Understanding Different Types of Solid Hardwood Flooring 

In the flooring industry, there are two types of hardwood floors, namely, engineered hardwood and solid hardwood flooring.

Solid hardwood flooring can further be classified according to its board type. It falls in three categories, namely plank, strip, and parquet flooring. The three types of flooring have notable differences as discussed below.

What is Parquet Flooring?

Parquet wood flooring is an elaborate hardwood flooring type. It was a popular flooring option back in the 1600s and 1700s and they seem to be making a come-back. Worth noting, parquet floors like other hardwood floors are highly valued and boost the market value of properties.

Hardwood parquet flooring is manufactured from small pieces of wood which make geometric patterns when fitted together. The geometric shapes make a decorative pattern on the floor. Individual wood slats are installed using adhesives or mechanical fastening. The wood slats may have slightly different colors creating a pattern of dark and light hardwood flooring materials. Some mix different species of wood types.

Most parquet floors are made from maple, oak, and some exotics. When parquet floors were invented in the 1600s, the flooring was glued to a concrete floor in decorative geometric shapes and patterns.

The History of Parquet Flooring

The term parquet has a French origin. It comes from the word “parquetry,” which means a small compartment. Parquet flooring dates back to the late 1600s when concrete floors were trending. This flooring type was very popular because it offers a luxury flooring option in comparison to concrete floors. They were invented before carpets.

Therefore, the floors were custom-made, requiring cutting individual wood pieces. Then assembling the wood pieces in a puzzle-like design resembling mandalas, mosaics, and other designs.

Back then, because there was no advanced technology, the floor required a high level of skill. It was also a labor and time-intensive process. Therefore, it was reserved for high-end customers and public buildings. However, the popularity of carpet floors affected the growth of parquet flooring. Then in the 20th century, innovators came up with the tongue and groove feature which turned parquet floors to floating floors and made the installations easy and fast. Parquet floating floors took the DIY flooring installations to another level.

Parquet Flooring Options

The floors are made from different species of wood including walnut, ash, chestnut, and oak. There are also parquet floors from bamboo and exotic wood species.

Besides that, when ordering parquet solid hardwood flooring you should decide between various options. You can choose between pre-finished and unfinished solid hardwood flooring.

You also have a choice between many patterns and designs. In addition to that, you have a choice between floating or non-floating parquet floors.

Types of Parquet Flooring Patterns

There are different designs of parquet flooring including dark wood parquet flooring and lightwood parquet flooring. In regards to patterns, herringbone was the most popular pattern in the 1960s. However, more designs were innovated which led to parquet flooring becoming an expensive flooring option because only skilled professionals could make such intricate designs.

In modern times, computer design software have swept the parquet flooring industry with a storm. Using computer software, flooring designers can create intricate designs and patterns. As such, there are many designs to choose from for example basket weave. Some designs are quite complicated to make and are more expensive while others are simple. Simple designs include herringbone and three-fingered square.

However, most modern parquet floor designs are square tiles bonded to a thin plywood base or mesh.

Floating Vs Fixed Parquet Flooring

When purchasing parquet flooring materials, you should choose between floating and non-floating floors. Non-floating parquet floors are fixed on the floor. Floating floors, on the other hand, are not fixed to the sub-floor. When it comes to floating floors, there are two types of parquet floating floors, namely click-lock system and tongue and groove. The two parquet flooring types employ different installation methods.

Maintaining and Refinishing Parquet Floors

Basically, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean parquet floors. Parquet floors are easy to maintain through vacuum cleaning like once a week with compatible cleaners. To keep them in good condition, you should clean spills immediately using wet damp mops to clean the floor.

Parquet floors are durable and may need refinishing after about 10 to 15 years or longer. However, it is advisable to hire a professional to do the refinishing. This is because wood should be sanded in the direction of its grain yet parquet floors have wood pieces facing different directions.

Cost of Parquet Flooring

There are different designs and patterns of parquet floors. Also, parquet floors come from different species of woods and as such, they attract different prices. For budget-friendly designs, you can opt for simple designs like the three-fingered square and herringbone.

Parquet floors are sold in cartons. There are different sizes, you can choose from 9 inches, 12 inch and 18-inch squares. The costs of parquet floors range from between $3 to $5 per square foot which excludes parquet flooring installation costs.

Pros of Parquet Floors

  • They are a variety of patterns and styles to choose from and wood species.
  • They have a high value boosting the value of a property.
  • Like other hardwood floors, they are warm and have a timeless beauty.
  • Maintaining parquet floors is easy, you simply use compatible cleaners and avoid abrasive cleaners.
  • Parquet floors are DIY-friendly.

Cons of Parquet Floors

  • Parquet floors have limits when it comes to refinishing options.
  • Parquet floors are susceptible to scratching and as such, if they are not cleaned well, they are prone to damage from dirt and dust. Also, outdoor footwear and high heeled shoes can damage the floor.
  • The floor gets easily discolored by sunlight.
  • Parquet floors are also susceptible to moisture, as such, you should not install it in places like basements.

Plank Solid Hardwood Flooring

The flooring are wide and their size makes bold statements on a floor. Plank and strip flooring are usually cut from the same tree. Whereas plank flooring comes from timber cut from the main trunk of a tree. As such it contains more heartwood strip is cut from tree leftovers. Plank floors can be cut to any length and as such, it features wide planks of wood. Most plank flooring have a width of between 3 inches to 10 inches. However, some plank flooring materials are wider and have long lengths. The thickness can differ with some manufacturers making custom thickness sizes but they are about ½ or ¾ of an inch. Plank flooring is more popular than strip flooring and attracts a greater value in the flooring industry. You also have an option to buy either finished or unfinished plank flooring.

Plank hardwood floors have more character which comes from the grain detail in its board. The wide planks show more swirls, knots, and patterns than narrow strips of wood. They are ideal for small rooms because they make the floor less busy because of the less visible joins. Less joins also means that the floor has a smoother surface.

Pros of Plank Hardwood Flooring

  • Plank flooring come from the heartwood of a tree and as such it has more density and it is also more durable.
  • Plenty of options. There are various types from different wood species which come with their unique colors.
  • They are quick to install than narrow strips because one plank covers a wide surface.
  • They are more susceptible to moisture than narrow planks.
  • It makes small spaces look bigger.


  • They are more expensive than strip floors.
  • The wide planks are more difficult to install than narrow strips.

Strip Solid Hardwood Flooring

Noteworthy, strip is the most common type of wood floor. It is less expensive than parquet and plank flooring. Strip floors offer more designs and it is formal and elegant.

The flooring is milled after plank flooring has been cut. Strip flooring comes from the less desirable parts which are usually leftovers of a tree like the upper portion of the tree or large limbs. As such, strip flooring materials contain less heartwood which is usually the durable potion of a trunk. In this regard, because it is not cut from the heartwood of the tree, it is shorter in length and width than plank floors. Typically the wood is usually about  1 ½ inch, 2 inches or 2 ¼ inches. But some manufacturers have 3 or 4 inches wide strip floors. Its common thickness is either 5/16, 1/2 or ¾ inches.

Pros of Strip Flooring

  • Most times it is cheaper than plank flooring
  • The strips are small in size and therefore easier to install than plank flooring
  • Plenty of choices. You can choose from a wide variety of choices including pre-finished and unfinished, various hardwood species which come with their unique colors.

Cons of Strip Flooring

  • Traditionally, it was made from the leftover of a trunk making it less dense than a plank floor. On this note, it is less durable and it has less character than wide plank flooring
  • Properties with wide plank flooring attract more value than strip flooring.