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Wood Flooring 101: Your Guide to Picking Wood Flooring

Wood Flooring 101: Your Guide to Picking Wood Flooring

Apr 1, 2022

Updating flooring is a great way to give your home a new look. Hardwood flooring is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst homeowners due to its many styles and options. Whether you have worn out wood floors in your home or are thinking about replacing tile or carpet, there are many types of wood flooring. When it comes to making a wood floor purchase, we want to provide some tips and highlight ways to pick the best wood flooring for your home.

Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

First, let’s talk solid vs. engineered hardwood flooring. These are the two major categories of hardwood flooring.

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood has many differences compared to its counterpart, engineered hardwood. For starters, it can last up to 50 years and many people, who are concerned about durability, usually go with this option. A significant advantage of solid hardwood is that it is made from a single piece of lumber, offering consistent color and grain throughout your space. It can be refinished time and time again. Another huge selling point to solid hardwood floors is the increased value it adds to your home. According to professional builders, homeowners can see a return on investment between 70%-80% of their total spend. So, if you spend $20,000 on your hardwood floors, you could see an increase of $14-000-$16,000 on the overall sale price of your home.

Drawback: Solid hardwood is more likely to warp due to water damage or excessive moisture. Areas in your home that are likely to encounter a lot of moisture (think bathrooms) are not an ideal location for hardwood installation. If your wood floors experience an unexpected water event, like flooding from frozen or burst pipes, it’s not the end of the world. Aladdin Cleaning & Restoration offers emergency restoration services for water, fire, and smoke damage. Learn more here.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood refers to floor planks with a layered construction that often features a higher-end hardwood veneer molded over a foundation of a more plentiful timber or plywood. As an authentic wood product, engineered hardwood flooring boasts a gorgeous and natural appearance. It is a fantastic alternative to solid hardwood flooring as it has more dimensional strength and can typically be less costly. Plus, it is difficult to distinguish between solid and engineered once they have been installed.

Drawback: Even though engineered hardwood is durable, it will dent and scratch over time. And because the hardwood layer is thin, it does not respond as well to refinishing and resurfacing repairs as traditional hardwood. So, if you have pets or kids that enjoy playing chase and roughhousing in the house, you may want to consider a longer-lasting hardwood option.

Types of Hardwood

If you decide to go with a hardwood plank, there are many options to choose from for your home. Determining what types of hardwood you want to install in your home can mean a lot of research. Common hardwood floor species include oak, maple, cherry, tigerwood, Amendoim, pecan, walnut, teak, European white oak, bamboo, acacia, ash, hickory, mahogany, Brazilian cherry, and birch. Some hardwood options are softer than others, so taking into account the amount of traffic it will endure over its lifetime should factor into your decision. Here’s a brief overview of the most popular options we see.


Oak takes the lead for about two-thirds of all installed hardwood flooring. Since red oak is the more common type of oak, it has become the industry standard compared to other hardwoods. Red oak has a beautiful pinkish hue and a more obvious grain pattern that hides dents and scratches well. Busy households, this might be the perfect option for you.

White oak may not conceal the dents as well as red oak, but it is more durable and dent-resistant than red oak. Since white oak wood has better chances of remaining dry and in good shape after an encounter with water, it is typically the wood of choice for entrances, kitchens, and other areas exposed to cold, moisture and other natural elements.


With maple being a top favorite as a reliable hardwood floor, your search can stop here if durability and flooring hardness are important to you. It offers a range of colors from white to reddish-brown. While most people can find a natural finish that suits their needs, if you are looking for something darker in color, maple is not the best option. The dense closed-grain wood makes it difficult to achieve a dark and uniform stain color. But what maple lacks in color range, it makes up for in durability, making it a great option for dog owners and those with rambunctious children. Not to mention, the beauty and budget of maple make this an excellent option.


Cherry is the softest wood out of the three that we are highlighting. However, it is a gorgeous wood, and its distinctive pattern that appears and disappears is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Due to high demand, you may find that pricing for cherry hardwood floors is much higher than other varieties. While its beautiful natural color has buyers eager to get their hands (or should we say feet) on it, there is a lot of maintenance required for cherry wood floors. Because it is a softer wood, it is more susceptible to dents and scratches, making it less ideal for high traffic areas. You may want to stick to areas like the bedroom or office space for this wood. Its rich cherry color is also sensitive to light. It is advised to wait about six months before placing any area rugs on the space as sunlight entering the room could darken the color during this period of time, and you want the color of your floors to remain as consistent as possible. Even with the increased maintenance, cherry wood remains a great option for those who have the patience to maintain it.

How to Complement Your Floors

Once you install your new wood flooring, you make think you’re done, but don’t forget to protect the high traffic areas to ensure they last. Hardwood flooring is a versatile option and allows you to tie a room together nicely by bringing beautiful textures and a sense of warmth into your home.

Should you decide to add an accent rug or high-traffic-area runner, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  1. Carefully clean the area before placing the rug. It is something many people forget to do, and it’s a big mistake. Trapped dust and dirt can cause micro-scratches on the hardwood that make it look dull and worn.
  2. Pick the right rug size for each room. Oversized rugs can ruin aesthetics, and you don’t want to hide those beautiful new floors.
  3. Use a non-slip rug pad to protect your floors from damage and prevent slips and falls. Seriously, don’t skip the rug pad. Here’s why.

Keeping Wood Floors Clean

You have invested the time and money in your hardwood floors, and now you need to protect your investment. By cleaning hardwood floors properly, they will last a lifetime.

Stick to a regular schedule of maintenance to keep your hardwood floors in shape:

  • Sweep, dust or dry mop daily
  • Vacuum weekly
  • Clean heavy-traffic areas with a damp mop twice a month
  • Apply a fresh coat of finish every three to five years
  • Sand and hardwood refinishing every ten years

Don’t have the time or the desire to maintain your hardwood floors? Bring in our team of experts at Aladdin Cleaning & Restoration any time, and we’ll make your wood floors look new again. Whether you need an annual floor cleaning service or a more extensive refinish or repair service, we’ve been caring for our clients’ flooring since 1956. Contact us today for a quote.

No matter your style, whether modern, farmhouse or mid-century, the options are endless for selecting an oriental rug. Colorful or neutral, we have you covered. Add a few rugs to your home and watch your space transform. Need help deciding what will work best? Contact Aladdin Rugs and get an expert’s opinion.