Wood Floor Glossary and Tips For Selecting Hardwood Flooring

For nearly a decade Unique Wood Floors has been bringing the finest Hard Wood Floors and Green Renewable Resources like Bamboo and Cork Floors. Providing unbeatable prices for our customers without compromising quality. Starting in August we will be staring a blog series called Buying Hard Wood Flooring:101. It’s our goal to help educate you about our products and the valuable investment you are about to make in the beauty of your home.

To get things started, here is a basic glossary for the most common Wood Flooring Terms and a few tips about each one.



A stained floor gives a unique feel to each room. Be sure to select stains that will match different decors (especially for exotic woods and natural stains), since your wood floor will outlast any trend in home fashion. But remember that stained wood can be sanded more than once, restained, and refinished to restore the original color of the species or even choose a new one.


Each wood species has its own grain, color, and veining. Your choice of species depends on your personal preferences and the effect you want to achieve. The most popular species are oak and maple, followed by yellow birch, white ash, beech, cherry, and walnut. Exotic Hard Woods, which are very warm in color and extremely solid, are also available.


There are three main types of gloss on the market: high-gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. A very bright finish tends to highlight marks, while a matte or satin finish makes them less noticeable and delivers long-lasting beauty.


Grading is a means of rating boards according to variations in the wood’s natural color. For example, “Select & Better” grade woods are more uniform in color than “Exclusive” grade, which present greater, more pronounced natural color variation.


Your wood flooring should ideally be installed at a right angle to your subfloor joists. But you should also consider the shape and size of the room. For example, installing the boards lengthwise may make a long room look even longer, and it may be more flattering to lay the boards diagonally. If you like an original look, choose a floor with patterns.


Boards are generally available in standard widths of 2 1/4″ [57 mm], 2 1/2″ [64 mm], and 3 1/4″ [83 mm]. Widths of up to 5″ [127 mm] are becoming increasingly popular. Your choice will depend on the effect you want to create. Thinner boards make a room look longer, while wider boards make it appear shorter. Remember, however, that a tight grained wood like maple expands with humidity, which may make thinner boards preferable for some uses.


Installing a hardwood floor usually requires much more than just prefinished hardwood boards. You’ll surely need edgings, stairway nosings, vent flashings, and moldings to join with the walls. Make sure you can get these basic accessories in the same stain and gloss as your flooring.

Floor Types

There are three main types of flooring on the market: Engineered Wood Floor, Glueless Engineered Wood Floor, and Solid Wood Floor. Each floor types offers certain advantages—everything depends on the room where the floor is installed and on your needs.

Choose Unique Wood Floors

As you can see, many factors influence the choice of a hardwood floor. However, one thing is sure: It is important that you are well-informed and that you carefully choose where you make your investment. It is essential that you purchase your hardwood floor from a specialized dealer like Unique Wood Floors who not only sells flooring but can also advise you on achieving your desired result according to your priorities and budget.