You might think all hardwoods are the same, but you actually have two major choices. The first is solid hardwood flooring, which is one piece of solid wood throughout. The other is engineered flooring, which consists of a backing material topped with a veneer of real wood. With both of these types of flooring, you have species choices as well, both domestic and exotic, with more choices in solid wood.
Your specific needs will go a long way in determining the type of species you choose. For instance, if your home experiences a high level of traffic, you will want to go with a species that is very hard, so that it won’t become prematurely worn. Lower traffic levels allow for softer woods. Be sure to tell your flooring professional exactly what your traffic levels are in the rooms you need to refloor.
Another choice you’ll have to make is what type of finish you’ll want on your hardwood floors.Some of those choices include brushed, hand-scraped, distressed, high gloss, matte and semi-gloss. Finishes such as brushed and hand-scraped can help to hide many signs of everyday wear and tear including scratches, scuffs and dings, while finishes like high gloss are often used where heavy traffic isn’t usually an issue.
Hardwood flooring is also popular because it can be refinished. Solid wood can be refinished several times over the course of its lifespan, while engineered wood can be refinished at least once, and maybe twice, if thick enough.