Hardwood flooring has become one of the most popular forms of flooring in homes today. It’s also one of the most expensive types of wood you can buy. If you’re interested in giving your home a unique look, adding, hardwood floors can be an ideal choice. But to ensure that you get the best quality, the proper installation, and long-lasting hardwood flooring, there are some things you should know first.
First, hardwood flooring comes in two types: solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood comprises all the boards together, and engineered hardwood is made up of individual boards attached using glue or nails. Engineered hardwood is more durable, but because it’s more complicated to install, it costs more money.
Second, there are many kinds of hardwood flooring. Pine is probably the most popular, followed by maple, oak, cherry, hickory, poplar, walnut, bamboo, maple, hickory, oak, beech, jacobs, plank, bamboo, walnut, oak, ash, and spruce. Each type of wood possesses different properties, meaning that hardwood floors with one grain of wood may not be exactly the same as another grain of wood. This variety is especially important if you have children or pets-some species of hardwood floors are known for their tendency to stain easily, which can ruin your floors.
Third, hardwood flooring can be available in different finishes. These finishes can be natural or painted, laminated or varnished, and maybe glossy or dull veneers. The type of finish that will work best on your floor will depend on the age and composition of the wood, its intended use, and its climate. For example, painted hardwood flooring may not last as long in extremely humid climates as in milder climates.
Fourth, there are several different types of installation methods for hardwood floors. You can purchase unfinished hardwood flooring, which means you can do the installation yourself if you wish. However, this option can be more expensive than pre-finished strips or planks. Also, unfinished hardwood flooring can’t be cut into precise patterns, as pre-finished strips and planks do. If you don’t mind buying more than one plank to adhere together, unfinished hardwood flooring is an inexpensive way to go.
Fifth, because hardwood floor installation involves nailing or stapling the boards to a solid surface, the boards can’t be installed at an angle. This makes nailing and stapling more difficult, unless you want to mess up your subfloor. Also, because there are joints between the boards, the finished product can’t be shimmed, as solid floors can be shimmed. This means that unless you want to remove your hardwood floor entirely, you’re going to have to make sure you mop and scrub it up regularly.
Sixth, eco-friendly hardwood flooring offers choices in installation. Not all installation methods use nails and staplers. Some use nails or a veneer that’s placed over a core board that’s solid. Other options include using glue, rotary clips, or an electrical outlet strip.
Lastly, engineered hardwood flooring offers a more unique installation method. It uses tongue-and-groove technology to install hardwood floors. It’s done by sawing grooves into the actual plank, rather than nailing or stapling the planks together. Although it takes more work, it offers a more custom look and better long-term performance. That means you’ll spend less time and effort repainting and more time enjoying your new hardwood floors!
Engineered hardwood also offers different options for the grain patterns on the boards. One option is to get regular strips and grain, or you can go with a more elaborate and detailed pattern of stripes, patterns, or a solid border. This is especially nice if you’re getting the boards cut to the specific height you need at your building site, as they can match up to the height of the existing hardwood underneath, saving you time and money. You may even be able to purchase prefinished strips or boards with pre-drilled holes for ease and convenience when installing.
Overall, hardwood floors are more durable than maple or oak, but they’re not as beautiful as the latter. Oak and maple are more popular, but they’re certainly more expensive. The cost-benefit is offset by the fact that hardwood floors add character and beauty to any home. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the drawbacks described above when getting hardwood floors installed – you just have to worry about finding a good contractor who is experienced and skilled.
It’s important to note that although hardwood is stronger than solid wood flooring, it is more susceptible to moisture damage. If spills or stains occur, they often will leave an oily residue on the surface. Over time, this will cause your hardwood floors to expand and contract, causing creaking sounds and uneven flooring. To combat this, regularly sweep your floors with a soft-bristled broom and damp mop when dirt gets tracked in. Also, you may want to invest in an absorbent broom that will capture any liquid that does get tracked in – this will help you to prevent water damage.