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The Different Types and Species of Hardwood Flooring

Hands down, one of the most frequently-asked-questions is this: What kinds of floors are available? The client that asks this usually is not familiar in any capacity with wood flooring, and is also a novice. There are, in fact, hundreds upon hundreds of combinations that we offer there at Century Custom Hardwood Floors. So many, that we usually can’t delineate them with a client because of time purposes. In this article, however, we’ll help you understand all the different choices and options you have when installing a new hardwood floor.

To start off, we usually ask the client what type of wood he or she wants. By type we mean either: solid, engineered, or laminate. Solid hardwood flooring consists of one species of wood only, meaning that it is all one solid chink of high-quality hardwood. This type is usually the thickest, strongest, and most expensive (with good reason). Solid hardwood flooring is the best of the best. Engineered hardwood means that the flooring is made up of more than one wood. The composition of this wood consists of the top and bottom layers made of high-quality hardwood, and a middle filler layer of plywood or wood filler. This type provides a nice balance between look and price, and is  our most popular type of hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is not hardwood flooring, but actually a fake substitute designed to give the appearance of real hardwood flooring. This type of flooring is usually the weakest, thinnest and least expensive. Though it pales in comparison with the other two, it still lokks much better than most carpets and tile.

Next, the client chooses what species of wood they would like their floor to be if they have chosen solid or engineered. We have over 40 different species of hardwood, both in-house and at our warehouse location. These include, but are not limited to: oak, cherry, maple, walnut, chestnut, bamboo, mahogany, pecan, and many varieties of the aforementioned species. Since there is such a wide selection, we usually ask our customers some questions to help narrow their choices down. What color? Darker or lighter? What’s your budget? How flexible? And so on and so forth. By asking these questions, we usually narrow the choices down to five or less, so that the client will not feel overwhelmed by the amount of options. Each specie has its own strengths and price, so there can be an astounding difference in cost.

Once the prior two choices are made, the final decision is the finish. The client chooses either pre-finished or unfinished. Pre-finished hardwood floors already have a pre-determined color and shine level. Color is fairly self-explanatory; shine level is one of three: high-gloss, semi-gloss, or matte. High-gloss indicates it will shine brighter than a diamond, semi-gloss will shine at a moderate level, and matte will shine very little or not at all. If the client chooses unfinished, then we apply a custom stain that the client designed themselves.

As I said before, the client has hundreds of options to choose from, but we’re here to help them choose the best color for their needs. So if you’re stuck on an installation, a refinishing or a buffing, come speak to us at any of our SoCal Branches (Acton, Torrance, or Sherman Oaks) and we’ll help you with anything you might need. You won’t regret it.

Call us today at (800) 608-6007 to schedule your free estimate!

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