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Home > Ideas & Tips > Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide - Hardwood Flooring Types

Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide - Hardwood Flooring Types

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Hardwood Types

Solid Hardwood:

  • Is milled and constructed from single, solid, thick pieces of hardwood.
  • Is available in a variety of widths, and can be either pre-finished or unfinished (so you can sand, stain, and finish it yourself).
  • While often more expensive than alternatives, pre-finished flooring is usually available in thinner planks, which can help when transitioning your flooring from one room to another.
  • Best for rooms with controlled temperature and humidity, but can only be installed above grade, or over plywood, wood planking, or OSB subfloor.

ENGINEERED HARDWOOD:

  • Is made from three or more layers of high-density fibreboard (HDF) or medium-density fibreboard (MDF). A top layer made from real hardwood veneer is then bonded under heat and pressure.
  • Is recommended for spaces with high moisture or frequent temperature changes, like kitchens, damp basements, and locations in rainy geographic areas. Does not cup or warp during climactic changes.
  • Is constructed for optimal uniformity and dimensional stability due to its multi-ply design.
  • Can be installed over concrete under the right conditions, as in, for example, a condominium.

Not sure which type of flooring you can install in various areas of your home? Consult this handy chart to make sure you choose the right flooring type for your subfloor and desired installation level.*

Hardwood Flooring Chart

*Refer to the manufacturer's Instruction for more specific details about your floor.

Caution
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IMPORTANT: AVOID USING
SOLID HARDWOOD IN BASEMENTS

Installing a solid hardwood floor in your basement opens you up to the risks of damage from water vapour, and this kind of damage often doesn't become apparent until sometime later. As water evaporates from the groundwater in the soil beneath the concrete foundation of your home, wood floors will absorb the moisture and warp. Moreover, immediate damage can often result from flooding, drain backups, broken water pipes, or wall leaks. Replacement and repair can be very costly and time-consuming. If you're looking for wood flooring in your basement, make sure you choose engineered hardwood.

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