Bruce is one of the older brands in the industry. They have produced flooring for over 100 years and use hardwoods sourced from the Appalachian Mountains. In our review of Bruce Hardwood flooring, we’re going to cover their collections and give you an idea of what to expect from the company in regards to quality, colors, and price.
Bruce Hardwood Collections Review
One of the simplest ways to get a look at Bruce is to browse their site. As they only carry hardwood flooring and accessories to care for your floors, things are easy to navigate. The company has a variety of guides that can help you find the right type of hardwood flooring from your home, and their selection of flooring includes over 300 styles.
While you can find other brands under their umbrella like Capella, HomerWood, and LM Flooring, we’re going to focus on the company’s line of solid and engineered products. At this time, that includes a number of domestic species that are harvested and manufactured into flooring at their plants in the United States.
Bruce Solid Hardwood Flooring
The Bruce Solid hardwood collection is massive with around 190 products. There are shades ranging from White to Beige and five types of domestic woods to choose from. The majority of their solid hardwood flooring lineup consists of Red Oak or White Oak, but Maple and Hickory are options in some collections as well.
As for those collections, there are 17 to choose from, although the differences aren’t evident from one to the next. They will play a part in the pricing however, but it’s best to browse their solid flooring by species, look, or color. You can also sort through a series of specifications like thickness or gloss, depending on your needs. All of Bruce’s solid hardwood flooring styles are made in the USA.
Bruce Engineered Flooring
The number of engineered flooring options from Bruce is also vast, but there are some considerable differences aside from how these boards are made. With 149 options spanning 15 collections, there is a shade and species for everyone. Oak is still the clear leader along with Hickory and Maple, but Walnut, Birch, and Cherry are options as well.
You can browse through the Bruce Engineered hardwood collections the same way you can their solid wood flooring, but there are more variables in play. Their engineered flooring features more finishing techniques and comes in sizes, although you won’t find boards under 3” wide. The majority of the collections are made in the USA as well, aside from around 20 styles.
Unique Features of Bruce Hardwood Flooring
Any company that has been in business for over 100 years usually knows a few tricks. While Bruce has introduced several innovations since it sprang into existence, one of their newer technologies will be of great interest to homeowners today.
Wood and water generally don’t mix unless you’re in an old-fashioned boat. Organic materials can cause mold and mildew or rot when water is a concern, which is why you don’t see hardwood flooring in many bathrooms or wet areas. Engineered hardwood fairs better, but floors that make use of Bruce’s Hydrorepel technology ensure puddles won’t be an issue for at least 36 hours thanks to six layers of protection.
Lock and Fold is another technology found in several of the company’s product lines. While not as innovative as Hydrorepel, the Lock & Fold system makes installation a breeze for homeowners and professional installers alike. When combined with Armstrong’s underlayment system, you can snap these planks together without using glue.
Bruce doesn’t provide a great deal of detail on the types of finishes they use. Several products use Dura-Luster or Dura-Luster Plus urethane, but we don’t have any information beyond that. Hydrorepel technically qualifies as a finish as well, even though it’s only available in a few styles. The gloss levels vary between low, medium, and high.
The solid hardwood lineup only has two texturing options with traditional and hand-scraped wood. There are only a dozen options with the latter, but things are different with their engineered flooring. Most of these planks are also “traditional,” but there are also options for smooth, brushed, distressed, hand-scraped, and specialty wood.
Size and Milling
In terms of sizes, there aren’t quite as many widths or thicknesses compared to other manufacturers. The standards are all there, however, so you can choose from 3/8” or 7/16” wide planks with engineered boards or 5/16” and ¾” with solid flooring. You’ll find a larger variety of wider styles with engineered flooring, whereas the solid series has a lot of strip planks that are less than 3” wide.
Standard milling practices are used by Bruce as well. With engineered flooring, most of the options have a micro-edge, but there are around a dozen with square or micro-beveled edges. There are more than 130 styles of solid hardwood with micro-edge milling to go along with 40 square edge boards. Scraped-edge flooring is also an option however if you like any of the colors from the Signature Scrape series.
Durability is trickier to figure out with Bruce compared to other brands. As they don’t use exotic species, it limits durability considering you won’t find anything harder than Hickory in their collections. Quality plays a part in how long your floors will last as well, along with the wear layer and finish, but that can vary between collections and styles to a degree.
The warranty on their flooring can vary as much as the colors in their collections. For prefinished solid hardwood flooring, most of the options we checked had a 25 or 50-year residential guarantee, but there were products listed at 15 years as well. It’s also important to remember their tiered warranty system covers everything from structural integrity and finishes to sanding, so you’ll want to read the fine print.
The Green Factor
We’re going to keep things simple here as Bruce gets their hardwood from domestic sources, so they are eco-friendly if you’re trying to stay away from exotic woods. The domestic species they lean heavily on are all abundant and popular with other hardwood manufacturers. While they do have a certification section on their website, it is sparse compared to other leading brands as FloorScore was the only certification we saw on their site.
Bruce Hardwood Cost and Availability
If you are interested in Bruce’s flooring, we have good news. It’s available through dozens of online shops along with local flooring stores. You can find it at Home Depot or Lowes as well. Below is a brief sampling of prices from their engineered and hardwood flooring lines.
Style / Color
$3.89 sq. ft.
$6.99 sq. ft.
$4.94 sq. ft.
$3.99 sq. ft.
$3.49 sq. ft.
$8.22 sq. ft.
$3.09 sq. ft.
Bruce Hardwood Pros, Cons and Ratings
Bruce is responsible for other brands, but are under the AHF banner themselves. They are often associated with quality as they’ve been in business for decades, although reviews were mixed depending on who you listen to. We found complaints from both contracts and homeowners alike, but just as many people that were in love with their flooring. We attribute this to the age of some reviews along with the quality of some of their product lines.
Nice selection of colors and styles using domestic woods from Appalachia. We feel they are reasonably priced on their solid and engineered products. Their flooring is easy to acquire anywhere in the United States.
Quality or quality control is suspect with some series. Many of their styles have a similar vibe, which means there is a better overall selection from other brands.
Bruce Hardwood Flooring FAQ
Q: Is there a way to keep the noise levels down with Bruce’s hardwood flooring?
A: All hardwood can be noisy as you walk across it, depending on your footwear. Popping or any noise from the boards themselves should not be a problem if the hardwood has been properly installed on a level subfloor within the company’s tolerances.
Q: What’s a suitable humidity level in my home for a successful Bruce hardwood flooring installation?
A: According to the company, you will want to ensure the humidity range in your home stays between 35 to 55%. Excess moisture and humidity can cause issues with hardwood flooring, so it’s important to know those numbers before installing new hardwood in your home.
Q: Are steam mops safe to use with any type of hardwood flooring from Bruce?
A: Using a steam mop on your floor is generally not recommended, and if your hardwood flooring becomes damaged from the use of a steam mop, it won’t be covered under Bruce’s warranty policy.
Q: Can I purchase hardwood flooring directly from Bruce if I have a large project or several homes to remodel?
A: No. Bruce hardwood and other flooring products are only sold through retailers like Home Depot and Lowes, along with flooring dealers across the United States.
Q: Will my hardwood flooring change color with light exposure?
A: Yes. All hardwood flooring is subject to darkening or lightening with exposure to light. You should always consider furniture placement, area rugs, and light exposure when installing hardwood flooring from Bruce or any other manufacturer.
Q: Is it safe to install Bruce hardwood flooring on my wall or as a backsplash in an area of my home?
A: Yes, although you can only do it with engineered hardwood from Bruce, not solid hardwood flooring. The company also says wall installations are only possible with ½” or 3/8” engineered flooring as well.
Q: Can I repair Bruce hardwood flooring if it becomes scratched or damaged?
A: Yes, but it depends on the extent of the damage. Solid hardwood can be refinished, which takes care of scratches and other minor damage. If boards become warped or have other issues, you may need to replace an entire plank.
Q: Will a vacuum cleaner damage the finish on my hardwood flooring?
A: It’s unlikely, but possible if debris becomes caught in the brush roll. If your vacuum has a beater bar or brush roll, the safest way to clean hardwood is to turn it off. Some systems have bare floor modes as well or allow you to adjust the height.