Hardwood Buying Guide

Hardwood buying guide

hardwood buying guide

Investing in a hardwood floor is a wise decision to increase the value of your home. Hardwood is also a smart ecological choice because it is a naturally sustainable, renewable material. This guide will assist you as you move onto the exciting process of selecting a floor that expresses your style, enhances your space and will be structurally sound for many years of enjoyment.

Azalea Lane offers diverse collections with color, finish and plank widths to suit any style, budget or construction requirements. Use our product search feature, along with the guidelines below to begin your selection process. Then go to Find a Store and contact one of our retail partners to view full samples, discuss pricing, and to purchase our products.


Budget-friendly and Stylish

Plank width, surface treatment, specie and construction all contribute to the varied price points of the diverse Azalea Lane collections. The good news is, you can be sure to find a beautiful hardwood product in this brand that is a stylish and affordable alternative to other types of flooring.

Sustainability for the Long-term

Carpet must be replaced, due to wear, staining and outdated styles, several times over the life of a home. Hardwood remains structurally sound, can be refurbished, and its classic aesthetic never goes out of style. Our 25 year finish warranty is included with every purchase, giving you added value to your home and the peace of mind that comes with a smart investment. Our UV Cured Urethane finish ensures a beautiful surface that will maximize the durability of your hardwood floor without costly repairs. Azalea Lane collections offer sustainable flooring solutions for every style and budget.


Diverse Choices

From classic to contemporary, Azalea Lane offers colors, treatments and finishes to complement an array of design choices.  Express your unique style and coordinate your new hardwood flooring with an existing design, or create a new look to freshen up your surroundings.


Modern gray shades, rich, bold colors, and classic stains, along with natural finishes offer a diverse color pallet across the Azalea Lane collections. Gray tones have recently become one of the hottest trends in flooring.  Gray can quickly transform an outdated space into a fresh, contemporary space and add visual interest to any room.  Make a bold statement with a rich, dark stain color to add sophistication and style to your home.  Choosing a classic stain color will create a traditional warmth and ensure a timeless design element.  Selecting a natural finish (no stain) will certainly expose the most character of any wood specie, revealing nature’s color variations in the grain of the wood and usually resulting in a light floor, bringing brightness into a dark space.

Surface Treatment

Subtle scraping, wire brushing or distressing bring an authentic, aged hardwood design to the Azalea Lane collections.  These surface treatments, combined with a complementing stain color can create a warm and inviting space that is perfect for high traffic areas or busy, active homes with children and pets. Worry less about obvious scratching or dings with a surface that has been intentionally aged. Scraping and distressing creates a vintage look, optimizing the character in each plank. Wire brushing actually removes the softer grain in the wood, so that you are walking on the hardest, most durable grain. For a truly rustic design, choose a collection that offers multiple surface treatments.  A smooth surface is a classic, timeless choice that is elegant and versatile for any design.

Azalea Lane also offers choices in gloss levels among the collections. Choose a high or medium gloss level for a traditional result, or a low gloss level for a more matte, modern design result, which will reflect less light.  Regardless of the gloss level, all of our collections boast a durable, UV Cured Urethane finish with Aluminum Oxide for optimum wear protection.

Plank Width and Edges

The width of hardwood flooring planks can contribute to the overall space design of a room. A 2 ¼” width (often referred to as “strip”) is considered traditional and can expand the overall look and feel of a room. A wider plank can make a large space feel more intimate and also create a modern element.  Mixing plank widths adds a creative, unique design and is actually a choice that is truly authentic, dating back hundreds of years when the entire log of the tree was used to produce varied widths.

Our micro-beveled edge treatments provide a slight bevel to help hide minor irregularities, such as slightly irregular subfloors.  Usually preferred over “square edges”, this edge treatment is present either as a 2-sided or 4-sided bevel on all of our collections.  Since all Azalea Lane hardwood has a quality urethane finish, dirt can easily be swept or vacuumed out of the grooves.

CONSTRUCTION: Engineered vs Solid

Defining the Difference
hardwood terms

solid hardwood floors

Both engineered and solid floors are, in fact, hardwood floors.  The difference lies underneath the surface you see on the top of the plank. Solid hardwood is literally constructed of a solid plank of lumber that is milled to a uniform thickness and width. Engineered hardwood is constructed of multiple layers of wood veneers with the stained specie of choice on the top with the

hardwood terms

engineered hardwood floors

same protective urethane applied as with the solid counterpart. The cross-layer construction of the veneers is designed to reduce expansion with dimensional stability.

Both solid and engineered planks are manufactured with the same tongue and groove type construction along the edges of the plank to enable the interlocking during installation.

Determining the Best Option

Your qualified hardwood installer and your retail salesperson will be able to assist you in deciding between a solid hardwood or an engineered hardwood.  Solid hardwood may be installed above grade or on grade levels, meaning the ground level and upper level(s) of your home. Without proper use of HVAC or humidity control, solid planks have a tendency to cup or crown in a high humidity environment, causing movement which can result in buckling.  An engineered hardwood may be installed on all levels of your home, including the basement.  The multiple layers of cross constructed plywood provide the stability needed in a below grade (basement) or high humidity environment.  Both engineered and solid hardwood are natural products and some expansion and contraction is expected with seasonal changes. Azalea Lane offers beautiful choices in both constructions, so consult a flooring professional before you make your selection to ensure the best product for your environment.
hardwood buying guide hardwood buying guide

Hardwood Buying Guide

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