Hardwood flooring hold a distinct appeal for the ones who have acute aesthetics sense. When deciding to install hardwood floor, going into depth about the types of hardwood floorings leads to a well informed decision. Since it is a once in a lifetime decision, trying to analyze every perspective before installing, leads to a well informed decision, leaving no or little scope for dissatisfaction.
The three most common types of hardwood floorings are; solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring and longstrip hardwood flooring. Let us try to understand in brief the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORING
Solid hardwood floorings have always been the most preferred type of hardwood flooring. Apart from the aesthetic appeal it is the durability that tilts the decision in its favor. The ability of the flooring to be refinished and recoated a number of times in its lifespan maintains the new like look of the flooring. But as it is a natural product the upkeep of the flooring is very high and tiresome. The flooring is very sensitive to moisture and gets greatly influenced by differing moisture content in the atmosphere according to the change in the season. If not installed properly then, the contraction of the planks in the cold weather or the buckled planks due to excess moisture are an intolerable sight and can mar even the best of interiors. Though the gaps do disappear once it is warm again yet tolerating the gaps or cups while they are there is too much to bear.
The Solid Wood Flooring is available in three main types. Each type has a prefinished and unfinished categories. Unfinished needs to be finished after it has been installed and prefinished is the ready version which can be installed directly without any treatment on site. The three types of solid wood flooring are:
- Strip Flooring: Whether the flooring is strip flooring or the other kinds is decided by the width and the thickness of the wood planks. The width is fixed but the thicknesses can vary. There are 2-3 standard sizes of the width available.
- Plank Flooring: this kind is the opposite of strip flooring. In these kinds the planks are available in two standard sizes of thicknesses but the width can vary.
- Parquet Flooring: These floorings appear very different from the regular hardwood flooring. These are made up of geometrical patterns composed of individual wood slats fastened by adhesives, so that the pattern is maintained.
Another decision regarding the hardwood flooring is the species of wood which can be used. Most often clients are very partial to certain kinds of wood like the red oak, white oak, birch, beech, pine or cherry. The hardness, the grading and most importantly the cost are the major decisive factors while choosing the solid wood flooring.
ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING
Engineered hardwood floorings are fast becoming popular due its versatility. It is used preferably in areas where solid hardwood flooring is not suggested. The flooring is produced by adhering layers of plastic laminate veneer with real wood. The cross ply construction of the flooring allow the wood piles to contract with each other and thus prohibit the expansion or contraction caused due to changes in the weather. The core layers of the flooring make them more stable and the veneer adds to the beauty. The veneers of the engineered hardwood flooring are available in the domestic as well as exotic species available. Engineered hardwood floorings are an inexpensive option as compared to solid hardwood floorings and also do not require costly maintenance procedures.
It is a common misconception the engineered hardwood flooring and hardwood laminates are one and the same thing. The surface of hardwood laminates is not of real wood and is just a picture of the wood. Though it is not as costly as solid wood or engineered hardwood floorings, it is a less preferred option as the feel and the look is not that of the original.
Engineered hardwood flooring is also considered more environmental friendly as compared to the traditional solid wood floorings. They are very easy to install and anyone who has some know how about the flooring techniques can install the flooring on their own.
Like while buying and installing any kind of hardwood flooring, buyers have to be cautious about the engineered hardwood flooring too. Manufactures sometimes compromise on the thickness of the veneer which can prevent sanding and refinishing opportunities and may reduce the lifespan of the flooring. A thin and poorly made veneer will result in quick fading or premature warping of the flooring. The stability too may be negotiated with, by using low quality wood for the core layers.
LONG STRIP HARDWOOD FLOORING
Long strip flooring or floating wood floors are another option for hardwood flooring lovers. It is similar to engineered hardwood flooring, the only difference being that they are a lot longer as compared to them. Multiple layers or piles are glued together on top of the center core that is mostly of a softer wood material. This is also used to make the tongue and groove. The top most layer generally comprises of 2-3 strips of almost any hardwood species. This gives the effect that the board consists of narrow planks of the wood. It appears as an entire preassembled section. Most long strips feature square edges and ends giving the flooring a seamless and smooth finish. It also typically features quick locking edges and ends for easy and fast installation. Although this kind of hardwood flooring is mostly preferred for floating installations, these can be glued to any kind of subfloor directly, if needed. This averts the additional expense incurred for rip ups and the mess created thereafter.
Like the engineered hardwood floorings these floorings too can withstand climatic changes and are stable under these changes. They are accommodating at any grade level and are versatile enough to go with any decor and are suitable for all living spaces. Enthusiastic home owners preferring to install their own flooring opt for Long Strip Hardwood flooring as the wide planks cover larger areas and the click lock technology ensures a mess free installation procedure. With the reduction in installation time longstrip hardwood floorings also reduce the installation costs as you are effectively laying three planks in one go. As the plank has been glued at the factory itself it has the advantage of being even stronger.
ABOUT BSI FLOORING:
BSI Flooring is a name synonymous with excellent quality, efficient services and affordability. We have been in the field for over 10 years diligently providing all essential services for hard wood floors to residents of Greater London. Our list of satisfied clients speaks for dedication in providing exceptional services to all needs related to hardwood flooring. Whether it is installation, restoration, repair of sanding it is accomplished successfully by the team, irrespective of the size of the area to be covered.
BSI Flooring is a one stop shop providing viable and affordable solutions to all issues related to hardwood flooring. Drop us an email, call or fill up the contact form and receive immediate and the most competent assistance for hardwood floorings.