Different Kinds of Wood Flooring

When choosing the right wood flooring for your Northern Virginia home, there a lot of types of wood to consider. So, how do you know which is right for you? That will depend on your style and the overall look you are trying to achieve, but ultimately, the hardwood flooring company you choose should be able to help guide you on which type of wood would be best for your home and lifestyle.

When discussing wood floor options, you may hear the terms “on grade” and “above grade”. The different levels of the home are often referred to as “grade levels”. In most cases, when you walk into a home through the front door, the ground level is known as “on grade”. Every floor located above the main floor is considered “above grade”. Basements are “below grade”. Knowing these simple terms will help you determine which wood type is best for you.

There are many kinds of wood, but some are better than others for homes or office spaces, high-traffic areas, durability, color and more. First, you would need to choose between solid wood flooring or engineered hardwood floors.

Solid wood flooring 

Solid wood flooring is a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring generally ranges from ¾” to 5/16”. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished multiple times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.

Engineered wood floors

Engineered wood floors are wood floors that are manufactured using layers of different wood veneers. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, making it very stable. The wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during changes in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring is made from high-quality wood. Engineered flooring can only be sanded and finished a few times, making it imperative to properly maintain to prevent replacement. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade. So, if you are redoing a basement, you would want to choose engineered wood flooring. 

Common Wood Species

Red Oak

Red oak hardwood flooring is reddish in color with a coarse grain, it’s a stiff and dense wood that resists wear, but not as well as white oak.

White Oak

White oak hardwood flooring is brown in color but can have a grayish cast. The grain is similar to red oak, with more burls and swirls. It is harder and more durable than red oak.


Birch hardwood flooring ranges in color from light yellow to dark brownish red. It’s softer than red oak, but is still a strong wood.


Beech hardwood flooring is reddish brown color and a very consistent grain. It is quite durable and has excellent shock resistance.


Pine hardwood flooring is yellowish brown color and contains a lot of swirls and knots. It has a natural resistance to insects and is about as hard as red oak.

Brazilian Cherry

Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring is among the most popular imported species in homes today. Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring is extraordinarily hard and can withstand heavy foot traffic. When new, Brazilian Cherry’s color span a range of salmon pink to reddish brown with orange-yellow highlights and dark accent stripes. Over time, the colors deepen and grow more uniform in rich shades of dark honeyed red and burgundy with charcoal striping. The intense coloring and depth of grain in aged exotic Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring are the qualities that make it so desirable.

Luxury Vinyl Wood Plank Flooring

Luxury vinyl wood plank flooring is extremely popular among homeowners these days. If you haven’t yet explored this option, luxury vinyl wood planks have come a long way in terms of durability and construction. They are now made thicker, more durable, and waterproof. As a more affordable alternative to hardwood flooring, luxury vinyl comes in all colors, wood species looks, and achieve your design goals with ease. 

Hire Wood Flooring Experts!

No matter which wood species suits your style, Hatcher’s Floors is here to help make the process simple from start to finish. Begin with a free hardwood floor installation quote and we will help you choose the best type and species of wood to achieve your desired look. Contact us today to get started!