By Berangaria Rougier. Hardwood Flooring. Published at Friday, May 17th, 2019 - 11:11:13 AM.
In order for the investment in new hardwood floors to last a lifetime, it is crucial to understand the differences in solid and engineered hardwood flooring. Several factors must be considered to select the best option for each unique situation. Homeowners can feel good about choosing their hardwood flooring if they learn a few basics first. Solid Hardwood Flooring – Solid hardwood flooring is milled from a single piece of lumber, and it is available either unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished hardwood flooring is sanded, stained, and coated onsite after installation. This method allows for custom stain colors to match a home's decor, or simply to create a unique appearance. The downside to unfinished flooring is that there is often a considerable mess from sanding the flooring as well as fumes from the stain and urethane coatings. High quality contractors do have equipment that will minimize the dust from sanding process. They may also offer low VOC stains and water-based urethane coatings to reduce the fumes associated with oil-based products. This finishing process can be done multiple time in the future to restore the beauty of the floor as it wears over time. Solid hardwood flooring is best installed over a wood subflooring material as it is generally nailed or stapled to the subsurface. Always install solid wood flooring above grade as it is highly susceptible to moisture and may warp in damp areas.
This kind of flooring is installed by nailing it to a subfloor of plywood or OSB. Natural hardwood floors are finished in place by sanding the boards to a uniform thickness and coating them with a sealer. When the sealer wears off and the surface darkens, the floor can be sanded and refinished, usually from 5-7 times, or until a nail becomes visible. The life expectancy of natural 3/4 hardwood flooring is about 100 years. Installing natural hardwood flooring is labor intensive and time consuming. Laying down, sanding and sealing a hardwood floor usually takes several days. Installation time can be reduced with pre-finished hardwood flooring which eliminates the application and drying time of the finish and sealer. Pre-finished flooring is usually more wear resistant because the manufacturer can apply more durable coatings in a controlled factory environment. Homeowners should also consider that on site finishing will emit noxious VOCs into the house environment.
For centuries, hardwood floors have been gracing magnificent homes throughout the Deep South to elegant homes of kings and queens. Known for durability and overall beauty, hardwood floors have gained in popularity throughout the years, rapidly becoming the choice in floor coverings over once considered traditionally installed carpet due to the low maintenance of hardwood floors and the beauty that lies within. With numerous selections of hardwood floors available, consumers are often confused about the composition of wood floors resulting in purchasing a floor that does not fit into an allotted budget or installation not designed for the intended use.
Cost for engineered hardwood flooring is based on the thickness of the substrate or layers of plywood material that comprises the overall composition and the selection of the finished top layer. With thicknesses varying from ¼” to 9/16”, with the most common thickness of 3/8” to ½” selected, engineered wood floors average $3.25 per square foot depending on thickness and selection of finished surface, professionally installed. Significant savings are noticeable when installed by the homeowner, reducing overall costs to approximately $2.00 per square foot which can add up to significant savings depending on the overall size of the room. With basic mechanical ability and use of standard installation tools, a hardwood floor can easily be easily installed over a weekend with satisfaction that boost even the most sublime egos. Regardless of selection, natural hardwood or engineered wood floors offer intrinsic value to any home with active lifestyles increasing the overall value of the home substantially. Hardwood floors add elegance and beauty to any interior room of the home with a high traffic pattern requiring less maintenance while maintaining the overall beauty within.
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