Hardwood floors exude a classic elegant style that enhances any homes general appearance. For allergy sufferers, the flooring is indispensable in creating an allergy free environment.
Consumers have many options when choosing hardwood flooring. There are a variety of hardwood flooring types, playing major factor in determining the total potential cost of installation. Choosing the type of flooring is a major step in planning the installation of a new floor.
Many different woods and materials can be used in the construction of hardwood floors. Choosing which material or wood will be used for the fabrication of the flooring will greatly affect not only the cost, but the overall appearance. Popular hardwood flooring materials include pine, bamboo, hickory, maple, cherry, and cypress.
Solid Wood Flooring
There are three basic types of solid wood floors to consider. All three types are available in pre-finished and unfinished versions. Pre-finished flooring only requires installation since it is finished before it hits the store. Unfinished flooring requires some additional labor since it needs to be sanded and finished once it is installed.
The first type of flooring is referred to as strip flooring. Strip flooring has a variable thickness, but is only available in set widths.
Plank flooring, unlike strip flooring, had variable widths, but only is available in two thicknesses.
Parquet flooring stands out from typical hardwood floors because it is made up of geometrical patterns.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Not to be confused with laminate wood, engineered wood flooring is made with layers of plastic laminate adhered to real wood. Laminate flooring contains no real wood.
Acrylic-impregnated Wood Flooring
This type of flooring is typically a choice for commercial use rather than residential. It is highly resistant to wear. This type of flooring’s entire thickness is saturated with color and sealant.
Solid wood floors are most commonly installed, but engineered flooring is becoming increasingly popular because of its low cost. The World Floor Covering Association states that is it very difficult to determine a difference between solid wood and other floor types once it has been installed.
There are many factors to keep in mind when determining which hardwood flooring type is right for you. Solid wood floors require more maintenance, but they can be refinished and re-sanded. They will also hold their value longer than engineered woods. For the most part, material and style is a question of taste.