There are many types of prefinished hardwood flooring products on the market today, which makes it very important for interior designers, decorators and homeowners to determine their particular performance, style, and installation requirements. Selecting the type of prefinished wood for the floor is usually a matter of personal preference. The inherent color and grain of the tree is going to show though any finish applied. However, some woods are harder than others. The harder types of wood usually look better in heavy-traffic areas.

There are essentially two types of wood flooring constructions: Traditional solid oak and engineered products. Engineered wood floors, available in three-ply and five-ply varieties, consist of wood pressed together with the grains running in different directions. This makes it more dimensionally stable than solid wood, meaning the floor will expand and contract less during changes in humidity and temperature. Engineered products are built to withstand moisture, which makes them applicable for many commercial applications.

Several finish options are available in prefinished products, including ultraviolet cured urethane, water-based urethane, moisture-cured urethane, seal and wax. Experts advise designers to consult with their flooring contractor concerning which finishes are available for their product of choice.

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