In this article, Spartan Surfaces Danny Boyle explores the thriving hardwood floors market and the reasons behind its rapid growth. We’ll also discuss the various aspects of hardwood flooring, including engineered vs. solid hardwood, veneer thickness, installation methods, and its environmental impact.

Why Hardwood Floors Is Booming

Due to several key factors, hardwood flooring has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years. However, the primary driver is the significant advancements in finishes. Unlike the past, where floors had a glossy, artificial appearance, today’s finishes penetrate the wood’s pores, resulting in a more natural and resilient surface. This means that minor imperfections like heel marks and scratches are no longer eyesores, making hardwood floors an attractive option for various applications, including multifamily, hospitality, corporate, and retail spaces.

Engineered Hardwood vs. Solid Hardwood

When choosing between engineered and solid hardwood, it’s essential to understand the differences. With its multiple layers and balanced construction, engineered hardwood offers more stability and is ideal for wider boards. Solid hardwood, on the other hand, moves uniformly, making it better suited for narrower applications. Engineered hardwood provides the flexibility needed for glue-down installations.

Exploring Types of Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring comes in various constructions, each with unique advantages. Consider these constructions as a “sandwich” analogy. For instance, some constructions resemble a PB&J sandwich, featuring a plywood core for stability. Others, like the “Italian hoagie,” have a cross-finger construction, providing excellent balance. The thickness and species of the wood veneer on the surface also play a crucial role in achieving the perfect balance.

The Importance of Balance in Hardwood Floors

Balance is a crucial factor in wood flooring because wood naturally expands and contracts with changes in humidity levels. Balanced engineered floors can withstand these fluctuations more effectively, ensuring that the wood moves uniformly and minimizing the risk of warping or cracking.

Rule of Thumb for Refinishing Engineered Wood Floors

While a rule of thumb suggests that you can sand and refinish engineered wood floors based on their thickness, it’s essential to consider other factors. In practice, not all units will require refinishing, and the quality of the finish matters more than thickness. Quality finishes can prolong the life of the flooring.

How Wood Floors Are Installed

Three primary methods for installing wood floors include nailing, gluing, and floating. Floating is the most cost-effective option and facilitates easier plank replacement. Conversely, Gluing has become increasingly popular due to advancements in finish technology and its ability to provide a stable installation.

Hardwood’s Positive Environmental Impact

Harvesting hardwood responsibly makes it a renewable resource with minimal environmental impact. Wood flooring has the added benefit of improving indoor air quality by filtering the air. Various third-party certifications ensure that hardwood floors is sourced and manufactured in an eco-friendly manner, considering all aspects from harvesting to installation.

The booming market for hardwood floors is driven by improved finishes, making it a versatile choice for various applications. Understanding the differences between engineered and solid hardwood and the importance of balance can help you make informed decisions. Additionally, when sourced and managed responsibly, hardwood floors has a positive impact on the environment, making it a sustainable and attractive flooring option for the future.


Spartan Surfaces, a subsidiary of Floor & Decor, is a specialty flooring supplier headquartered in Bel Air, MD. Employing over 150 team members, Spartan holds warehousing and offices in Maryland and Minnesota with showrooms in D.C. and Chicago.  Its geography encompasses seventy percent of the United States, with continued expansion on the horizon. Taking a human-centered approach, Spartan prides itself on great people dedicated to great products, great families, great friendships, and great happiness. Whatever you’re working on, we’ve got you covered!