So you decided to consider wood floor for your home, or one of the rooms of your home. Look for wood flooring in several different styles – solid, engineered and longstrip.
Solid wood is limited in its area of use because it is the least dimensionally stable of all the woods. It is best not to install it below grade because of moisture. So if you are considering this for a basement, solid wood is not the right choice for you. It is also good to note that today not all solid wood products need to be nailed or stapled be can be “floated” much like a laminate floor.
Engineered wood is considered more dimensionally stable than solid because it is composed of layers with the top layer or face featuring the desired wood décor. This will give you a lot of design choices and styles and textures available. Engineered wood can be installed below grade or in a basement. It can be installed directly over concrete and it is a great choice if you intend to use hardwood over radiant heat in the floor.
Longstrip engineered wood is usually 3-ply and comes in 8-inch by 8-foot lengths for quick installation by glue or stapling—or go glueless, making it the best choice for the do-it-yourselfer.
Don’t forget that factory-finished hardwood floors come with 7-10 coats of aluminum oxide finish which add to their durability and beauty and keeps the environmental mess out of your home. Look for prefinished trims in wood too.