Paul's European Touch Pro Wood Floors, Inc. email

Flooring Types

The wood flooring industry has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. You have more choices now than ever before. This is why it is important for you to understand which type of wood flooring will work for you. The best way to do this is to work backwards:

  • Know what you have. (Determine the on-site conditions with regards to moisture and facts about what kind of underlayment you have.)
  • Know what you can have. (i.g.: can't nail a floor directly to concrete)
  • Know what you would like to have. (Have some basic information in mind such as: light or dark floors, narrow or wide plank, rustic, tradtional or contemporary etc.)
  • Chances are after these steps you will have eliminated a lot of choices. Solid and engineered wood floors come in both Unfinished and Pre-finished . Unfinished means, the floor must be sanded and finished on site, after installation. Prefinished floors are sanded and finished at the factory and are done after installation.


    Solid wood flooring:

    Solid wood flooring is available in unfinished and pre-finished versions. Solid wood flooring is produced in:

    Strip - in thicknesses of 5/16" to 3/4" in widths of 1-1/2", 2" and 2-1/4"
    Plank - in thicknesses of 1/2" to 3/4" and widths of 3" to 12"
    Parquet - geometrical patterns composed of individual wood slats held in place by mechanical fastening or adhesive

    Engineered wood flooring:


    Sometimes mistakenly confused with "laminate" flooring, engineered flooring is still considered a real hardwood floor because it has a real hardwood top layer. This real top wood veneer can vary greatly from as little as 1mm (1/16th") to 6mm (1/4"). The latter is as thick as the wear layer (the top 1/4" above the tongue&groove) of a solid 3/4" floor. The thickness of this veneer determines how many times the floor can be sanded and refinished in the future. So while the top of an engineered floor can be the same or similar to a solid wood floor, that is where the similarities end. The bottom half of this type of flooring is made of multiple layers of various wood veneers mounted together in opposing grain direction. This is what gives the product more dimensional stability, which is usually the reason for choosing engineered over solid. This type of flooring is especially advantageous over radiant heating, concrete or existing tile flooring for example. Engineered is also available in pre-finished and unfinished. It is ideal for glue-down or float-in installation above, on grade or below grade, including basements. Engineered wood flooring is produced in:

    Strip - thicknesses of 5/16" to 3/4" and in widths of 2" and 2-1/4"
    Plank - thicknesses of 5/16" to 3/4" and in widths of 3" to 12"
    Parquet - wood tile patterns, available in many sizes and shapes


    Laminate flooring:

    Laminate flooring appeals for the demanding customer who also wants to be budget conscious. Laminates are man-made through and through and this is evident from the lower end lines. However, some of the higher end lamintes it is hard to tell them apart from the real thing. Of course those also cost nearly as much, so one must decide if its perhaps worth going with one of the other two options above. While most laminates are made to to look like wood, some are made to mimick stone, ceramic and other creative designs.

    acrylic impregnated

    Acrylic impregnated wood flooring:

    Acrylic impregnated is a pre-finished wood flooring product. Through a high-pressure treatment, acrylic and color are forced into the pores throughout the thickness of the wood. The "finish" is inside the wood, creating an extremely hard surface. These floors are highly resistant to abrasion and moisture and appeal most often to commercial customers but are also used residentially. Acrylic impregnated floors are available in the same styles as laminate floors.