The Pros and Cons of Different Hardwood Flooring Materials

December 14, 2022

Posted in macstaff

There are many different types of hardwood flooring materials available on the market today. Choosing the right one for your home can be difficult, especially if you don’t know the pros and cons of each type.

Today we will talk about the pros and cons of solid vs engineered hardwood, then discuss prefinished vs unfinished hardwood, before closing the discussion by contrasting the popular species on the market. By the end, you should have a better idea of what type of hardwood you want to bring into your home!

Solid Vs. Engineered Hardwood

One of the most important choices when picking out hardwood floors for your home is deciding between solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Both types of floors have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh all your options before making a final decision.

Solid hardwood floors are made entirely of solid wood, from the top layer down to the bottom support layer. This makes them incredibly durable and long-lasting, able to withstand heavy foot traffic and years of wear and tear. Solid hardwood floors can also be sanded and refinished multiple times, so they can be easily repaired if they become scratched or damaged.

However, solid hardwood floors are also more susceptible to moisture damage than engineered hardwood floors, so they may not be the best choice for homes in humid climates. They are also a lot pricier than engineered hardwood floors.

Engineered hardwood floors are made with a top layer of real wood veneer over a core of plywood or another type of manufactured wood. This makes them more resistant to moisture damage than solid hardwood floors and they can still be sanded and refinished like solid floors.
Engineered hardwood floors also offer a wider range of design options than solid hardwood floors, since they can be made in any style or color. The price of engineered hardwood floors is also usually much lower than solid hardwood floors, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

When choosing between solid and engineered hardwood floors, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and budget. No matter which type of floor you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy the natural beauty and elegance of hardwood in your home.

Prefinished Vs. Unfinished Hardwood

Prefinished hardwood is a type of hardwood that comes with a factory-applied finish. The advantage of prefinished hardwood is that it is ready to be installed as soon as it is purchased, which can save time and money.

Additionally, the finishes applied in factories are typically more durable than those applied by hand, making prefinished hardwood a good choice for high-traffic areas. However, prefinished hardwood can be more expensive than unfinished hardwood.

Unfinished hardwood is a type of hardwood that does not come with a factory-applied finish. The advantage of unfinished hardwood is that it allows for more customization, as the homeowner can choose the stain and topcoat that best suits their needs. Unfinished hardwood is often less expensive than prefinished hardwood.

However, unfinished hardwood requires more time and effort to install, as the stain and topcoat must be applied after the flooring is laid. Plus, repairs and touch-ups may be more noticeable on an unfinished wood floor.

Contrasting Popular Hardwood Species

Now let’s move on to the different hardwood species available for your flooring.


Oak is a hardwood species that is popular for several reasons. It is very strong and durable, making it ideal for furniture and flooring. Oak is also very easy to work with, and it takes stains and finishes well. In addition, oak has a beautiful grain pattern that can add a touch of elegance to any home. Plus the price of oak is relatively low compared to other hardwood species.

However, there are some drawbacks to oak as well. It is very susceptible to insect damage, and people have mixed feelings about how easy it is to work with. Some think it’s easy and others disagree. Overall, oak is a versatile and attractive hardwood species that has some distinct advantages and disadvantages.


Maple is another popular hardwood species that is often used for flooring. It is very strong and durable, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas. Maple also has a uniform grain pattern that gives it a sleek and modern look. Additionally, maple takes stains and finishes well, so you can customize the color of your flooring to fit your home.

One of the drawbacks to maple is that it is often more expensive than other hardwood species. Additionally, it can be difficult to sand and refinish, and scratches can be more noticeable on maple than on other types of hardwood. This can be avoided with a prefinished maple option. Maple is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its strength, beauty, and versatility.


Walnut is a very popular hardwood species that is used in a variety of applications, from furniture to flooring. It has a number of advantages that make it an ideal choice for many projects. First of all, walnut is extremely strong and durable, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas. It is also resistant to rot and insect damage, making it a good choice for outdoor projects.

Walnut is relatively easy to work with, meaning that it can be cut, carved, and sanded into a variety of shapes and sizes. Finally, walnut has a beautiful dark color that can add a touch of elegance to any project.

However, there are also some disadvantages to using Walnut. One of the most significant drawbacks is its cost; walnut is one of the more expensive hardwood species on the market. Because it is so dense, Walnut can be difficult to nail and glue into place.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about solid and engineered hardwood, prefinished and unfinished hardwood, and the different hardwood species available, you are in a better position to choose the right flooring for your home. With the right research and advice, you can make an informed decision that will last for years to come.

Lots of homeowners in the Denver area find it easier to talk with one of the MacDonald Hardwood experts. In business since 1986, we are passionate about helping homeowners make the right decision when it comes to hardwood flooring.

Reach out today! We know everyone has unique needs and tastes.