Hardwood flooring is some of the most loved and popular styles of flooring available.  However, it is a big investment.  To begin with, you might only be thinking about the colour and finish that matches your home, but there’s a lot more to think about than just that.  To help you with the decision-making process, here are three considerations when buying hardwood flooring.

Solid Versus Engineered Hardwood

There are actually two different types of flooring that are considered hardwood – solid and engineered.  Solid hardwood flooring are pure planks of hardwood cut directly from the tree.  Engineered hardwood, on the other hand, is a layer of solid hardwood that’s fused to a number of layers of plywood below.  At first glance, solid hardwood might seem the most desirable, but there are qualities of engineered hardwood that might make it a better choice for many.  For one, engineered hardwood is cheaper than solid hardwood.  And secondly, because of the multiple layers of wood, engineered hardwood is much more stable – especially in areas with high humidity or moisture.  These factors can make engineered hardwood the smarter choice in certain situations.  

Site-Finished Versus Prefinished

There are some advantages and disadvantages to site-finished hardwood floors.  A site-finished floor can be customized to match its surroundings because it’s sanded down and stained on site.  It will also have a smooth surface with filled in seams or cracks between the planks.  However, installation of site-finished floors will take much longer because the stains and finishes will need time to dry between coats.  You’ll probably get a better looking and smoother floor, but it will take more time and cost you more money.


There are a number of different hardwood flooring products on the market that are designed for different levels of foot traffic.  Areas around doorways or the bottom of a stairwell often experience much more wear than somewhere such as a dining room.  You should also take into account the presence of children or dogs which can cause damage that might be more suitable to a handscraped or wire-brushed finish.  Areas with higher humidity or moisture will pose more problems for hardwood than areas with a more stable environment.  Have a good understanding of the kinds of traffic the floor will receive before deciding on a specific type of hardwood.