The Cincinnati area’s humidity can be rough on hardwood flooring, but there are plenty of beautiful hardwood flooring options that easily can stand up to our climate.

Two basic types of wood flooring are available: solid wood and engineered wood. While solid wood is milled from a single plank, engineered wood is made of three to 10 layers of wood bonded together and laminated.

Solid Wood Lends a Classic Touch

This flooring is traditionally used to create parquet floors in everything from simple herringbone and chequerboard patterns to complex geometric designs.

Solid wood is sensitive to humidity, which causes it to expand and contract as your indoor humidity levels change. During installation, small gaps are left between the floor and wall to compensate, but very damp or dry conditions can still cause warping or splitting.

If you plan to stain the wood, you’ll want to buy it unfinished. Otherwise, prefinished wood is a more convenient option.

Among the most commonly used wood species are:

  • Red oak – Widely available and durable with a pronounced grain
  • Ash – Highly durable, light in color with moderate grain
  • Maple – Light in color with minimal grain
  • Pine – Often bears knots and insect holes that create a rustic look
  • Bamboo — Eco-friendly and ideal for contemporary decor schemes

Engineered Wood: The Modern Flooring Option

Thanks to its layered design, engineered wood is less affected by fluctuations in humidity, reducing risk of damage from moisture or dry air. Many hardwood and softwood species are used in this flooring, but the top layer is usually from one of the attractive hardwood flooring options, such as oak.

The tongue-and-groove design of engineered wood planks makes them easy to install. The flooring “floats” on a foam-rubber backing and requires no nailing or gluing. It can be installed over existing hard, even floors.

Whichever of these hardwood flooring options you choose, hiring an experienced construction professional for the installation is the most reliable way to get a flawless, long-lasting floor.

Whether you need help choosing flooring or installing it, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving the Greater Cincinnati area.

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