Hardwood Flooring Types
Understanding the main hardwood flooring types will help you make the best decision for your home. At Creek & Hollow, we carry both unfinished and prefinished solid hardwood and prefinished engineered hardwood. Once you choose the type of wood you want, there is a wide variety of species to choose from. View the different species we carry.
Solid Hardwood Floors
Solid hardwood is a single piece of wood constructed entirely from the same species of wood. Due to its natural characteristics, it is not dimensionally stable which means that it expands and contracts until it reaches equilibrium with the humidity in the environment. Because of this, solid hardwood should not be installed in below grade spaces like basements as the excessive moisture from the ground would cause the wood to eventually buckle or cup. Solid hardwood can be harvested from both exotic and native North American trees, and it can be unfinished or prefinished. Solid hardwood can be sanded and refinished many times if it becomes worn from use.
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Engineered hardwood is constructed by bonding together 3 or more plies together with an adhesive to form one plank, and the top layer is the desired species of wood giving it the look you want. Each ply is stacked on top of the one beneath it in alternating directions which causes it to be dimensionally stable. Because it isn’t negatively affected by moisture levels like solid hardwoods, engineered hardwood floors can be installed on every level including below grade. The top layer of engineered hardwood can be harvested from exotic or native North American trees. It is available unfinished or prefinished at the factory.
View our engineered hardwood floors:
A protective coating and stain is not applied to unfinished hardwood until it is installed on site. This allows for complete customization of the color outcome and can be matched with the trim. Unfinished hardwood takes significantly more time to install as each coating (typically 3) requires nearly a day to dry and cannot be walked until then. Unfinished wood often costs less for the material but more to install and finish.
Prefinished hardwood has been stained and finished at the factory before installation. There are endless varieties of prefinished wood which makes it easier to find the color you are looking for. Prefinished hardwood can be installed and is immediately ready to use – there is no waiting for finishes to dry, so the installation time is much less. Prefinished wood often has between three and nine coats of finish and a UV-cured urethane protective coating.