Wood Flooring Types Explained

From hardwood to laminate to bamboo, there are lots of different types of wood flooring. Here's your guide to them all.


Learn the difference between various types of wood flooring

You have made the decision to put hardwood floors in your home, or you have wood floors in your home but aren’t aware of what kind it is.

Either way, you need to know what types of wood flooring there are. You may also want to know the differences in each type so that you can use the right cleaning techniques or refinishing treatment, and a good vacuum for hardwood floors.

Since there are many different types of wood flooring out there, you may decide it just isn’t worth looking up. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Have a look at the different wood flooring types there are out there.

What are the types of wood flooring?

There are five primary types of wood flooring, and each is unique on their own. Here are they are.


Laminate flooring is comprised of fiberboard that is layered and compressed together. Then an image of wood grain, tile, stone, or fiberboard is placed on the surface. Once that is done, a coating is placed on it to protect it against damage and then a finish to make it smooth and shiny.

Laminate is generally cheaper than most other wood flooring options and can stand up against wear and tear. You can get click and lock installation options that allow the boards to be clicked together over your old floors.

However, laminate will not look or feel like a real wood flooring would. Additionally, the planks will wear over time in the interlocking section. Part of the issue with laminate is that once damaged, you cannot fix it.

Solid Hardwood

These planks are made from an actual piece of wood. The boards have tongues and grooves that allow them to fit together for easier installation. The type of hardwood you use will determine how hard the actual floor is. You can use oak, white oak, pine, hickory, maple, ash, and many others.

Solid hardwood is very classy and will add to the aesthetic of your home. Additionally, using hardwood could potentially increase the overall value of your home. One thing you need to be aware of is that hardwood will swell with moisture and contract when dry. That process can potentially cause issues with the floor by changing its shape and look. If it starts looking worn and scuffed, it can be refinished several times.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is comprised of up to four layers of wood that are sealed together to produce a thick plank. It does have a real wood surface that is just a fraction of the thickness, and can be refinished after sanding it down.

Since this wood is known to be more stable, you don’t need to worry too much about moisture or temperature changing the way it looks. Moreover, this type of floor is much more appealing than the laminate is and is generally less expensive than solid hardwood would be.


Bamboo floors come from the jungles of Asia, where bamboo generally grows in abundance. The floors are generally made in China and provide you a variety of styles and finishing options to suit any décor. It is a tropical grass instead of an actual wood tree which makes it naturally resistant to water.This flooring is produced by pressing the bamboo fibers together using high pressure into a plank.

Using bamboo floors is a great option when you are environmentally conscious. Since this plant grows quickly compared to other types of tropical trees, you are helping protect the environment from deforestation. Another good thing about bamboo is that it is generally softer than other woods and less prone to squeaking and groaning when walked on.

The only issue with bamboo is that it is easier to damage due to it being so soft.


Cork floors are harvested from the bark of a cork oak tree. These trees generally grow in Europe such as Spain or Portugal, among others. This type of wood floor is also a great choice when you are environmentally conscious. This flooring material is naturally beautiful and soft. Another great thing about it is that it absorbs shock, making it great on your feet.

Using cork floors will also help to reduce the noise in your home as it is quiet when you walk and if you drop anything. Moreover, this material is naturally healthy because it is hypo-allergenic and resistant to creepy crawlies.

The Final Word

There are many types of wood floors you can choose from. Before you get one or take care of the ones you got, you want to identify what types of wood flooring you have or want. Once you know the type, you will know how to care for it.

Resources - CanFloor, BuildDirect