When choosing hardwood flooring, you may be asking yourself:

  • What type of floors is out there?
  • Engineered, why are we selling engineering floors, what benefits are there?
  • What is Veneer, why is it important?
  • What type of wood is used for hardwood flooring?
  • How wide of planks can I select?
  • Is it worth paying more for thicker hardwood flooring?

Let’s try to answer these questions

All of our clients want to select the best flooring for their home.  However, the main consideration for most clients is the color and width of the flooring.  We absolutely agree that the cosmetics of the flooring should be appealing however there are many other factors that must be included in the selection of hardwood flooring. 

In this article, we will review the main factors that homeowners should consider when selecting the hardwood flooring. The key factors are the type of the floor, solid or engineered, the thickness of the floor, how much of the actual veneer wear layer is on top of the substrate. One of the most important factors is the thickness of hardwood flooring. The thickness of the floor directly reflects its longevity. There is no escaping wear and tear. Most people will not ask their guests to take off their shoes before entering. Therefore dents and scratches do happen over time. In many cases, you can fix your floor by replacing some boards. In other cases, you will need to re-sand your floor. Here is the moment that your purchase decision on veneer/ hardwood thickness counts. Sanding takes off layers of wood, the thicker your wood layer is, the more sands you will get. It’s a short term vs long term decision regarding the thickness. You can pay a bit more initially and buy a thicker/better product which gives you more sand ability. Or you can save money on your initial purchase and have a shorter life span on your floor. Eventually, you run out of wood to sand, and then you have to purchase a new product. 

  • 3mm veneer equals roughly 2-3 sands
  • 6mm veneer equals roughly 5-6 sands

Tests conducted to see how floor handles high contents of moisture, humidity, heat, and radiant heat

The market trend is wider width a longer length. As solid wood gets longer and wider the risk problems increases. Expansion and contraction can lead to warping or buckling. Engineered flooring will not have those issues because the veneer is laminated to Plywood and allows much more forgiveness. 

The benefits are again that you can go wider and longer. If you go with a ¾” or ⅞” inch that has 6 mm veneer you are not getting a lesser product then solid wood. The 6 mm veneer is equivalent to your available Sandable area above the tongue of solid wood. 

The benefits are again that you can go wider and longer. If you go with a ¾” or ⅞” inch that has 6 mm veneer you are not getting a lesser product than solid wood. The 6 mm veneer is equivalent to your available sandable area above the tongue of solid wood. 

Width generally varies based on the category of product chosen. Engineered flooring starts at 2 1/4 inch and goes all the way past 15 inches. Each product category has its own yields during production and that dictates what’s best for the mill to produce.

According to many designers, the wider the width the better it looks aesthetically in large rooms. The narrow or the width and the shorter lengths esthetically create a lot of joints that look choppy when installed.

Quality

Consumers should be paying attention to the full details listed below when buying Hardwood.

Quality depends on the total thickness of the engineered flooring, thickness of the veneer, quality of finish, length structure, and the grade of the wood. Also, substrate structure.

What type of wood is used for hardwood flooring? Most hardwood and many softwood species. Too many to list on this page. Most popular as of writing this article are oak, bamboo, and walnut. 

Current trend now is European oak. American Red Oak in White oak is probably most popular. Most hardwood species are used, the harder the wood the longer lasting it is. However, softwoods are manufactured as well but are not popular due to the lower density level. 

Vinyl & Laminate 

Vinyl & Laminate are in the same category of floors however they are not truly hardwood floors.  Vinyl and laminate floors can be considered fake. These floors are made to look like hardwood but they do not last and can’t be maintained as hardwood floors. 

For example, let’s look at 3 / 8-inch thick hardwood flooring.  Many online or retail stores will try to sell ⅜ inch thick with a 1mm wear layer. These types of hardwood floors can’t be sanded and will be a total through away when floors will need to be resurfaced. 

What is a veneer?

The veneer is the top 1/32″ to 1/4″ layer of real wood that is glued over a layer of hardwood plywood cores, or MDF/HDF cores. Engineered wood flooring offers a real wood veneer (top layer). Engineered flooring construction produces a very durable and stable floor.

Comparison Chart

PriceTypeThicknessVeneer
$1.00-$5.00Vinyl⅛”n/a
$0.80-$3.00Laminate¼”n/a
$2.00-$4.00Hardwood⅜”1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm
$3-00-$5.00Hardwood½”2mm, 3mm
$4.00-$6.00Hardwood9/16”3mm
$5.00-$7.00Hardwood⅝”3mm, 4mm
$6.00-$8.00Hardwood¾”4mm, 5mm, 6mm
$7.00-$10.00Hardwood⅞”6mm

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