Wood Flooring: What Every Buyer Should Know


Should you go for wood?

Finding an answer to this question should be relatively easy if you have done your research on this classic home improvement material.

If you are still in the process of learning about building with timber, you have come to the right place! Read on build the insights you need to make informed decisions about wood flooring.

General Facts

Timber is a prized building material for its long-wearing qualities, beauty, restorability, renewability, and eco-friendliness. It is also easy to maintain and unlike the synthetic options, can be sanded or buffed multiple times to make it look like new.

Since wood is organic, it tends to expand and contract according to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This quality influences how timber-based flooring must be maintained and installed.


Many kinds of wood are used to cover floors. One is ash, which looks like oak, but is very hard to finish. Maple and birch can also be used, giving dark rooms a lighter look with their bright color.  Because of their closed pores, these woods have a very smooth surface.

Another type is bamboo, which is technically grass, but is included in the wood flooring category because it has the look and feel of timber. This is an economical choice and is considered as durable as oak.

Walnut and cherry are respectively brown and reddish brown timbers.  Both are stable, easy to work with, tough, attractive, and expensive.

Oak, one of the popular choices, comes in two varieties, red and white. It is generally light in color with a black grain. Some manufacturers stain this material to make it look darker than normal.

Pine, fir, and hemlock are softer woods and can show dents easily. These tend to give a rustic look and are not used in formal settings in the home.

Flooring Varieties

Generally, you will find two varieties of wood flooring: solid and engineered.  The parts of solid flooring are whole strips cut out from tree trunks, but engineered flooring consists of different layers of materials, some of which are synthetic. The top part is usually made of authentic wood. Others types of engineered flooring, however, have very little or no timber content, but have the appearance of lumber.

Solid flooring strips are usually unfinished and need to be sanded and buffed after installation. The engineered strips are typically prefinished and need no further treatment after they are laid. As such, rooms installed with engineered flooring can be used immediately after installation; however, they cannot be sanded for more than four or five times.


Solid wood flooring should be acclimatized before it is laid on base floors. This allows for proper expansion and prevents the slabs from expanding out of place.

Engineered flooring, however, needs no pre-installation preparations. Engineered strips can be laid on the day of delivery, unlike the solid flooring strips which need to be stored for 2-7 days in the room where they will be installed to help them adjust to the humidity of your house.

Installers typically use one of four different installation systems for wood flooring: click, glue-down, tongue-and-groove, and floor connection. The installer will also need to prepare with underlays when installing solid wood flooring on concrete floors.  Finally, solid wood flooring cannot be installed in basements or other Below Grade bases.

In determining which kind to buy for your own home, consider the material, cost, installation system, and maintenance. This way, you pick the type that perfectly fits your lifestyle, residential structure, and taste.

The author of this article, Arian is a Home Improvement expert and blogger writing on topics related to Wood Flooring in NJ.


Author: Niviadevidson714

About the Author: Arian A. is a professional writer. Follow him on Google+.