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Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide

Buying hardwood flooring can be a big decision. At, we have developed flooring buying guides to assist you in making the decision a little easier. Our flooring professionals, who include certified installers and retail flooring sales managers from across the country, have contributed to these guides to help ensure that your flooring experience – from selecting and purchasing to installation and maintenance – is a seamless one.

This floor buyer's guide will assist you with hardwood flooring types and things to consider which can help you choose the right floor for your living environment. In addition, our site offers hardwood flooring terms that may come in handy when purchasing and installing. Convenient checklists and worksheets are also provided as guidance for gathering information specific to your project while you read through the complete Hardwood Buying Guide.

Do you have questions about buying a new hardwood floor? Maybe you want to decide whether installing your new hardwood is a do it yourself project, or if you should be shopping for a professional installer. offers free hardwood flooring help to everyone. Just click on the Chat Live icon at the top of this page and you will be connected to a hardwood flooring professional that will be happy to answer all your floor buying questions.

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NOTE: Using This Buying Guide
To navigate through the Buying Guide, click "next" at the bottom of each page or use the tabs at the top of the section. For your convenience, you also have the option to print the complete Hardwood Buying Guide including our helpful checklists and worksheets.

Topics in this Guide

Hardwood Flooring Basics

Initial things to consider when starting a hardwood flooring project:

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Questions to Ask

Before you begin shopping for a new floor, we've developed a list of questions to ask yourself. Take advantage of our convenient, printable worksheet to help you list your information and prepare to meet with a flooring sales or installation professional.

Types of Hardwood

With so many types of hardwood flooring, which one is right for you? From solid to engineered floors, to different grain patterns, or domestic or exotic material; this section guides you through the choices.


There's more to hardwood flooring than just beautiful wood planks. Consider the options and accessories for your project.

  • Trims and Moldings: Want to add baseboard to your flooring project, or add flooring to a set of stairs? This section will give you a basic list of flooring trims and moldings to consider for your project.
  • Underlayment: To insulate sound or protect from sub–floor moisture, learn about the various choices of underlayments to install under your hardwood flooring.
  • Adhesives & Fasteners: Depending on your specific project, hardwood flooring glue (adhesive), nails, and/or staples may be needed.

Installation Questions: Here you will find things to consider and questions to ask whether hiring a professional or choosing a "do–it–yourself" project.

  • Professional Installer vs. "Do–It–Yourself"
  • Helpful Tips
  • Installation Questions

Where to Buy: Learn about the important differences between buying hardwood flooring from an online retailer versus from your local retailer.

Pricing: See what factors determine the price differences in hardwood flooring.

Checklist: Once you're ready to purchase hardwood flooring, this list of questions can help you prepare to discuss your flooring needs with a professional.

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Hardwood Manufacturers