Our Guide Through The Endless Wood Floor Types & Species

July 2, 2014 CCHWFinc The Los Angeles Flooring Contractors Blog


So you finally decided to make the switch over to wood flooring!
Great, Let us guide you through the endless Types of Hardwood Flooring.

Many clients, when choosing to install a new hardwood floor, often have some difficulty choosing what type, specie and finish of wood to choose. This is understandably, an important choice to make because it can determine what your floor ends up looking like and how long it may last. However, here at Century Custom Hardwood Floors in SoCal, we’re here to guide you through any choices you’ll have to make in regards to your hardwood floors.

First, you’ll have to choose between solid, engineered or laminate. Solid hardwood is just that: it is one continuous chunk of wood with no filler, made up of only one species of wood and is generally regarded as the best type of hardwood flooring. This particular type is the strongest and most durable of the three choices by far, and it is usually the thickest. Engineered hardwood is actually multiple species of wood with filler in between. The top and bottom layers are usually the same species of wood, and there is substrate wood filler in between the layers. The wood filler is usually composed of plywood or a mix of ground-up hardwoods. This is the second-best choice of the three, and varies widely in thickness and quality. Laminate flooring is actually not wood flooring, but a cheaper substitute. Depending on the manufacturer, laminate is vinyl, medium-density polyurethane, or a mix of the two. This flooring type is consistently regarded as the cheapest and worst choice of the three, but is still preferred to carpet or tile. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, namely price and durability.

Next choice is the specie of wood. As you’ve probably been told, here at Century Floors Showroom in North Hollywood, we have over 30 different species of hardwood, each with their own unique look and feel. In reality, this is almost a purely aesthetic decision. The specie of hardwood has virtually no effect on the installation process. A few of the most popular woods are: Oak, Bamboo, Maple, Cherry and Mahogany. There are various others, as well: Pecan, Hickory, Birch, Walnut, and various sub-species of each of these. The main difference between these species, other than color and design, is price. Walnut may run a little cheaper than Oak, and Bamboo is definitely more costly than most, but each has value according to its strengths. Some particular species are better suited for certain color and design schemes, but all can accommodate themselves.

After you’ve chosen the first two steps, the final decision is pre-finished vs unfinished. When a hardwood is pre-finished, it means it already has several layers/coats of chemicals that give it a certain luster, or dullness. Basically, it can come high-gloss, semi-gloss, or matte; varying shades of shine. Along with this is the color. Unfinished floors can be stained/colored to match a specific want, while pre-finished floors cannot.

Once you’ve made all of these decisions, the installation can begin. For more information on installation, please refer to its respective page. Whatever you choose, Century Floors will be there to help you choose or install your new floors. Doesn’t matter if you live in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Studio City, or Long Beach, we can get it done, be it installation, refinishing, buffing or otherwise. Give us a call today, you won’t regret it.

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