Wood Flooring Benefits
Solid wood flooring can last for more than 100 years and can be easily refinished if necessary. Wood floors can increase the value of your house by simply being there.
In maple and oak, the only option was the traditional solid wood tongue-and-groove strips. Wood flooring can now be made from planks of old barns, exotic woods or pre-finished engineered gulvafslibning strips. This eliminates the dust and disruption that comes with finishing on-site. Wood laminate flooring is also available, although it’s not wood but has the same look and cost as wood.
SOLIDWOOD FLOORING – Solid wood floors are beautiful but not suitable for all situations. They must be attached to a subfloor. Solid wood cannot be used directly on concrete because of this.
A sub-floor should be placed between concrete and wood flooring to avoid height problems in areas where the floors meet. Basements are not recommended for wood flooring because moisture causes wood to expand. Humidity can cause buckling and squeaking.
It seems that homeowners are increasingly choosing to purchase wood flooring with a factory applied finish. This reduces dust, fumes, and the time it takes to put the floor down. The factory finishes are often more durable than the polyurethane used in the field.
Pre-finishing has the downside that the floor is not sanded once it is installed. There might be slight bumps or dips in the sub-floor and flooring strips that are slightly different in thickness.
Flooring with V grooves is available to hide misalignments. The edges of the flooring are not touching each other so it’s hard to see any alignment issues. These V grooves will become a prominent feature of the floor over time as dirt collects and turns to darken. Not my favorite scenario.
You can also have your floor stained after installation. You can turn the oak floor amber if you don’t like the grain or the wood’s yellowish tones. A professional finisher will know how best to bring out the wood’s natural patina using boiled linseed or tung oils.
Hardwood flooring is the most popular choice for homeowners. Softwoods like pine and fir are also available. They are beautiful. They will eventually get worn down, but they are meant to be enjoyed. They will look better the more they are used, especially if they have an antique or country flavor. These are more effective than the 2 1/2 inch strips.
Solid wood flooring prices range from $8 to $10 per sq. foot for the most common species to more than $25 for exotic varieties. The same applies to engineered wood flooring.
ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING – The benefit of engineered wood flooring over concrete is that you don’t need to nail it during installation. It can also be used below grade because moisture doesn’t affect it as much as solid hardwood. A thin veneer of selected wood is applied to several layers of substrate to create the wood look.
You can purchase this product in panels, planks or strips. You can nail it down but it is most commonly installed as a floating flooring. These pieces are attached to one another by glue, but not to a subfloor. This allows the floor’s ability to “float” in response to seasonal changes or changes of humidity.
Almost all engineered wood flooring comes prefinished and often includes the V grooves described earlier. Because the top veneer is too thin, some cannot be refinished. Some can be restored once or twice. The top layer can vary from 1/12″ to 1/4″, depending on the manufacturer. This flooring is about the same price as solid wood flooring. The only benefit, in my opinion, is the ability to “float” it on concrete.
EXOTIC WOODS: Many flooring companies have been adding exotic woods to their products over the years in order to keep up with growing demand. These exotic designs are also available in wood laminate flooring. Exotic woods are more expensive than comparable domestic species in solid planking. However, engineered woods tend to be less expensive than domestic hardwoods.
These species are popular for their beautiful colors and long-lasting durability. These species are much harder than maple and oak. Due to their rapid growth rate, many tropical woods are considered environmentally friendly. Bamboo and cork are the fastest self-replenishers (neither of which are wood).
If you are concerned about the environment, you can look for the FSC seal on the product that you are buying. The Forest Stewardship Council, an environmental group, tracks wood production and certifies woods harvested in an environmentally-friendly manner.
RECYCLABLE WOOD FLOORING-This is another way to reuse wood. Reclaimed wood isn’t new, but it is old-fashioned to look like it. Reclaimed wood is actually old. These vintage floor boards can be found from many sources. You could find old flooring that was removed from an older building, or old timbers that have been sliced into floorboards.