A hardwood floor can be a beautiful addition to your home or office space, and as you may already know, there are two basic types of hardwood flooring which you can use. With the massive amount of flooring options available, you might be having a difficult time deciding what kind is best for you and your home. As the different types of hardwood flooring have a variety of benefits and drawbacks, this article will help explain the various kinds in detail and give a summary of what they are good and bad for. In case you weren’t sure which kind of hardwood flooring to purchase for your home, this article will help you decide and put your mind at ease.
Solid Hardwood flooring
When you think of hardwood flooring, you think of wooden planks made of real trees. This is what solid hardwood flooring is- planks, boards, strips or ornamental arrangements of wood made from various kinds of trees top to bottom. It can be purchased in a finished or unfinished version. The pre-finished version is ready for installation with nothing else needing to be done, while the unfinished is not yet sanded and will need to be sanded, finished sealed on installation. Many homeowners opt for the unfinished flooring as it gives them the opportunity to stain the wood to a desired colour and is markedly cheaper than the pre-finished variety. Solid hardwood flooring comes in three varieties:
Strip Flooring – Set width boards that are only available in widths of 1 1/2 inches, 2 inches and 2 1/4 inches, but can vary in thickness.
Plank Flooring – Comes in only 2 thicknesses, therefore making it more difficult to arrange in homes where floor level varies, but comes in a variety of widths.
Parquet Flooring – Ornamental or geometric designs made from wood which generally look very different from your typical hardwood flooring. The individual wood slats used to make the pieces are held together by adhesive or some form of fastening.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured by using pieces of hardwood, high density fiberboard or plywood, layering them, and adhering them to a top layer of hardwood veneer. This gives the illusion and feel of real wood flooring, while being markedly less expensive than real hardwood, and experiencing less problems overall. While solid hardwood tends to contract or expand with heat, cold and damp, engineered hardwood flooring is far more resistant and overall more stable as it does not respond to the elements in the same way solid hardwood does. This means it is less likely to warp, shrink, snap or cup. While engineered hardwood comes in a variety of finishes, you will generally wat to avoid re-finishing it, as this will wear away the top veneer coat every time you do it. Instead, worn patches of engineered hardwood will most likely have to be replaced or fixed professionally piece by piece. However, most manufacturers of engineered hardwood guarantee many years of use, with some promising 25 and more. Another great thing about engineered wood flooring is that the planks snap together very easily, making installation a quick and simple process, even if you wish to do it yourself.
Overall, what is best for your home will depend on how much you want to spend on your flooring, how easy you wish installation to be, and how you wish the room itself to look. Remember that while solid hardwood is generally more sought out, it is not a good idea to install it in places where temperature and humidity differences over the year might cause warping. While prices in the two varieties can vary massively, ultimately the price will depend on the wood, size of room, and installation type required. Remember that click-in engineered hardwood is generally much less expensive to install than any other kind.