Flooring your house is not just about improving its curb appeal. You need a floor that’s durable, easy to maintain, and cost-friendly. This means you should only choose the best materials.
There are many types of flooring materials, but if you choose hardwood, you won’t regret it. When you have hardwood flooring, you’ll have an easy time cleaning it. And the cost of maintenance is also cheap meaning you’ll be saving on costs in the long run.
Hardwood will also give you an easy time playing around with décor as it fits any type of decoration. You will never go wrong when you change your floor type to hardwood as it’s strong and never discolors. But not all types of hardwood will work for you.
To help you get the best, we explore different types of hardwood, prices, features, pros, and cons. You’ll be better informed to make a good choice after reading this article.
In this article:
- Types of Hardwood Flooring and Prices
- Wood Species and Prices
- Hardwood flooring colors
- Hardwood Flooring Comparison
- Floorboard Patterns
- Hardwood Flooring Options by Room
- Hardwood Pros and Cons
- FAQs about Hardwood Flooring
- What Is the Most Scratch-Resistant Flooring?
- What Is the Best Hardwood Flooring?
- What Is the Most Beautiful Hardwood Flooring?
- What Is the Most Durable Hardwood Flooring?
- What Is the Best Waterproof Hardwood Flooring?
- What Is the Best Hardwood Flooring for Radiant Heat?
- What Is the Best Value of Hardwood Flooring?
Types of Hardwood Flooring and Prices
Before buying hardwood flooring, you should put into consideration many factors like pricing. Don’t limit yourself to hardwood flooring before exploring various types. You need to choose only the best and that means you must take the time to find it. Let’s have a look at different hardwood flooring and their prices.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood consists of one piece of wood measuring about 18-20mm in thickness. To fit solid hardwood, you need tongue and groove. For your flooring to be strong, it will depend on the type of wood it’s made of. Some types of flooring will be stronger than the others, so go for the durable one that will last longer.
The good thing about solid hardwood flooring is you can sand and refinish it anytime you feel like. But you should check if the depth of the tongue has room for it. You’ll never go wrong when you use solid hardwood because it will make your house have the best beautiful look. The beauty can attract potential buyers or residents if it’s for commercial use.
The disadvantage of solid hardwood flooring is its capability to swell when it’s cold. It can even reduce its size if not dry up. Also installing it is never easy since the boards keep changing shape and size. You should also know that solid hardwood is capable of magnifying sound, so you have to use mats to reduce it.
So, when installing solid hardwood ensure you put it on dry areas. The prices of solid hardwood flooring range according to size and type of wood. The cheapest raw wood goes for $15 while for the hardwood you can spend at least $82 per square meter.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood consists of three or four layers which form a 14mm board. It also has a 4mm thick wood on top of the board which you can sand or refinish whenever it chips or wears off. When you use engineered hardwood on your floors, you’ll never regret it as it lasts longer and it’s strong.
Engineered hardwood can withstand harsh weather conditions like high temperatures and dampness. You can put it in any room of your choice. Installing this flooring doesn’t need an adhesive because all you need to do is to click and lock. However, you can still use tongue and groove technology. You can buy engineered hardwood from as low as $19 to $166 per square meter.
If you love the rustic look on your floor, consider distressed hardwood flooring. Distressed hardwood passes through a particular process that makes it strong and unique. If you use distressed hardwood on your floors, it will give you the perfect wood-like.
You can also change its look easily. This is because distressed hardwood comes with a natural look that you can control as you please. The best part of having distressed hardwood flooring is that it can make your work easy when cleaning. You won’t strain cleaning daily because it’s capable of hiding dirt and dust.
Expect the prefinished distressed hardwood in various designs with a natural look. You can buy distressed wood per square foot at a cost of $6 to $23.
The name Hand-scraped is because it was hand sanded before the invention of machines. As you expect, a hand-scraped hardwood will have ununiformed patches and scratches. Hand-scraped flooring was common years back, but it’s making a major come back now.
If you have hand-scraped flooring your home will be a sight to behold because it’s the in-thing now. You can play around with décor if you have hand-scraped flooring as it can match any decoration. Although hand-scraped flooring will make your house beautiful, installing it is never cheap. It also takes time to do the fitting.
You can spend $3 to $8 per square foot for installation. The labor charges are also expensive meaning you’ll spend a lot of money getting the desired look. The amount you can spend when buying a square foot hand-scraped hardwood ranges from $10 to $25. The price also varies according to the wood species you choose.
If you’re looking for flooring that has a permanent new look, it’s prefinished hardwood. Prefinished hardwood is durable and capable of changing its look anytime as you wish. It comes in various colors that you can choose from.
When you buy prefinished hardwood, expect to spend more money as it’s expensive. It costs at least $3-$20 per square foot. But you’ll save on cost when installing as it’s a bit cheaper to install. You can save up to $5 per square foot.
Fixing prefinished hardwood will save you from constant dust and dirt on floors. The best thing about prefinished hardwood is its installation. Fixing them takes less time, and you can walk on it immediately after their fixation is over.
Prefinished hardwood comes in various sizes ranging from 3-4 inches wide. So, you can pick on any size according to the room’s size.
When you prefer installing your flooring from scratch, consider buying unfinished hardwood. The finishing of unfinished wood can take place at the building site. You’ll have a variety to choose from if you pick unfinished hardwood.
The unfinished hardwood also comes in different colors, shapes, and texture. The common type of unfinished hardwood is red oak and boardwalk which are 21/4 inches thick. To install unfinished hardwood per square foot, you’ll spend around $14 to $25.
Did you know that you can use second-hand flooring to give your home a new look? Well when you buy reclaimed hardwood, you’ll be using pre-used flooring. You can fit the flooring anywhere in the house, except in the kitchen and bathroom. Avoid these places because they’re too dumb and this can cause the floor to burst.
Suppose you’re budgeting for reclaimed hardwood spare $25 to $100 per square meter. But the prices can vary according to your location and their condition. Once you buy the reclaimed hardwood, you can change the color or sand it.
Wood Species and Prices
There are many species of hardwood that you can use for flooring. Each hardwood species has different colors, grain design, and toughness. So, it would help if you scrutinized before settling for one. Here are the different wood species and their prices.
You’ve certainly seen oak flooring as most people prefer installing it in their homes. There are different types of oaks, like red and white oaks. The perfect choice for flooring is red oak with a Janka rating of 1290. It has many colors ranging from creamy pink to rusty brown, giving you a variety to choose from. You can blend red oak with any décor combination as it has great grain features.
White oak is stronger than red oak with a Janka rating of 1360, making it a high-quality choice. It has grey pigmentations with various color and grain ranges. White oak will give your floor a gentle and classy look suitable for any house design. Oak cost per square foot is $3-$14.
Mahogany has a high value because of its beauty and cool color combination. You should install mahogany on your floors because it’s strong and can repel water. Mahogany wood also has high durability. You’ll never regret having mahogany flooring as it will give your house a new and unique look. The least you can spend per square foot on mahogany ranges from $8 to $14.
If you’re not keen, you can confuse lyptus for mahogany since they resemble. The only difference between the woods is pricing. Lyptus is a strong wood that doesn’t give a hard time milling or finishing. It will cost you $5 to $11 per square foot.
You should choose the hickory because of its outstanding strength. It will also be with fewer damages if you maintain it in good shape. The color range of hickory is between light tan to reddish-brown.
But you can also get its creamy white color though rarely. It has striking grain designs which make it a good choice for any building and its cost per square foot is between $3-$6.
Related: Types of Hickory Trees
If you’re the clean freak, ash flooring is for you. This one features a bright color that requires cleanliness. It contains an agile wood grain design that makes it have a beautiful look. Ash gives you a gentle feel on your feet hence no need for a rug.
The disadvantage of ash wood is it’s not very strong. You’ll have to do regular maintenance and keep it clean always. Ash hardwood flooring goes for $7 to $18 per square foot.
Having pine flooring isn’t the best option as it’s not hardwood. However, it’s marketable because of its features. If you want smooth flooring, pine will be a great pick. It costs around $4-$6 per square foot relating to thickness and size.
Related: Types of Pine Trees
Cherry comes in various colors which changes over time, but it’s cheap to maintain. It scratches fast and it’s very challenging to install. It appears nice after you sand it. Cherry flooring per square foot can cost you around $3-$ eight. This depends on the place you buy them from and their size.
Popularly known as jatoba, Brazilian cherry is wood with deep burgundy color. It’s common in areas like Peru and Mexico. It’s a hardwood that requires expertise when installing. You can buy a square foot of Brazilian cherry at $4-$9.
If you’re looking for durability for your flooring go for walnut hardwood. But be ready to spend more money. Walnut comes in a dark brown color with a perfect shine. Buy a square foot of walnut at a price ranging from $4 to $9.
Rosewood contains rare grain designs, and it’s either in light yellow or purple color. Before turning into a flooring board, rosewood was great in the furniture world. It makes your home have a sweet smell just like the real rosewood scent. Rosewood one square foot goes for $5-$10.
Maple is one of the well-known hardwoods with good quality grains. Most bowling alleys consist of maple flooring. It’s a strong hardwood with a fine-grain design that can hide stains well. With time Maple changes its color to yellow. You can buy one square foot of maple at $6 to $14.
Read also: Maple vs Oak Flooring
Although people take bamboo as hardwood because of its hardness, it should be in the class of grasses. Bamboo has two major color shades like the carbonized and light-colored. Its cost per square foot varies from $2 to $7.
There are two main types of birch hardwood; yellow and red birch. The yellow birch consists of sapwood which has a yellow shade, but the main color is creamy white. The red birch comprises the heartwood whose main pigmentation is golden brown. However, it can have some red patches.
Birch has smooth curls that are hard to spot. The average cost of one square foot of birch falls at $2 to $11.
Suppose you prefer flooring that is strong and would last long enough, go for teak. Teak is gaining fame in the hardwood flooring species. Be sure that your teak flooring will give your home the desired look. The disadvantage of having teak hardwood is you’ll need to oil it to maintain it in good shape. The price of teak per square feet ranges between $5 to 10.
Suppose you’re looking for a cheaper version of maple or cherry you can settle for alder. But you should know that alder is a soft hardwood. Alder has other names like western alder, Oregon, and red alder. It has a smooth and uniform surface with a perfect grain pattern. The great designs will make your floor beautiful. To buy alder per square foot budget for $3-$6 while to fix it has at least $3 or $5.
Ebony is one of the toughest hardwoods you’ll love to have on your floor. Although it’s heavy, it can still float on water, and it’s found in Africa and Asia. The fact that it’s a rare species makes ebony hardwood very expensive. It costs about 40-60%, more than teak. You can install ebony wood on the floor of any room because it’s a floating floor that can withstand water or moisture.
Poplar has other names like Tulip poplar, and it’s the longest hardwood species. It’s creamy to yellowish-brown with patches of green. Poplar’s grain is level and even with medium touch. Most people refer to it as soft hardwood, and it’s not heavy and very cheap.
You can match it with any décor since you can paint it in your best color. To buy poplar wood has at least $ 1.5 for each square foot and to fix its budget with $3-$5.
Related: Types of poplar trees
Acacia wood is dark brown with a Janka rating ranging from 1700 to 2200. This means it’s a hard and strong wood. You can install acacia wood on any floor since its water repellant and strong. Having acacia on your floors will save you on maintenance costs since they hardly scratch or peel off.
The cost of acacia per square foot goes from $2 to $4 depending on the place you buy it from and the thickness.
Cork comes from the back of the oak tree where it’s peeled off the tree after some years. Cork has high impermeability making it a good choice for the floors. When it’s impermeable, it won’t allow water to pass through. It’s also a durable wood that takes time before it starts having dents.
The cost of cork per square foot is around $1 to $4, depending on the place of purchase.
If you’re looking for a durable wood species, go for cypress which also has a perfect size. The wood has many colors like its sapwood has a light pigmentation. At the same time, the heartwood colors range from pale yellow to reddish-brown. You won’t stress about your floors rotting as the cypress is waterproof. Cypress has a Janka score of 1750, and it costs 48 per square foot.
Eucalyptus has varying colors like the heartwood is between red to reddish-brown. In contrast, the sapwood is light cream. You can paint eucalyptus into any color you want to meet your demands as it absorbs paints well. It’s durable and capable of repelling water.
Eucalyptus is a very strong wood with a Janka score of 4000 with each square foot costing $3 to $6.
Pecan is a common wood species in North America and is well known for its durability. Its features can make your floor attractive and unique. Pecan has various colors ranging from white to reddish-brown. You can change the pecan look by painting. Pecan and hickory are always mixed, and then they’re sold as hickory. The price of pecan falls at $4 to $7 per square foot.
Beech trees grow around Asia and Europe and take time to mature. Beech has various colors like pink, brown, or a lighter shade of creamy. The prices range from $4 to $10 for each square foot of installation.
Douglas fir is strong softwood that has a heartwood color of reddish-brown and creamy white. It’s a strong wood that is waterproof meaning it will make your floors last longer. Fixing Douglas fir wood is easy, and you can sand it to give it a new look. You can buy Douglas fir per square foot at $8.
Cedar is one of the well-known wood species in North America with its great feature being its sweet scent. Most people use it to build their homes because of their strength and waterproof property. When you fix it on your floors, it will chase away pests and last longer making it a better option for flooring. Get cedarwood for at least $1 for each square foot.
Hardwood flooring colors
Hardwood Flooring Comparison
You need to compare different types of hardwood flooring to be able to choose the best which meets your demands and budget. Every type of hardwood flooring has a unique feature and that’ all you need. But not every feature appeals to everyone. Let’s compare the different features to help you choose the best.
Solid vs. Laminate Hardwood
The main difference between the two types of flooring is their thickness. Also, there’s a difference in their material composition. Solid floorboards are ¾ inch in thickness and have a smooth texture. Solid floorboards have tongue and groove ends that hold the boards. Solid hardwood is durable. It’s made from a piece of wood that is crafted to different shapes of boards.
Laminate is ½ inch thick and comes with click and lock ends. It has different layers that have a coating which prevents it from getting scratches or dirt. The durability of the laminate is greater than that of solid hardwood.
Unfinished vs. Finished Hardwood
If you want your flooring to be unique and made as per your wish, then unfinished hardwood is a great pick. After fixing the hardwood, you can paint the flooring to protect it from damage. The painting option makes it a good choice for the kitchen. The paint coating will stop water from squeezing through the boards.
Finished hardwood comes ready to fix flooring since it’s sanded and sealed by the manufacturers. So it will take less time fixing. You can also walk on it immediately after installation.
Bamboo vs. Engineered Hardwood
Bamboo is still new in the flooring world. But because of its outstanding features like its strength, it has managed to gain a lot of popularity. Bamboo is environmentally friendly and withstands any weather condition.
Engineered hardwood comprises different layers which makes it thick and strong. Its many layers make it a good pick for areas with problems like dampness and high temperatures. Engineered hardwood is expensive, but it lasts longer.
When you’re building your house, you want every detail to count. And for it to be the best floor pattern has to be part of the plan. You should ensure that the floor design is attractive and capable of matching with another décor. Read along to know the floorboard patterns you can use on your floors.
The straight pattern is a popular method which people prefer when fixing their floors. With this pattern, you horizontally place the planks in the room to give it a simple but plain look. The straight pattern gives an easy time when arranging décor and when playing around with the theme.
In this pattern, the boards cover the room from one corner to the other. Installing it is never easy as it requires keenness and expertise. Once you install the pattern, it will enhance the beauty of the room. It will also bring out the distinctive features of the room. You can use this pattern in any room of your choice, especially the bathroom.
Herringbone is gaining popularity with many people opting for the pattern. It’s not fit for small rooms since it makes them look tiny. The pattern makes the floor durable since you place the boards close and tight and close to each other reducing friction. You can install Herringbone either in parallel or diagonal position.
There are some similarities between Chevron and Herringbone. For example, they’ve got the same size and zig-zag pattern. The only way you can differentiate them is when you divide the boards into a rectangular shape. Then put their edges side by side to make a herringbone.
You need to part a chevron by angles to make a straight line which joins at the edges. Chevron is common with the decors of Versailles of any room.
Parquet is one of the oldest flooring patterns that were meant for the rich class only. However, it’s now coming back into the market. It entails different designs in one look and varieties. For example, Herringbone, brick, and basket weave.
Hardwood Flooring Options by Room
When you are choosing the design for your floors, each room can have its flooring pattern. Here are the options for every room.
When choosing hardwood for your kitchen, look for the water-resistant one. It should also be moisture tolerant since this room is full of water use. You can opt for solid unfinished boards. The solid unfinished boards allow you to fix then paint the surface giving it a strong water seal.
You can also use engineered boards that consist of a thin layer with a coating at the bottom. Engineered boards are capable of floating on top of surfaces after installation which makes them good for the kitchen.
The living room is the center stage of the house. Therefore, your living room should have hardwood that can make it beautiful and attractive. The flooring should also blend well with the type of décor you intend to put in place.
You can pick any color of hardwood according to your taste. With hardwood flooring, you’ll have a variety to choose from. All depending on the size and pattern you prefer. Some of the species you can pick are walnut, oak, or cherry.
Hardwood for the bathroom will never go wrong as it provides warmth, beauty, and it can last longer. All you need to ensure is regular maintenance of the floor to add its lifespan. You also need to have the bathroom floor uniform to prevent flooding, which can damage them.
The best hardwood flooring you can install in the bathroom is engineered hardwood as it’s made of several layers that can withstand the constant splashing of water. Engineered hardwood also has many layers making it strong and durable. The properties of engineered hardwood make it fit for the bathroom.
To make your basement floor strong, you should first put a subfloor. The subfloor layer comes before installing the hardwood. The subfloor will prevent hardwood flooring from moisture or water. One of the hardwoods for your basement is laminate. Laminate wood has a plastic coating that makes it water-resistant. It’s also easy to maintain and fix.
You can also install engineered wood because it’s durable and water-resistant. This hardwood enables your floor to withstand extreme dampness.
Hardwood Pros and Cons
Like any flooring option, there must be its good side and disadvantages. You should consider both before choosing the type to fix in your home. Below are the pros and cons of installing hardwood on your floors.
When you install hardwood flooring, it will save you from the ongoing cost of maintenance. Hardwood can last up to a hundred years if you keep them in good shape. The flooring comprises the best types of woods, making your floors strong and durable. The woods are also of high quality with great features that can withstand any condition.
Hardwood Has Various Species
With hardwood flooring, you have various species to choose from. You can look at each wood species feature, cost, and durability and pick on the one that meets your budget and needs. Some hardwood species also allows you to paint them to the color of your choice. The species you can choose from are Brazilian cherry, oak, or cypress.
Simple to Maintain
After installing hardwood flooring, all you need to make it clean is either mop, vacuum, or dry. Hardwood also doesn’t hide much dirt and dust, giving you easy work as you clean. With a wooden floor, you won’t worry about pests or water on the surface. Wooden floors are capable of repelling the pests since they’re from hardwoods.
The High Cost of Installation
If you compare hardwood to other flooring types, you’ll realize it’s much more expensive. The installation and buying price are also high. It also requires a subfloor to make it durable, which is an extra cost. The maintenance cost of hardwood is also high.
Gets Scratches and Dents Faster
Hardwood flooring is prone to scratches and dents, so you have to take care of them and maintain it over time. When your floors have scratches, your family members are not as safe as they can get injuries. You also need to be extra careful with the dents as they can harm your children.
Can House Fungi
If you leave your floors wet always expect fungi and fungi to be part of your family because they love dumb places. Since wood flooring is prone to have scratches and dents, the dents can become a brooding ground for such plants that can spread to other parts. When the fungi are all over the floor, you have to change them, giving you unnecessary expenses.
FAQs about Hardwood Flooring
What Is the Most Scratch-Resistant Flooring?
Pure wood flooring can’t resist having scratches, though the timing for getting them might be different. It will depend on how you maintain the floor. But you can paint the wood to protect it from scratches. The most scratch-resistant flooring, in this case, should be strong and durable.
What Is the Best Hardwood Flooring?
The best hardwood flooring is that which is made from any wood species that is easy to find and is very strong. Some of the strong hardwood floorings include oak, cherry, or maple. You can also opt for bamboo, ash, or mahogany to have the best flooring ever.
What Is the Most Beautiful Hardwood Flooring?
As you know, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So, it means the most beautiful hardwood flooring depends on your taste. But most people prefer exotic hardwood such as mahogany or Brazilian cherry.
What Is the Most Durable Hardwood Flooring?
If you’re looking for the most durable hardwood flooring, pick bamboo. Bamboo wood goes through a rigorous manufacturing procedure that hardens it. The process makes it stand out between other species if you consider durability.
What Is the Best Waterproof Hardwood Flooring?
Don’t expect to get a hardwood that is purely waterproof as the marketers say. But there are some species which try to meet the credential like bamboo. Engineered hardwood flooring is also waterproof. The two are capable of resisting water and moisture over time.
What Is the Best Hardwood Flooring for Radiant Heat?
Suppose you’re looking for the best hardwood for radiant heat pick on either bamboo or engineered. You can fix both of the bamboo and engineered flooring as a floating floor which is rare to become musty. The unique feature of the two hardwood species makes them the best hardwood for radiant heat.
What Is the Best Value of Hardwood Flooring?
Suppose you’re searching for a wood type that will save your money and give you a high-quality look go for oak. Finding oak is not as hard as it’s easy to access, which makes it cheap if you compare it to other species. Oak also has high durability, which will not make your floors scratch fast.
Hardwood flooring is gaining fame with most homeowners opting for it. The hardwood flooring can give their floor a beautiful look making it the best choice for any part of the house. When you want to buy hardwood flooring, ensure you do a serious search. It will help you get the best wood species which will make your floor have a unique look.
Don’t forget to check on their pricing to enable your budget well. You should also remember that each room can have different flooring. So, choose according to your preference for pattern and wood species but still consider the condition of the room.