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Hardwood Flooring in Florida

If you’re looking for the right hardwood flooring in Florida, here’s some information that you should find useful. Of course, you should leave the ultimate decision up to your local installer, but here is some general information relating specifically to choosing the right hardwood floor in FL.

Solid Hardwood Flooring in Florida

Generally speaking, most Florida homes are not good candidates for traditional, 3/4″ thick, solid hardwood flooring. Now, technically, those of you who have multi-level homes may certainly be able to install a 3/4″ thick solid hardwood floor on the second or third floor of your Florida home. While that is certainly possible, and I have personally done it many times for customers who simply insist on having that 3/4″ hardwood that they grew up on up north, I do not personally recommend 3/4″ thick solid hardwood flooring in Florida.

Buckled Hardwood Flooring

That being said, if you insist on having solid hardwood floors in Florida (and you want to avoid the same problem in the picture above) here are a few factors that will go a long way in preventing serious damage that Florida’s climate (humidity) can inflict on your floor:

  • Stick with narrow planks, 2 1/4″ or 3 1/4″ is probably as wide as you should go (if you absolutely have to have wider planks, please choose engineered hardwood instead)
  • Perhaps a thinner hardwood will meet your need for solid wood, but also reduce your risk of cupping, warping, etc… We have a great line-up of 1/2″, 3/8″ and 5/16″ solid hardwood flooring to choose from
  • Use Quarter Sawn and/or Rift Sawn hardwood flooring – this type of flooring is more dimensionally stable, and can generally withstand a harsher climate than plain sawn flooring
  • Use your HVAC system, especially in the summer! The summer months bring nasty humid air to Florida homes, making a mess out of hardwood floors in Florida if the HVAC system is not running to remove the humidity from the air inside the home.

Engineered Flooring in Florida

As a resident of Florida, and an ex-hardwood install professional in Florida, I strongly advise the use of Engineered hardwood flooring in nearly ALL hardwood floor applications in Florida.

Engineered flooring is specifically manufactured to withstand the torment of humid air, quick changes in relative humidity, and is the perfect hardwood floor for installing over your concrete slab OR plywood or OSB! Even tile and vinyl flooring that is flat/level and still well adhered, can make a suitable substrate for engineered hardwood flooring. The bottom line is that engineered flooring is the perfect Florida hardwood flooring!

Generally made of 5 or more layers, or “plys” of wood, engineered flooring IS REAL WOOD. I will repeat that, engineered hardwood flooring is real hardwood flooring. Obviously, the biggest concern, and rightfully so, with engineered hardwood, is how thick is the wear layer? After all, the wear layer, is the top layer that you: Look at, Walk on, and hopefully, Sand and Refinish one day if it is thick enough.

You can click this link to our engineered flooring page to see a wide variety of engineered flooring, including a collection of engineered hardwoods that have wear layers almost exactly as thick as the sandable surface (the part above the tongue & groove) of 3/4″ thick hardwood!

Of course like any other product, engineered flooring will come in a wide range of qualities, from the worst to the best, and everything in between. And like anything else, you get what you pay for.

Now that you have a little bit of knowledge about choosing the right hardwood floor in Florida, start shopping by selecting one of the hardwood flooring categories at the top of this page.

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