How to shop for hardwood flooring

Wood floors add a lot of charm and elegance to a home. They also increase property values, last for decades, and never go out of style. It's vital to select the right hardwood, though, and there are many factors to consider.

Engineered wood flooring vs. solid

While solid wood is one thickness through the plank, engineered is layered. It is this construction that makes it stable and better able to handle water. At the top is one thick slab, with undertones, knots, raised grains, and swirls.

Underneath is a top layer of genuine wood combined with wood with some resins and placed in a crosswise position. As a result, the planks don't expand and shrink to adjust to the weather, so no acclimation is necessary. The boards are also less prone to warping, and because of this, the floor can be placed in some higher-than-normal moisture areas where solid cannot be installed. Engineered hardwood floors are now taking a major share of the wood floor industry because they appeal to those who want both beauty and practicality.

Request an estimate



* *

Thickness and sanding

Whether you choose solid or engineered wood, thickness will matter. It's not a matter of durability per se, but that of sanding. The ideal thickness for solid is ¾-inch, and it can be sanded up to six times. Engineered has a range from ⅝-inch to ½-inch, and, depending upon that number, it can be sanded up to five times. Both solid and engineered wood lasts for decades.

Species selection

You'll have a wide selection of both domestic and exotic species from which to choose. Domestics harvested within North America tend to be warmer and more traditional. Exotics, which are harvested from Brazil, Indonesia, and Africa, are darker and more dramatic. Popular ones are currently hickory, oak (both red and white), maple, walnut, and cherry.

If durability is a big issue for you, you might also go to the Janka Scale of Hardness, a rating system for wood strength. Hickory is considered the hardest domestic at a number of 1290. Many flooring retailers use that number as a benchmark.

At Fred Nickel Tile, our motto is "the perfect blend of quality products and expert installation." Solid hardwood flooring is a tongue and groove, nail down installation, and subfloor restoration. Engineered floors can be a floating floor installation that clicks, mats, and hovers over the subfloor. To learn more about wood floors, homeowners in Ocala, FL, The Villages, FL, Belleview, FL,Leesburg, FL, or Wildwood, FL can visit either of our showrooms in Ocala, FL or The Villages, FL.