5 Different Types of Hardwood Floors & Their Characteristics

Hardwood floors offer a beautiful, practical decorative element to your home. Depending on the color and width of your boards, you can completely change the look from Scandinavian minimalist to ornate maximalism. 

In this post, you’ll discover the different types of hardwood floors and their characteristics.

Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When hardwood flooring comes to mind, most people think of solid wood. But there are actually two different types of hardwood flooring: solid and engineered.

Solid wood flooring pieces are a single piece from your preferred wood species. While it is the most durable, it’s also vulnerable to natural elements like moisture and humidity. Solid wood floors can begin warping or cupping, creating gaps between boards, when exposed to extreme temperatures or moisture.

Engineered flooring is a bit more forgiving, though not as durable. It’s constructed from several thin layers of wood compressed together with resin and polymers. A slice of hardwood is then laid on the top and bottom.

Because the boards fit together like groves in a puzzle, engineered floors can be installed over any floor, including tile and cement. Engineered floors are more affordable than solid hardwood and less susceptible to moisture damage and humidity levels. However, the majority of engineered floors come pre-finished and cannot be refinished more than once or maybe twice.

Whether solid or engineered, select a species that fits your durability and aesthetic needs.

Photo of empty living room with finished hardwood flooring.


Cherry wood is popular because of its distinctive red hue. As a flooring option, it’s one of the softer hardwood species, making it more susceptible to dents and dings. Cherry wood is also photosensitive, which means natural sunlight can affect its appearance. 

Red and White Oak

Red and white oak are the most popular wood flooring because of their affordability and ease of use. It’s also quite durable and ideal for high-traffic areas.

Red oak is named for its reddish hue, while white oak has a golden brown or light beige color. Light-colored flooring makes it easier to stain in various hues, including an Antique flooring appearance. Antique flooring looks aged, giving your floors a subtly darker shade that matches any decor style.


Walnut is slightly softer than oak, but its rich chocolate hues and blonde sapwood make this flooring an enviable statement piece in any home.

Enhance and protect the natural beauty of Walnut with Diamond Oil Active in Natural.


With proper maintenance, American Hickory wood is one of the few species that will last you a lifetime. It carries a warm tan to reddish hue and has a beautiful swirling grain pattern distinctive from other wood species. Hickory’s durability makes it ideal for high-traffic areas and won’t distract from your home decor. 


Cork flooring is engineered from the bark of cork oak trees native to Tunisia, Spain, and Portugal. It has a distinctive look that is immediately recognizable from other types of wood.

Because cork can be harvested without killing the tree, it is considered a more sustainable option that homeowners love for its underfoot feel. It also holds up to scuffs and furniture damage and can last upwards of 40 years.

No matter what flooring you choose, floors last longer with proper care. Our cleaning and maintenance supplies are specifically designed to keep your floors beautiful and resistant to water stains and damage. Check out our collection of sustainable, environmentally friendly products for your home today. 

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