Hardwood floors add warmth, beauty, and value to any home. This beauty can be preserved and in some cases enhanced by having them refinished as they begin to wear. Hardwood flooring provides the most cost-effective, long-term flooring option. A quality hardwood floor, when properly maintained will literally last for decades.
There are many options when it comes to hardwood flooring materials, and choosing the right one is an elemental part of ensuring that your new floor meets both, the design style and the functionality of the space it is being installed in. One of the first steps is selecting the type or species of hardwood flooring. There are many different species of wood, and each one offers its own unique characteristics in term of natural color, texture, and hardness.
Hardwood comes in a variety of constructions as well: Solid, Engineered…
Solid is generally the 3/4″ thick type in varying plank-widths and can only be installed above-grade and usually over wood-substrate
Engineered (commonly called “laminate” but is actually WOOD, not plastic) comes in differing thicknesses, all of which feature a ply (usually wood) backing , so these can be installed ON concrete and below-grade, and recommended if you prefer wide-width-planks, with a solid “veneer” on top of varying thicknesses, pending your budget or design-preferences…
Note on pre-finished: there are many reasons to consider “pre” or “factory” finished products, all of which add up to a thicker protective coat (of urethane or waxed-oil, or whatever the particular style you’re considering), applied in ‘perfect” atmospheric-conditions, and usually with a UV-absorber (for resistance to sun-fading) and an aluminum-oxide additive for abrasion-resistance, and many times up to TEN coats as opposed to maximum THREE coats applied onsite, and the “dust” is kept to a minimum as there no sanding after the boards are installed, and you can traffic them IMMEDIATELY instead of waiting between coats and a few days before you can subject to normal wear.