The Different Types of Wood Flooring
Hardwood floors have unmatched natural beauty and go with any decor — modern, traditional, country. Wood flooring is a great choice for all room, although kitchens and basements might not be ideal.
Unfinished or Finished?
Unfinished hardwood flooring is the best choice if you have custom stain applied before the last finish; it’s also ideal or if you want to color-match existing flooring. After your hardwood flooring is installed and stained, several coats of protective finish are applied to your wood flooring. Prefinished hardwood flooring arrives from the factory sanded and sealed, so the installation process is quick. There are no odors and VOCs from finishing on-site and your floor is fine to walk on immediately.
Solid or Engineered?
Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent wood and comes 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Because it’s solid wood, it can be sanded and refinished numerous times. Engineered hardwood flooring is a veneer of real wood adhered to a few layers of wood underneath, like plywood. Engineered offers excellent stability over time. It good choice for rooms of your home, including below-grade basements. Typically, engineered hardwood flooring can only be sanded and refinished once or twice during its lifetime.
What Species Is Best?
The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available and quite hard. Oak flooring, maple flooring and cherry flooring are all good choices. Other species include bamboo (which is actually a grass), walnut, ash and mahogany. You’ll pay a more price for more exotic species, such as teak, jarrah and mesquite. Check to make sure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.
Another option is reclaimed hardwood flooring, which you can find at salvage yards. It likely has some signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for comparable new flooring. If they don’t have what you’re looking for (and you have the time), ask to be put on a waiting list. Salvage flooring is an especially good choice if you’re renovating an older house.
Have Questions about Hardwood Floor Repairs or New Wood Flooring Installation?
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