There is the increasing popularity of installing porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl, and plastic laminates. These can now be manufactured to look like wood flooring, which makes genuine hardwood flooring less common from the past few years.
However, hardwood flooring is still the premium choice of flooring material for a genuine flooring look. Besides, the goal of having newer flooring products is to look like wood. Developing a flooring material does not have a goal of making it look like plastic.
Solid hardwood and engineered wood
A solid hardwood is a floor composed of solid planks of hardwood such as oak, maple, birch, or mahogany that fit together with tongue-and-groove joints and nails. There are a lot of advantages of having a solid hardwood which includes being refinished several times over the lifetime of the floor, offering a solid feel underfoot with its thick flooring layers, having a sound transmission and being normally sold unfinished so it can be stained in any color desired. When it comes to its environmental benefits, solid hardwood is indeed a natural product, disposal of old flooring is not a problem since many old solid hardwood floors are recycled for many other purposes.
A floor that is made with engineered wood is composed of planks that have been manufactured by a bond of a thin layer of real hardwood over 5 to 7 thin layers of plywood that are glued together with grain direction alternating from layer to layer. This way of construction gives engineered wood flooring remarkable stability and resistance to warping. Let’s look at engineered wood flooring at Flooring 365 which is long-lasting, moisture resistant, and has quality finish and design of solid wood flooring. This is a good example of what you should opt for.
Engineered wood flooring looks a lot like a solid hardwood, the difference is its relatively thin layer of hardwood that is bonded over a premium-quality plywood layer. It gives the flooring very good stability. Typically, a good-quality engineered wood floor lasts for about 25 to 30 years, and it is both less expensive and easier to install for those who do DIY.
Tips for installing hardwood floor the right way
- When it comes to hardwood floors, having moisture is a big no-no. Once you notice there is moisture on the plastic sheet, what you can do to get rid of it is to run the AC for about 10 to 15 days until the moisture levels get normal.
- An underlayer with a vapor barrier and special padding can also help with the moisture. It will keep the moisture at bay. Getting another underlayer for the purpose of lowering sound transmission can also be done.
- To help acclimatize to the surrounding humidity, you can also get the boards 2 to 3 days in advance and leave them flat on the floors for about 2 days.
- Make sure that all the boards are in the right color, not broken, dented or chipped before buying as these will be hindrance in the installation if ever.
- Do not install hardwood flooring in temperatures above 85-degree F.
- When cleaning, avoid doing steam cleaning as the heat and moisture from this kind of cleaning can cause problems with your hardwood floor and adhesives used during installation.
- A tapping block is always necessary. Directly tapping the board with a hammer can damage the boards.
- If you are inexperienced with hardwood floors installation, you may opt for wooden floors with an interlocking system. It will reduce the need for nails, glues and many others, and it will also avoid the mess that comes with them.
- Leaving ample expansion room is a must. Wood swells during summer since it absorbs moisture and contracts during winter and having little to no space can lead to serious damages to the floor.
Hardwood typically lasts longer than the other flooring options available. it can also be refinished for several times or re-stained in order to change its appearance.