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How To Select Hardwood Flooring

Are you thinking about redesigning a space in your home? Flooring is a crucial design element, as functionality is just as important as aesthetics when it comes to picking out new flooring options. Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular and traditional flooring options available, as it's high-quality, durable, and easy to maintain.

However, there are a ton of different hardwood species options available, so it's challenging to know which flooring will meet your needs best. Some options may be more durable than others. Or, you may find that some species fit your budget better. 

Whatever your needs may be, having knowledge of the different hardwood species available will help you come to a suitable decision. We'll go over some of the most common types of species available, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to select the best flooring to fit your needs.

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What Should You Consider as You Browse Hardwood Species?

Hardwood has been a popular flooring choice across American homes for generations. It is durable, elegant, and practical. When you need a floor that's easy to clean or versatile enough to blend with unique home styles, hardwood flooring is often one of the most recommended choices. 

Figuring out which hardwood flooring type is right for your home is not always easy. There are a lot of options on the market. However, as you browse through different products, it's important to keep in mind your price range, style preferences, and whether you plan on installing the flooring yourself, as some options will suit your needs better than others.

Bamboo Flooring

As one of the most popular hardwood flooring types available on the market, bamboo flooring has an excellent reputation for durability and budget-friendly prices. However, Bamboo is not actually wood. It's a type of grass commonly found in Asia. It's important to note that because bamboo is grass, it's more affected by moisture than other hardwood options.

Stranded bamboo flooring is one of the most durable flooring options, as the stalks are shredded and then heated together to form planks. Like laminate flooring options, stranded bamboo flooring comes in a lot of different color options that mimic the look of other hardwood flooring types, like cherry or oak. 

However, stranded bamboo doesn't have a natural appearance, so it tends to resemble laminate flooring instead of actual hardwood. If you want a look that's more authentic, then horizontal bamboo flooring is the closest option, though it's less durable than stranded bamboo flooring. With this option, you'll see the grains and nodes on the planks.

Domestic Hardwood Species

If you're looking for some of the most reliable and solid hardwood flooring types, domestic hardwood species are particularly durable and functional. The most common types of domestic hardwood species include oak, cherry, and maple. These types of hardwood species are popular across America because of their hardness and durability. 

Domestic hardwood species provide that traditional appearance that many homes in North America embrace. This type of hardwood is also easily attainable, as it's usually in stock and less expensive than other hardwood options, because of shorter shipping distances. 

Shaw Floorte Pro Endura Plus
Shaw Floorte Pro Urban Organics

Engineered Domestic Hardwood Species

Engineered domestic hardwood has the appearance of solid hardwood thanks to its veneer, but has a plywood core. This type of hardwood is super durable, making it a popular choice for households. It's also often easier and cheaper to install than solid hardwood. So, if you are looking for the best DIY option, you might want to consider click-together engineered hardwood options.

However, there are some disadvantages to choosing an engineered domestic hardwood. Because the attractive part of the plank is a veneer, it often cannot be sanded down and refinished. Especially, if the flooring has thin veneers, the lifespan of your floors will drastically reduce. 

Exotic Hardwood Species

Some people may be interested in exotic hardwood species because of their aesthetics and durability. Aesthetically, exotic hardwood species are highly sought after because of their vivid color contrasts and interesting grain patterns. If you're after a stylish and contemporary look, then you'll probably prefer exotic species over traditional domestic hardwood. 

Exotic species are also more durable than domestic wood. This advantage makes this type of flooring perfect for high-traffic areas. It's also great for long-term durability, as it's more scratch-resistant and stronger than other types of hardwood.

The biggest disadvantage of exotic hardwood species is the price. Since the wood is typically imported from places like South America, Africa, and Asia, the cost of this type of flooring is much higher than domestic wood. 

Engineered Exotic Hardwood Species

If you love the look of exotic hardwood species but want to save some money, opting for engineered exotic hardwood will help you stay within budget. Since engineered wood uses less expensive wood, it often costs less than solid hardwood planks. 

However, just like other types of engineered hardwood, this type of flooring is still prone to moisture and sun damage. It also requires just as much maintenance as solid hardwood flooring. So if you are looking for flooring that requires little to no maintenance, then you're better off with a different type of flooring, like laminate. 

Natural hardwood flooring is a great investment for your home and adds a sophisticated design element to any space. While you consider the different types of hardwood available, you'll need to keep in mind your lifestyle, budget, and style preferences. Though you may love the appearance of exotic hardwood species, the price may not fit into your budget. If you're looking to stay in your preferred price range, but you still want the luxury of solid hardwood flooring, then choosing a domestic hardwood floor is a great option. We have all different types of hardwood flooring options available at different price points, so you'll be able to choose the flooring that's right for your space.

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