A Closer Look at Three Big Choices:
Homeowners want to choose the right hardwood flooring for their needs, budget, and aesthetic
preferences. This essay breaks down three flooring categories and gives you a resource to make
sure that the remodeling process is simple and easy for you.
1. Solid wood floors
Solid wood floors come in a dazzling variety of wood species. They can be prefinished or
unfinished. The wood must be nailed to something called a subfloor – essentially a floor under
the floor. These floors can only be used at or above ground level.
Prefinished flooring is essentially ready to install as is. But unfinished flooring has to
be “finished” up onsite – sanded, stained, etc. A potentially big mess! (If not going with a professional) On the other hand, you
can save money if you opt for the unfinished option. You can find
solid hardwood floors in a vast array of colors, sizes and grades.
2. Engineered hardwood floors
This option is hardwood glued onto a base of plywood. Engineered hardwood floors work for
both above ground or at-ground, but they’re particularly great for basements and for homes that
encounter variable humidity and radiant heating.
Essentially, this kind of flooring is more stable, since it’s glued down to a concrete slab or
subfloor instead of just nailed down. An alternative scheme involves “floating” the floors
on top of a subfloor or a concrete slab. This means that you underlay a barrier beneath the
flooring. Some people prefer solid hardwood flooring, for aesthetic reasons; although top quality
engineered hardwood floors are in many ways indistinguishable, and they can be cheaper.
3. Laminate flooring
Laminate flooring is a simulated real wood floor that contains planks that have been laminated to
resemble wood. Plastic polymer coats the wood to protect it. If you’re looking for an alternative
to real hardwood that’s durable and simple to install, this might be a good option. It’s also more
economical, as you are not using real wood.
Thinking through your various hardwood floor options? Whether you’re dealing with a large
scale remodeling project, or you’re simply redoing one room in your Bay Area condominium,
the professionals at the Diamond Certified company, Elegant Floors, (located in Mountain View,
CA) can provide a free and friendly consultation.
We are members of the Better Business Bureau and the National Association of the Remodeling
Industry (NARI) as well as the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). Connect with us at
650-961-1339 or www.elegant-floors.com.