Wooden Floors: Your Options
A Guide to the Different Types of Wooden Floors
Are you considering a wooden floor for your home? Then it’s important to know the different types of flooring options available. Laminate, engineered wood and solid hardwood are the three major categories. While each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, determining the best one for your needs can be overwhelming without knowing all the facts. Let us be your guide as we lay out what you need to consider before making your purchase!
Laminate flooring is more like faux wood than real wood. It is a manmade composite, formed of a thin top layer of resin-infused paper on top of wood-chip. The resin layer has a very detailed photograph printed on to it, so it looks like real wood. It is scratch resistant, and works well in environments where the temperature and humidity fluctuates, such as the bathroom, kitchen and anywhere with under floor heating. However, they can be slippery and if they get damaged it is difficult to repair, instead you have to buy a new board. The sound of laminate flooring can also be a big giveaway when it comes to the fact that it isn’t real wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood is also manmade, but it contains real wood. It is essentially layers of plywood and a finish wood on the top. The finish wood varies depending on what you want your floor to look like. The plywood runs perpendicular to the adjacent ply, so it has a lot of strength. If the glue used to stick the layers of wood together is waterproof, then it can be placed in rooms that are subject to moisture, such as bathrooms. It has a good acoustic value when walked upon too. The problem, like laminate, is when the flooring is damaged. It can be sanded, depending on the thickness of the top layer; however, deep gauges are likely to be unsalvageable.
Homeowners have several types of hardwood flooring options available to them. Hardwood is solid wood throughout and can come prefinished or unfinished. Prefinished hardwood eliminates the need for sanding, staining, and sealing, whereas unfinished requires two days of drying before it can be walked on. Hardwood floors are highly durable and can be sanded multiple times for a long-lasting surface; however, due to how wood reacts to environment changes such as heat and moisture, it cannot be used in bathrooms or with underfloor heating. Homeowners can find quality hardwood and engineered wood flooring from big-box home improvement companies in their local area.
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