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puppy on hardwood floorThere is something about hardwood flooring that shouts of 'elegance'. The beautiful shine and grains of wood gives a timeless sense of quality and makes the entire room show a decorating job well done.

We at Apex have a trained group of employees that are versed in all hardwood applications and styles, whether it is Prefinished or Unfinished. Both styles have advantages


no custom staining floor yes, can custom stain floor
prefinished with 3-9 coats** must apply finish on job site
ultra-violet cured urethane finish no UV cured urethane finish
can complete job in 1-2 days usually takes several days or a week
walk on after installation must wait for finish coats to dry
minimal mess and smells very messy and can smell
trims won't match planks trims can be stained to match planks
can have "overwood" between planks planks are sanded smooth and flat
solid & engineered wood planks generally solid wood planks
costs less to install *** costs more to install ***
flooring more costly *** less costly for flooring ***

floorWhen it comes to any hardwood flooring, the wood and finish you choose will determine the amount of refinishing that will be required in the future. Wood is rated for hardness using the Janka hardness test. Brazilian ebony has a Janka rating of 3692 and is the hardest wood on the market, while Brazilian fir has a Janka rating of 0060 and is the softest. Oak, which is the most common flooring types, has a Janka rating of 1260 for red and 1360 for white. The higher the Janka rating the harder the wood will be to damage. So if you combine a hard-wearing finish with a hard wood, you will have less refinishing of your floors. See Janka Chart

Old wood can be given a new life when it is recycled into "new" wood flooring. Recycled wood flooring is made from salvaged boards or trees that have been remilled into a product suitable for residential use. Since this wood came from old growth forests of America, it is often harder, denser, and more attractive in appearance than new growth wood. Recycling wood is more resource efficient than making new wood flooring.

Specialty recyclers glean reusable hardwoods such as chestnut, hickory, cherry, and oak from old houses, buildings, and barns that are slated for demolition. Another source for reclaimed wood flooring is river and lake bottoms where wood from long-ago logging operations sank and has been retrieved from its underwater storage. Salvaged logs, beams, and planks are sent to a lumber mill where they are remilled into individual flooring pieces. The surface can be selectively finished to have a final appearance anywhere between rough-hewn to finely sanded and varnished.

floorRecycled wood flooring can be installed in planks, similar to the flooring seen in historic homes. It can be milled into tongue-and-groove strips similar to modern wood flooring systems, with individual strips made in widths from three inches to sixteen inches. One company makes end-grain flooring by cutting oak beams 3/4-inch thick and placing them on the floor with the end-grain facing upwards, almost like laying tiles.

Natural VS Synthetic is always a argueing fact. Your options for synthetic hardwood would be laminate flooring. Laminate floor offers a similar look to hardwood but at a lower cost.

Comparing Hardwood Flooring versus Laminate Flooring

This is a very general comparison between engineered hardwood flooring and laminate flooing to help you to better understand these floor groups. Please note, hardwood flooring comes in some many different species, finishes and construction types and that it is very difficult to place them all in one general category, so pre-finished engineered hardwood flooring is used for this comparison. See your local flooring store for additional advice and recommendations.

Special Note: This is a very general comparison and characteristics will vary depending on the manufacturer and consumer usage. Always read the manufacturer's written brochures for specific product details, recommendations and warranties.

Prefinished Engineered
Hardwood Floor
Laminate Floor
Visual Appearance excellent good
Scratch Resistance good4 very good
Stain Resistance fair1 excellent
Fade Resistance fair2 excellent
Impact Resistance good excellent
Ease of Maintenance good very good
Moisture Resistance fair good
Ease of Repair good poor
Can floor be refinished? yes (not acrylic impregnated) no
Install over concrete slab if glue or float yes, floating
Manufacturer's Warranty good good
Installation Methods glue, staple, float some pre-glued
glueless, floating
Easy To Install (DIY) glueless floating - yes
staple-down - maybe
glue-down - messy
Life expectancy of floor (in years) 25+3 < 20

  1. floor Some hardwood flooring factory finishes have very good stain resistance
  2. Some wood stains when exposed to direct UV sunlight may change color more than others
  3. Quality hardwood floors can last for a lifetime with proper care & refinishing
  4. Some UV-cured urethane finishes have aluminum oxide crystals embedded in the finish and are extremely durable