Choice of Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is available in a number of sizes and make-ups, each offering has its own distinct advantages. People are often surprised by the unlimited choices that wood flooring offers. Today's wood flooring is right for virtually every room. Choosing the right kind and style of wood flooring is not hard if you are familiar with several industry terms.

1. Unfinished Solid wood flooring

Unfinished flooring is a product that must be job-site sanded, stained if desired, and finished after installation. This has been the American staple in hardwood floors for many years. Commonly called "Strip flooring", this product has not changed for many years as to size, cuts & grades. A 3/4" thick unfinished strip floor can be sanded from four (4) to six (6) times in its lifetime. This type of flooring provides endless options especially if you want a custom job. Solid unfinished floors are really "A beauty of a Life time".

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2. Engineered wood flooring

Laminate wood flooring is produced by bonding layers of veneer and lumber with an adhesive. Laminate wood flooring is available in pre-finished and unfinished. These products are more dimensionally stable and are ideal for glue-down installations or float-in installations above grade, on grade or below grade, including basements and humid climates.

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3. Pre-finished wood flooring

Pre-finished wood flooring is factory sanded, stained and finished flooring that only needs installation. Comes in many colors, finishes, species and sizes. It can be solid or engineered.

Each Category has 3 Sub-Categories

  • Parquet Wood pieces forming a pattern/design-thicknesses of 1/4"- 5/16" 1/2" & 3/4" mostly glue down.
  • Strip Strip flooring is linear flooring that is usually 2 1/4", 1 1/2", or 3 1/4" wide. It creates a linear effect in a room often promoting the illusion of a large space.
  • Plank Plank flooring is also linear, however, it is wider in width. Common widths of plank flooring are 3", 5", and 6".

Quality and Grade

Like anything in life, wood floors come in different grades and quality.

It has more to do with selection of the planks. Uniformity of color, grain, knots, etc… For instance, in oak we have; clear, select or better, number 1, and number 2.

On exotic species we have - clear, select, and common:

  • Clear or First - free from most visible defects and discoloration, contains only minor visible imperfections
  • Select or Second - may contain slight imperfections, such as color variations
  • Common or Third - contains knots and color variations, often classified as "rustic" wood


The quality will be defined by the drying, milling and finishing process and the quality control of the wood. An inferior product usually has irregularities of thickness, whiteness, and bad finish.

In summary every wood floor is different; usually we get what we paid for. When comparing prices take this is consideration.

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