Types of Hardwood

With a little basic understanding about the different types of wood floors you can be better prepared and more confident in your selection. Wood floors are produced in both solid and engineered planks and strips and come in a wide variety of wood species.  

To choose an ideal wood flooring, consider the location and level of the wood flooring within your home, and the type of subfloor.  Shaw’s Engineered Hardwood Floors, like Epic® Plus, can be used in most areas in the home including rooms below, on or above ground level.  Solid wood floors are approved for above ground-level installations only, as they perform better in humidity-controlled environments.

Is your sub floor concrete or a type of wood substrate? Engineered floors are ideal for concrete slabs. For remodel projects, you may want to consider Shaw’s Engineered Hardwood floors that can be floated directly over the existing floor, which eliminates the mess and additional costs of tearing out the old floor.

Solid Wood Floors

These floors are one solid piece of wood and are generally 3/4" thick and available in several widths.  Shaw offers Hardwood Floors produced from maple, hickory, oak, birch, kupay, and more!  Because solid hardwood floors are more vulnerable to humidity and temperature changes than engineered wood floors, they should only be installed above grade, over approved wooden subfloors and must be nailed or stapled down.  Solid wood floors can generally be recoated and refinished several times.

Engineered Wood Floors

These floors are produced by laminating several hardwood plies together to form the planks.  Most can be glued down, stapled down or floated over a variety of subfloors such as wood, dry concrete slabs, and some types of existing flooring.  Engineered wood floors have cross-ply construction, which reduces the expansion and contraction of planks caused by changes in humidity, so they can be installed on any level of the home. Shaw’s Engineered Floors come in over 200 style and color combinations, ensuring you find a great fit for your home and lifestyle.

Exotic Wood Species

Today, wood flooring is also offered in a variety of hardwood species that are not found in North America.  These floors offer many unique and visually striking appearances that are distinctly different from the North American hardwoods. Many of these exotic species are photosensitive and may change color over time. Please refer to sample panels for the level of photosensitivity of each product.

Prefinished Vs Unfinished

Prefinished floors are easier and faster to install, while hardwood floors finished on site require more installation time to stain and finish the flooring.  Prefinished floors are often less expensive than floors finished on site and have longer-lasting and better-quality finishes.  Regardless, Shaw's ScufResist™ Platinum finish is designed to resist household scuffing, keeping your hardwood floors in top condition.