Wood floors work well in any home, with any type of home style or decor, from modern to traditional and even country. Wood is durable and strong and withstands lots of abuse, while also being hygienic and easy to clean. If you're shopping for a new flooring option for your home and are thinking of wood, or an alternative to actual timber, note this quick guide to various types of wood flooring you might consider.
Solid versus engineered
Solid hardwood, as the name implies, is a piece of solid wood that is cut into a plank and then glued or nailed to the subfloor. Solid hardwood can be sanded down several times over the course of its lifetime, so you can remove chips, nicks, and scratches, and then repaint or otherwise refinish the floor. Engineered hardwood is a thin layer of a wood species glued to several layers of plywood. Engineered wood can only be sanded a few times before it becomes very thin; in some cases, you may only be able to sand an engineered wood floor once before it then needs eventual replacing!
While engineered timber might have a shorter lifespan, it's less prone to absorbing moisture and then expanding and shrinking. Solid hardwood is rarely recommended for basements or tropical areas because of how easily it absorbs humidity, so keep this in mind when choosing between solid versus engineered hardwood.
Reclaimed versus new
Reclaimed or salvaged flooring has been removed from another home. This is an excellent choice if you prefer wood slats with more character, or if you're installing the floor in an older house and want the surface to look a bit aged. Reclaimed or salvaged flooring often has different colour tones and shades that have become noticeable as the wood has aged, so don't hesitate to shop for reclaimed flooring versus new floorboards if you want something very unique for your home.
For more durability than actual wood, look for wood laminate flooring. Laminate floors have a thin but hard plastic upper layer, so they're an excellent choice for homes with heavy foot traffic. Laminate floors may also be easier to install than solid hardwood, making them a good DIY option; these tiles can even be used in caravans and other areas where there is not a quality subfloor, or where solid hardwood may absorb too much humidity. This can allow you to match a basement or other such floor with a solid hardwood floor that you install in the rest of your home.