Friday, April 12, 2013

Wood Flooring 101

Kitchen is cleared out and floors removed. Subfloor is prepped and ready for installation
 When looking at flooring options, the choices can be daunting! Do I want pre-finished, factory-finished, laminate, engineered or hardwood? What do these terms even mean? Our friends just moved in to a 10-year-old home and found out that the damaged floors could not be salvaged because they were engineered and had already been sanded once in their lifetime. The only solution was to rip them out and start over.
She choose 3/4" solid hardwood white oak that will be finished on site. They were delivered yesterday and must acclimate to prevent warping for at least 72 hours. Keep checking back for the beautiful finished product. Meantime, I've summarized the jargon for you in case you are facing the possibility of replacing your own floors. Good Luck!

Wood Floors 101
Engineered Wood Floors: 
Engineered wood floors are made like plywood. They are made up of several layers of wood or wood composite that are laminated together. The top layer is made of hardwood and depending on it's thickness, can be sanded and refinished. Most engineered wood floors are prefinished and can only be sanded and refinished once in their lifetime. 

  • Less expensive option
  • They are a good choice over a cement slab floor, and are frequently installed by being glued down. 
  • Because of their thinness, they can be installed over existing flooring. This allows a homeowner to more easily transition between floors that are close in height.  
  • Engineered wood tends to be more stable - it is less likely to move or warp with changes in humidity or temperature. This is because the different layers of wood have the grain running in different directions.
  • Engineered wood floors can last the lifetime of a home if properly maintained, while laminate floors typically last between 15 and 30 years.
Laminate: laminate floors are created from synthetic materials bonded with fiberboard.
  • Laminate floors can be made to resemble any type of wood or stone, while engineered wood floors take on the characteristics of the wood the top layer is made from.

  • Laminate floors are much easier to install than engineered wood floors. This can help save money on installation, as professional assistance may not be necessary for laminate flooring.
Solid Hardwood Flooring:  
A solid piece of hardwood, generally cut into 3/4" thick planks. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of lengths and widths and still remains the most popular choice for homeowners. Solid Hardwood flooring comes unfinished, which is then installed and finished on-site; or prefinished, which is completely finished at the factory with several coats of durable finish, before it's ever delivered to your home, then simply nailed down.

  • Longevity. A solid hardwood floor generally has a thicker wear layer when compared with a typical engineered floor. This allows customers to sand and refinish their floors time and time again, even changing the color of the floor if desired.
  • Grain pattern. Many engineered products have a top layer that is peeled from the log. Because solid boards are sawn from the raw log, the grain pattern is tighter and denser when compared with peeled veneers. In addition to the aesthetic difference between peeled and sawn wear layers, a solid sawn top layer adds durability to the flooring.
  • Installation of solid hardwood can be more complex than that of engineered flooring. Requirements for proper subfloor moisture conditions, the flooring's moisture content, and the climate in which the flooring is to be installed all are usually more rigid than they are for engineered flooring.
  • Most solid hardwood flooring must be installed via a nail-down or staple-down method, however,  now there are a few manufacturers that produce products that may be glued or even floated, eliminating the need for a wood subfloor. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
    Hope this little summary helps! We'll be supervising the installation next week so we'll update more then. Have a great weekend!


  1. I read your blog. Thanks for sharing such good information about wood flooring..Thanks for sharing....

  2. Timber floors are easy to maintain and good for people who suffer from allergies and dust related illness. It does not hide dust and dirt like carpet. Unlike slate and tiles, you don't need to use toxic chemicals to continue to maintain a timber floor. There are now a range of low toxic Eco-friendly floor finishes available today, as a safer alternative to the old solvent based polyurethanes.

  3. A bit known Wood floor sanding certainty about built wood deck is that it can be sanded when there are scratches, ding and gouges on the floor. Then again, sanding must be carried out just for 2 times - which is exclusively focused around the thickness of the floor.

  4. I always prefer Engineered Wood Flooring... In which Light Grey Engineered Wood Flooring are my personal favorites. Engineered wood flooring has become quite popular as an alternative to solid wood floors. Typically, an engineered wood floor involves a prefinished hardwood floor with two or more layers of wood in a single plank. Thanks.

  5. Which one of these floors is easiest to clean? One of the biggest reasons why my family and I want to have a hardwood floor is because we hate cleaning carpets. I'm sure all of these methods would be easier to clean than carpets. However, I still want the easiest floor to clean.

  6. As for the new solid wood furniture, you should firstly clean the dust on surface with thin cotton clothes. If the dirty on furniture has existed for a long time and it is difficult to clean, you can use the cotton clothes dipped with a small number of gasoline or alcohol to rub.
    5/8 plywood


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