Some of the options are - Hardwood, Engineered Hardwood, Laminate, Cork/Bamboo, Ceramic, LVT, Stone, Carpet.
That is where Engineered hardwood comes into play. Engineered floors are real wood and are made by adhering a solid hardwood face layer to a sturdy multi-layered plywood core which are placed in opposing directions. It is more stable and durable. It is also excellent value since you are only using an expensive top decorative layer, you are saving money. This multi layered construction is a greener choice since use less trees than hardwood. The plywood core is made of rapidly renewable wood grown on tree farms. This application also allows for wider planks without cupping or gaping. Engineered flooring can be used below grade and will not be affected by the moisture.
Refinishing - We know you can refinish a solid hardwood floor. What about engineered hardwood? Yes you can but it is not promoted to sand and refinish either type of floor. The original factory finish is strong and should not be removed. This can void the wear warranty. Refinishing is a long and arduous process and will not yield the quality of the original finish. The other advantage to engineered flooring is that it can be used in basements over heated subfloors. Because of the multi ply core construction they are more stable than solid wood. You cannot install hardwood in a basement due to moisture changes.
Another decision to make is the finish - matte, satin, high gloss, wire brushed, hand scraped, distressed and on it goes. So many options and so many beautiful wood floors. These days people are choosing their floors by texture rather than just colour. Texture is more tactile and stimulates our senses. Adding texture can be a good choice with a growing family or pets as marks will be less visible. This give a rustic look while a more sculpted floor gives a contemporary look.
These days the finishes are so durable you only need to vacuum your flooring. Do not use water or wax on hardwood or engineered floors