Choosing a Hardwood or Laminate Floor Flooring Help from Bruce

Choosing a Hardwood or Laminate Floor Flooring Help from Bruce


Choosing the right hardwood floor for your home is a matter of personal taste. Trust your instincts as you consider the hardwood features that will match your decorating style.

Wood Species

Your selection of a hardwood floor begins with the wood species. The species determines a floors appearance and its durability.

Each wood species has a unique look thats defined by its graining and other character marks like mineral streaks, burls, pin holes, and knots. Oak, for example, has well-defined variations in grain, while the graining in maple is more subtle.


Not all hardwoods are equally hard, so choose one that will deliver the durability level you need in your room. Hickory, oak, and maple have high hardness ratings that will provide extra durability.


The color of your hardwood floor is based on the wood species and the stain applied to the wood. Staining adds color to enhance the natural look of the wood and reduce the amount of natural color variations.


Texture impacts the character of your floor and complements the design style of your room.

  • Smooth for a classic, timeless look
  • Distressed for a country or rustic look
  • Hand-Scraped for any style rustic to contemporary

Board Width

The width of the boards dramatically affects the overall look of the floor.

  • Strips (less than 3″) slender boards visually expand the size of a room
  • Plank (4″ and up) combines rustic charm and casual comfort
  • Random widths perfect for a country retreat or an urban loft

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Laminate floors capture the authenticity and colors of real wood species, natural stones, and ceramics. Beyond woods and stones, laminate can also mimic unexpected materials like aged metals and precast cement.

  • Woods everything from domestic woods and exotics to reclaimed, distressed, and hand-scraped looks
  • Stones natural stone and slate looks
  • Trends exciting designs that capture hard-to-get or expensive materials like aged metal, cement, and weathered wood

Board Width

Like hardwood, laminate boards come in different widths, so you can create the look you want for your room whether its modern, traditional, or any style in between.

  • Planks (3″) adds contemporary styling
  • Wide plank (5″ and up) marries the look of vintage floors with present-day design influences
  • Random widths (3″, 5″, and 7″) captures rustic trends
  • Random lengths creates a rich, custom look

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Your lifestyle plays a big role in your flooring selection. Make sure to choose a floor that will stand up to your expectations.


Hardwood Hardness

Some species of wood are harder than others, which makes them more resistant to dents, dings, and natural signs of wear. Species like oak, maple, and hickory are highly durable, so they are excellent choices for high traffic rooms and busy homes.

Quality hardwood floors will last a lifetime with proper care. Be aware, however, since hardwood is a natural wood product, it will take on a distinctive visual character as it ages. Choose a more durable hardwood if you prefer less aged character.


The finish is the surface coating that protects the hardwood floor from wear and scratches, and it also determines the gloss level. Bruce hardwood floors come in a variety of finishes. Choose one that suits your lifestyle.

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