Hardwood flooring types from National Floors Direct

What are the Types of Hardwood Flooring and Which is Best?

Whatever decor you're planning for your home, hardwood flooring is a perfect choice. 

It complements any design. Whether you're going for classic, modern, or something unique, hardwood flooring gives you the base to build your style upon. 

It's set to stay a top trend in flooring, which is why there are so many options available. In fact, the number of choices to be made can be overwhelming.

So, exactly what are the types of hardwood flooring, and which is best for you? Well, that depends on your requirements. Keep reading to find out more about the types of flooring available.

Two Primary Options

The two main categories for hardwood flooring are solid and engineered. Each product has its pros and cons, but at the same time, both are high-quality options. Either way, you're looking at an increase in the value of your home.  

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Each solid board is made from a single piece of wood, usually about 18-20mm thick. They have a tongue and groove edge, that when nailed down, gives a rustic look. 

The downside to solid wood is that it's a little more expensive and harder to install, but balanced with the length of time it lasts, it's the best hardwood flooring for longevity. It's safe to say, it's a solid investment for your home. 

It beats other hardwood floor options for durability, lasting at least thirty years, and because the wood can be restored as often as you need, any scratches that occur, you can just sand away.  

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood is a good option for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and kitchens, but it's not suitable for bathrooms. It's generally better to avoid installing it in rooms where it will be exposed to water. 

Also, it isn't easy to install on stairs and around corners. It's harder to get a good finish if the positioning is awkward. 

Because engineered is made from polymers topped with a layer of real hardwood, it's a more cost-effective option than solid wood flooring, and once it's installed, it's unlikely you'll be able to tell the difference. The polymers make it a versatile flooring. 

With this option, you can get a more straightforward installation too because it doesn't have to be attached to the floor. You can get click-lock panels, that can be installed over a wider variety of floors. 

It's more resilient to changing temperatures, giving you a more stable option, and it's likely this flooring will still last you twenty to thirty years. 

Hardwood Species

The species refers to the tree the wood comes from, and with solid and engineered hardwood flooring, you get more options available. 

With that, you're looking at the aesthetics of the wood. The color, the grain, and durability. Some of the more popular options are:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Ash
  • Hickory
  • Walnut

Whichever species you choose, bear in mind, that all wood flooring reacts to moisture, so it's worth acclimating the planks to your home for a few days before installation. 

More Options

If you're still asking, 'what type of hardwood flooring should I buy?' then we have a few more options for you.

If your budget is on the smaller side or if you want something that's easier to install then take a look at these categories of wooden flooring. 


Although laminate flooring looks like hardwood flooring, it's technically not made from wood at all. It's a compressed fiberboard, with the image of wood covering the surface and then a layer of protective overall.  

Don't let that put you off though. If you're trying to stick to a smaller budget, then laminate flooring is a great choice, with an attractive wood appearance. 

It's a floatable floor which means installation is easy with the clickable planks. You can install it over tile or concrete. Though it's not waterproof which usually makes it unsuitable for bathrooms, it is possible to get a waterproof core. 


Luxury vinyl is another popular choice. Because it comes in a wide variety of designs. 

Vinyl is a durable material that lowers your risk of scuffs and scratches, and if you have children or you're a pet owner, then you should definitely consider vinyl, with its simple maintenance. 

You'll have the added benefit of easy installation and with vinyl, you can still have underfloor heating. Vinyl is suitable to be used in all rooms of the house, even the bathroom. 


Technically parquet is not specifically a hardwood floor type as it can be made from laminate, engineered, vinyl, and solid, but it is a viable option of flooring for you. 

This is the visually impactful choice and is one of the most fashionable. The blocks are arranged in a geometric pattern, often herringbone, making an attractive pattern. 

It can scuff easily and it's not the easiest to repair with its unique style, but it's a lasting flooring that is easy to maintain and has an elegant beauty.  

What Are the Types of Hardwood Flooring For You?

Deciding which are the best types of flooring for you depends on where you want to install it and what your budget is. The different preferences of different people make it a hard question to answer. 

If you have more money to spend and want your flooring to last for decades then engineered or solid is the way to go. If you're trying to decorate cheaply then laminate might be best. Parquet is the one if you prefer a decorative effect, whereas if you want something slip-resistant then choose vinyl. 

Whichever hardwood flooring option you opt for, you get pet-friendly flooring, with a timeless style that is easily maintainable.  

Now you know what the best hardwood flooring options are, you can answer the question, what are the types of hardwood flooring for you? 

Take a look around our website, and whatever category of hardwood flooring you decide on, you'll find we offer a wide variety of choices, so contact us for your free in-home estimate.