Types and Finishes of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring has truly lasted the different trends throughout the years. You can use this type of flooring and create looks such as modern, classic, rustic, and many more. Hardwood flooring has always been a classic flooring choice, and the best part about this flooring type is all of the new finishes and types of hardwood in the market.

Hardwood Types: Solid, Engineered, and Cabin Grade

Solid hardwood is exactly what it sounds like, a solid piece of wood that may be stained or left natural. You can check the Janka Rating system to learn more about the different strength levels of solid hardwoods. Engineered hardwood has a layer of real hardwood on top of layers of “cross-laminated timber.”

A good quality cabin grade wood will produce a good-looking floor, but it will be more rustic and have more character than better grades of wood. In other words, it will have more light and dark boards, more mineral streaks, pin holes, and small knots holes. When purchasing cabin grade wood, you will need to purchase 15% extra material than the square footage you are covering.

Hardwood Finishes

All of the three different hardwood types come in a variety of finishes. Hardwood with a traditional finish has a smooth, classic look. Planks with a hand-scraped finish have a hand-hewn finish that gives the product extra texture and character. Hardwood flooring with a distressed finish has more of an aged or vintage look. The products also look a bit more marked up than hand-scraped planks.

Here are some images of the different hardwood finishes:

Hand-Scraped Finish

Traditional Finish


Distressed Finish

Check out all of our hardwood flooring collections.

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Thee Manor Luxury Hardwood


Thee Manor creates beautiful textured hardwood flooring that meticulously highlight the grain. Inspired by the century-old techniques found in Europe, Thee Manor’s premiere hardwood has a refined yet worn look that showcases each planks unique beauty. Carpet Express no longer carries Duchateau Hardwood. However, to offer our customers luxury hardwood, we are proud to introduce Thee Manor hardwood flooring.

Click here to see our collection of Thee Manor luxury hardwood.

Click here to see more engineered hardwood options.


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Mirage Hardwood Flooring


Mirage Hardwood is designed and manufactured in North America. The hardwood flooring is made of quality hardwood from certified, responsibly managed forests. Mirage uses hypoallergenic finishes that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde. The company wants to keep homes healthy for customers. Mirage Hardwood flooring is wear-resistant and durable because of the Nanolinx nanotechnology-based finished and the DuraMatt finish.

Click here to see our collection of Mirage Hardwood flooring.


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Azalea Lane

Azalea Lane flooring offers customers diverse hardwood collections that are affordable and beautiful. There are four different hardwood collections from Azalea Lane, which all feature timeless stain colors and varied species. Explore all of the collections to see which hardwood floor will bring out the beauty of your home.

Click here to see our collection of Azalea Lane hardwood flooring.


















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Mannington Raises Prices on Select Engineered Hardwood Products


Recently Mannington announced that it will be raising prices on select engineered hardwood products. The price increase will be from 5% to 7%. The price increase will be effective on shipments on July 1, 2016.

Click here to see our selection of Mannington hardwood flooring.

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Congrats Mullican!


Congratulations to Mullican for 30 years in business, and we are excited to see what beautiful solid and engineered hardwood flooring that they make next!

Click here to see the collection of Mullican flooring.


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From The Forest Launches The Freedom Collection

manufacture_100Image.ashxRecently, From The Forest has launched the Freedom Collection, which is a new line of engineered hardwood flooring. This new collection of hardwood flooring is available in a palette of designer colors that range from beige tones to brown hues. The Freedom Collection features 12 styles in a variety of wood species, which include red oak, white oak, hard maple, and hickory.
The core material construction is a dimensionally stable quarter sawn spruce stave core. From The Forest created the Freedom Collection to give its customers a broader range of color and style options for flooring. The company chose the colors for this collection with the intention that these colors will stay in style for at least the next five years or more. The company thinks that these colors will become classic colors, which can be used for many years to come.
The planks of the Freedom Collection have subtle knots and natural grain variation. The planks are protected by WearMax XT Ceramic Finish, which ensures durability and simplicity of maintenance. The planks measure 1/2″ x 5″ in width by 71.5″ in length.

Click here to see our collection of From The Forest flooring.


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EPIC from Shaw


EPIC is an engineered hardwood from Shaw that is a true breakthrough in hardwood manufacturing. This engineered hardwood is stylish and it has many great advantages. EPIC flooring is Eco-friendly, durable, and dimensionally stable. Also, this engineered hardwood uses 50% less newly harvested wood than conventional engineered flooring. In addition, Shaw’s EPIC engineered hardwood has a ScufResist Platinum finish.
Epic’s name stands for:
E – Environmentally Preferred
P – Peak Performance
I – Installation Advantages
C – Complete Product Offering

Environmentally Preferred

  • Shaw’s EPIC hardwood uses 50% less newly harvested wood than conventional engineered flooring and it is made with EnviroCore. EnviroCore is a high-density core board, which is made from recycled post-industrial wood fiber.
  • This engineered hardwood is made in the United States with wood harvested from well-managed domestic forests.
  • Cradle to Cradle – Silver Certified
  • Certified as an Environmentally Preferred Product
  • Qualifies for LEED credits
  • GREENGUARD certified, and it meets the GREENGUARD indoor air quality requirements

Peak Performance

  • EnviroCore’s recycled wood fibers are tightly compressed, which makes the EPIC products harder, denser, and they perform well.
  • The Janka Hardness test proved that this flooring is harder than solid and engineered flooring products that feature softer core boards.
  • The ScufResist Platinum finish helps the product resist wear and scuffing very well.
  • The product’s density helps it stay more stable as the seasons change.

Installation Advantages

  • This product can be installed on any level of a home, including the basement
  • This product can be installed with any installation method
  • The longer average board lengths give a premium visual and faster installation

Complete Product Offering

  • Epic collections have great style, design, and gorgeous colors.
  • This product is offered in a wide range of finishes, from traditional to rustic, and from smooth to distressed and hand-scraped.
  • Epic is available in a variety of species and looks
  • Widths available: 3 1/4″, 5″, and 6 3/8″

We have two EPIC engineered hardwoods available on our website: Colonial Oak 3.25″ and Colonial Oak 5″

Click here to see Colonial Oak 3.25″.
Click here to see Colonial Oak 5″.

Click here to see more Shaw hardwood products.
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Cabin Grade Wood

cabin grade“Cabin grade”or “tavern grade” wood is an excellent choice when purchasing new hardwood flooring. Cabin grade is basically the same wood as 1st quality, which means it is the same species, it is milled to the same specifications, and it is stained the same color. The only difference is that cabin grade wood was called or rejected from the 1st quality run for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are mineral streaks and knot holes, which can give the floor a more rustic look. Many customers prefer this rustic look to the color consistency in many 1st quality styles. There may also be more short boards in a box of cabin grade material. Most wood flooring is purchased in random lengths, and you will find more boards that are 9” to 18” in a box of cabin grade than you would in a typical 1st quality box. Other irregularities found in cabin grade may include missing tongues, over wood, or an uneven finish. In addition, certain manufacturers are known to have cleaner cabin grade wood than others, and they have a 5 year finish warranty on many of their cabin grade flooring.

Installing cabin grade wood is more challenging, and you should purchase 15% to 20% extra material to allow your installer to use only the most uniform boards from each box. Keep in mind that cabin-grade is engineered, and when you see “tavern-grade” it means it  is solid hardwood.

Click here to see our selection of cabin grade hardwood flooring.

Click here to see our selection of Mohawk hardwood.

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Hickory Ridge

autumn blazeHickory Ridge is a beautiful engineered hardwood flooring from Armstrong, and it has a distressed look on the 5″ wide planks. This hardwood flooring’s top layer is made of real hickory and each plank is individually sculpted.  Also, Hickory Ridge is made here in the United States. Hickory Ridge is a richly textured floor that accentuates the graining, knots, and natural characters of natural US hickory. This hardwood flooring was inspired by America’s history and natural beauty.

If you are looking for a floor that will work great in any interior design theme or an active household, then hickory ridge is the perfect match for you and your home. Hickory Ridge is great for active households with kids and pets because of the Armstrong Lifetime Finish. Hickory scores a 1820 on the Janka Hardness scale, which means that hickory can take a lot of pressure before it will dent. This flooring can be glued, stapled, or floated. Also, Hickory Ridge has a medium gloss.

Hickory Ridge is available in 10 colors: Autumn Blaze, Amber Grain, Cajun Spice, Eagle Nest, Grand Canyon Sunset, Hitching Post, Red Rock Canyon, Smokehouse, Wilderness Brown, and Wilderness Mountain.

Click here to see Hickory Ridge.

Click here to see our collection of Armstrong hardwood.

Click here to learn more about the Janka Hardness scale and test.

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