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The more you know about hardwood and its construction, the more informed you’ll be when shopping for hardwood for your next flooring project! This can help you determine its value and help you know what to look for so you can stay within your budget.

Types of hardwood flooring

Hardwood flooring is actually available in a few different forms, depending on your needs and your budget. These types vary greatly by their construction.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood is made out of solid pieces of wood that have tongue-and-groove sides. Solid hardwood can be finished or unfinished. Unfinished solid hardwood is typically made of oak. Solid hardwood:

  • Is sensitive to moisture and should not be installed below grade
  • Can be refinished and recoated multiple times
  • Expands and contracts in response to changes in humidity

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is made up of multiple thin shits, or plies, of wood that are fused together to form one plank. Then, a veneer is added to the top layer. Because of its construction, engineered hardwood:

  • Is not as affected by moisture and won’t expand or contract as solid hardwood does
  • Can be installed over any subfloor
  • Can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, or floated
  • Can take on any look and can come in many different sizes

Engineered Longstrip

Engineered longstrip consists of several wood plies that are glued together. At the center, there is a soft wood core, with a finish layer glued on top. The very top layer can resemble wood of any species. Longstrip resembles an entire section of pre-assembled flooring and is extremely versatile.