The aesthetic value of hardwood flooring has made it the most popular type of flooring for decades and is still held in high regard by homeowners. Hardwood flooring comes in multiple types and styles for all the varied needs and budgets of individuals. Putting hardwood floors is one of the best moves for a home as the house always appreciates in value. The various hardwood floors are all unique and have an undefined beauty that blends into any home setting. The floors are suitable to accentuate any décor from modern décor, traditional décor, country décor and even African décor.
Hardwood flooring can be installed in any area of the house, however, needs attention and a lot of precaution when installing in basement and kitchens. This is because of the fluctuating moisture and humidity content of the two areas. If you are obliged to make installation in the bathroom, basement or kitchen, be keen to seek manufacturers advice or a professional contractor for the process. This will save you from being exempted of warranties by manufacturing companies. Consider the installation type, the species, the construction type, whether the wood will be finished or unfinished, solid wood flooring or engineered, color and texture options.
ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING VS SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORING
To achieve both warmth and comfort, hardwood flooring is just the type you need to beautify your home. Genuine hardwood flooring adds more value to your home and accentuates every corner and hallway. Both engineered, and solid hardwood flooring is made of genuine hardwood flooring but has subtle differences when it comes to their construction.
Engineered hardwood flooring is an example of flooring option whereby a plywood or a High-Density Fiberboard is topped with a layer of hardwood veneer on the surface. The floorboard usually has three or four layers of wood resulting into 14 mm thick. The hardwood veneer which is 4mm thick and above allows sanding. Thus, ensuring that engineered hardwood flooring has more stability compared to solid wood flooring. This simply means that the floors will not expand or contract depending on changes in temperature or humidity. The cost varies from 19$ per square meter to more than 150$ per square meter for high-quality, expensive woods.
Engineered hardwood flooring adds a lot of warmth and increases the value of your home making it look like the showcase. There exist different varieties, finishes, and widths when it comes to this type of flooring, giving a client a different view of all the designs. Finding a design that suits your taste is easy. Engineered hardwood flooring is simpler to install and way more pocket-friendly. They are also attractive as compared to laminate flooring.
Engineered hardwood flooring is flexible enough can be installed in any room of the house and has no restrictions. This type of flooring is suitable for below grade installation. The fact that engineered wood is a series of wood with hardwood placed on top makes it one of the most stable flooring there is, making it an excellent choice for your home. However, may prove noisy and fussy when installing on stairs. Other places like the toilet and pedestals are hard to achieve a smooth finish.
The thickness and the width of the hardwood veneer effect on the number of times the floor can go through sanding and refinish. Most engineered flooring can be sanded once or twice once installed and not exceedingly more as it will lead to damage and the plywood being exposed. When in need of refinishing it is crucial to seek professional advice before taking any initiative thus preventing any damage to the floors and unnecessary replacements.
The plywood used in manufacturing the engineered hardwood flooring affects the stability. The number varies from 2 to 10 plywood; there is a significant difference between a five ply board and a two ply board when it comes to stability. However, the number of plywood used is not a huge factor unless the homeowner is looking into using radiant floor heating for the home. The higher the number of plywood using the more expensive the floor boards. When the High-Density Fiberboard is used in place of many plywoods, the cost is aggravated. This is because a High-Density Fiberboard tends to offer more stability as compared to many plywoods fixated together.
The veneer of the engineered hardwood flooring has different methods of being cut that make them unique. These three methods have differed impacts on the wood and therefore unique outcomes. They include;
Dry solid-sawn involves cutting the wood in a specified humidity level environment and letting the wood dry slowly in the same low level of humidity. This ensures that the cells of the wood maintain their original state with minimal risk of cupping. The dry solid-sawn is regarded as the most expensive type of engineering flooring and has close similarity to solid hardwood.
The rotary-peel process involves boiling the entire log at a specific temperature so as to prepare the wood efficiently. After that, the wood is carefully scraped from the log and pressed flat. This process leaves the wood with a plywood like grain. This process, however, makes the wood have cupping problems and warping when the original form and shape is desired.
Sliced-peel just like the rotary-peel process, the log is boiled at a certain temperature for a very specified amount of time until the wood is ready. Unlike the rotary-peel, the wood is cut from the end and after that pressed to form a veneer. The thicker the veneer, the higher the cost of the flooring and the more the number of times one can refinish. However refinishing is still limited.
There are some engineered wood flooring less than 2mm and cannot be refurbished at any instance also the hand scraped engineered floors despite the thickness.
The tongue-and-groove may prove engineered hardwood flooring quite easy to install as compared to install the click-lock flooring. One can easily install their floors with no professional help. At times this flooring may be more expensive than laminate wood flooring, but it is less expensive than solid hardwood.
Engineered wood flooring can easily be floated and can be installed on all grades even below grade. The installation is also not limited as concrete subfloor can be layered by engineered hardwood flooring.
Solid hardwood is 100% wood and measures about 0.63 to 0.8 inches thick. Wood is prone to changes depending on temperature and humidity; this factor makes solid wood flooring to be installed above grade. Solid wood flooring is not suitable for kitchen or laundry room areas unless under advisement.
The cost of installation varies depending on the expense of the wood. From a minimum of 5$ per square meter for para wood to 82$ per square meter for IPE tropical wood. The cost and stability of the different solid wood flooring depends on these three saws;
Flat or plain sawn which is the most utilized cut in solid wood flooring leaves the wood with different and various variations compared to others.
Quarter sawn is whereby the log is first to cut into quarters after that cut into strips of wood resulting into beautiful hardwood flooring boards.
Rift sawn produces the highest quality of wood flooring as compared to the prior. This process involves cutting the log at an angle compared to the quarter sawn. After that, they are then cut into hardwood flooring boards. The boards are more expensive compared to other flooring boards resulting from different sawn. The rift sawed also produces more stable flooring material.
Installing the solid flooring will leave your home looking breathtaking and increase the value of the house when you decide to sell it.
Solid wood tends to expand and contract in the presence of moisture and high temperature which restricts its installation in every space. The installation process can be overwhelming for solid wood flooring. You may need to seek assistance from a professional contractor once you have bought the individual pieces or sometimes before. The solid wood tends to take up different forms after manufacturing making its fitting cumbersome for the homeowner. To add to the installation process, one needs a specified glue by the manufacturer and at times nailing. Solid hardwood flooring is not suitable when it comes to concrete subfloors. But other spaces can embrace the look and last for generations without replacements being undertaken.
UNFINISHED VS FINISHED FLOORING
Unfinished or Finished type of flooring depends on the home owners taste and preference. Both are quite impressive but still differ regarding manufacturing and procedure during and after installation.
Finished wood flooring also referred to as pre-finished wood flooring is applied by the manufacturer. The manufacturer applies aluminum oxide which is a tough coating substance that protects the wooden floor. There is specialized equipment used to dry up the floor.
The finished type of wood flooring is quite simple and does not consume a lot of time as it has already undergone sanding and finishing. The space that has finished wood flooring is ready for use immediately after installation. Your contractor will advise on which type of flooring will suit your taste and convenience.
All hardwood flooring has to have a finishing- this finishing is simply to create that outer layer on the floor so as to protect it from staining or scratches.
For unfinished wood flooring, the installer first buys the wood for installation then sands it and apply the finish on the site. The contractor cannot use aluminum oxide as the wood will easily and quickly absorb it, therefore not creating that hardened surface needed. This type of flooring is great if you are looking to match the preexisting wooden floor or want a specific color for your floors. It is also recommended to use unfinished wood flooring for the kitchen whereby applying the finish after installation seals the crevices that may be left and all the gaps that may let moisture and dirt to the subfloor. There are several finishing options.
Choosing a finishing is crucial and affects the general maintenance of the floor plus the long-term appearance. There are several types of different unique finishes such as;
Different sheens come in various and unique shine that gives the floor the general appearance. The gloss sheen has the most shine and has maximum reflection; the semi-gloss sheen has less shine than the gloss sheen, less reflection but more as compared to the satin sheen. Satin sheen has less shine than the semi-gloss sheen, less reflection than the latter but more light than matte. Matte sheen has minimal to no shine, no reflection and the least level of light. It is also referred to as being flat.
The surface finish usually forms a protective coating on the floor that makes it water-resistant, durable and lessens the maintenance required. There exist various types of finishes such as;
Oil-based finishes have an amber appearance and are considered to be very durable.
Water- based finishes are resistant to any shading or tinting turning the floor yellow and is regarded to be very durable.
Moisture-cured finishes range from a clear to an amber in color. They are the most water-resistant compared to other surface finishes.
Conversion varnish finishes also encompassing clear to amber color and similarly very durable as compared to both oil-based finish and water-based finish.
Wax finishes tend to be absorbed into the wood and after that hardening it. The finish forms a protective layer which has an amber appearance with a low luster. At times this finishing can reveal spots as evidence of contamination due to water or other chemicals.
UV cured finishes is a finish caused or as a result of Ultra Violet rays which leads to different and multiple sheens.
Natural oil finishes vary from penetrating oils to hard wax oil finishes that sink into the pores of the wood and result in a durable and long lasting finish.
Choosing the correct hardwood flooring involves a series of steps and consultation with experts. Research is also key before installation, and with these few pointers, you will be able to get the flooring you desire for your home easily.