Hardwood flooring creates a warm, inviting atmosphere. With some basic knowledge of the different types of hardwood flooring available, you can determine which hardwood flooring type best fits the look, feel and function of your commercial space.
Types of Hardwood Flooring
Understanding the different types of hardwood flooring available can help you to choose the right one for your space. The main types to consider are:
- Solid Hardwood Flooring: 100% Natural for a Long-Lasting Look
Solid hardwood is made from 100% natural material and comes in one solid piece of wood. Solid hardwood flooring can be produced from a wide selection of species, including oak, cherry, hickory, maple, birch and more. Some businesses opt for a solid hardwood floor because this flooring type can be sanded and refinished multiple times, preserving the look and investment of your floor. However, solid hardwood can expand or contract due to changes in moisture or humidity. As such, businesses should avoid installing solid hardwood in areas that are susceptible to these types of conditions.
- Engineered Hardwood Flooring: Get Stability and Installation Flexibility
Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood is made up of multiple layers of wood, which can be made from the same or from different wood species. Because the grain of each wood layer runs in different directions, engineered hardwood is less susceptible to shrinkage or expansion due to heat or moisture changes. It can also be sanded and refinished to maintain its appearance, but less often than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood is one of the most common flooring options as it can be relatively easy to install and can be placed over many different types of subfloors.
- Unfinished vs. Prefinished Hardwood Flooring
All hardwood flooring requires a finish, which gives it a protective top-coat while also providing shine and highlighting the beauty of the hardwood. Commercial hardwood flooring types come either unfinished or finished.
Unfinished hardwood flooring means that the factory provides the flooring as is and a finish, along with sanding and staining, is applied onsite during the installation process. As such, unfinished hardwood flooring will take longer to install, though it does have the advantage of being custom stained to match an interior space.
Most businesses choose prefinished hardwood flooring because it is faster, easier, and cleaner to install. Prefinished hardwood flooring is also very durable and hard, making it a great flooring solution for high-traffic areas.
With prefinished hardwood flooring, different finish options may also be available to match the conditions of your business’ interior. This includes polyurethane; oil-based urethane; water-based urethane; and natural varnishes, lacquers and shellacs.