nearly 4000, Lbf, which is too hard to comfortably cut and otherwise work with when installing floors using traditional methods. Other types are as low on the scale as balsa at 70 Lbf; this is its raw form, is too soft to withstand, and typical foot traffic in a home.
Best Time for Hardwood Flooring
Spring season is best when installing flooring, especially wooden flooring as the wood may swell.