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5 Factors to Consider When Buying Hardwood Floor

Hardwood has long been the preferred go-to material for homeowners around the world. Whether you own a 19th-century Victorian house, mid-century modern or live in a smart home equipped with futuristic technology, hardwood floors enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property.

The benefits of hardwood go beyond simply aesthetics. However, all hardwood floors are not created equal. Carefully evaluate the different options to learn the pros and cons of every option.

To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of factors to consider when choosing a hardwood floor in Santa Rosa.

Solid Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood 

Both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood provide a variety of benefits. Solid hardwood is strong, durable, and enhances home value. Engineered hardwood is cost-effective, and extremely durable.

Solid hardwood floors consist of solid pieces of wood planks or strips, whereas engineered floors comprise multiple wood layers, like plywood, with a top finished layer of the species and color of wood you desire.

When deciding whether to buy solid hardwood or prefinished hardwood, consider the space where you will be installing the floor. Solid hardwoods can only be nail or stapled down so you must have a wood subfloor to install over. Engineered wood can also be nail or staples down but can also be glued or install in a floating installation, like Laminate floor.

Most engineered wood floors can go virtually anywhere, though many manufacturers do not recommend them in basements or bathrooms.

Length, Width, and Thickness of the Plank 

Hardwood flooring is available in a variety of plank widths.  If you are thinking of a wider width plank (anything over 5 inches) it is strongly recommended to use an engineered floor. Most solid planks and many engineered floors with a thick layer can be refinished. The thickness of the plank does not necessarily mean better quality. Normally thicker engineered floors have thicker wear layers, but this is not always the case.

Prefinished or Site Finished 

As the name suggests, prefinished floors are factory-finished. You do not have to sand, polish, or coat a prefinished floor and can be put in to service almost immediately after installation.

On the other hand, site-finished floors are sanded and coated at the time of installation. This gives you a little more flexibility when it comes to color and customizable options like borders and insets. If you choose a site-finished floor, you will have to wait for days before you can walk on it.

Before you decide, discuss the pros and cons of both options with your hardwood flooring company. 


Hardwood is available in a variety of densities, textures, and colors. When choosing a color, consider the area’s decor, your needs, preferences, and tastes. Use dark-stained wood in well-lit spaces. Light-colored hardwood such as natural Maple or Hickory can brighten a dark room. Remember wood is a natural product so the color, whether stained or natural, will have color variation not only between individual boards, but sometimes within the same board as well.

Grain Pattern 

Grain pattern primarily depends on two different things: wood species and how the wood was cut. Most floors available today are Oak.  The grade of oak, how it is cut (Quarter or rift versus straight), and species (White Oak versus Red Oak) can all play a factor in the visual grain pattern. Many of today’s floors also have manmade features such as wire brushing, hand scraping and cross cutting to add more texture to the finish product. Lighter color woods with a lot of grain such as Hickory or Oak are better at hiding unsightly scratches.

Rugworks is a leading hardwood flooring company in Santa Rosa. Whether you need design assistance or need help choosing the right flooring material for your home, our team has got you covered. Call us at (707) 935-0648 to discuss your project.

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