May 11, 2016 - 09:54
All the walls and ceilings are freshly painted, the trim is placed and details put and now we are ready for wood flooring, but what kind would you choose? The fact is that there is all kinds of wood floorings you can choose from and depending on location in the home, texture, uses, price and a few other factors then you will decide which is the best one. Wood flooring can be divided into 4 basic kinds; here they are listed with their advantages and disadvantages.
Bamboo is a trendy flooring material that can elevate the elegance of a space almost instantly and it has an appearance and a feel that is similar to hardwood. This flooring is a rapidly renewable material that is produced form a species of grass rather than timber, which is why it is considered to be “green”. It is also easy to maintain, sweeping, vacuuming or damp mopping can be used and it has good water resistance but still be prompt to clean any spills. It is also a strong and durable material so it can withstand plenty of traffic and the great thing about it is that once you feel like it is wearing out this material allows for a refinish to give it a fresh new look. Unlike solid hardwood, some bamboo can be installed below grade, and above concrete slabs with the use of an adhesive. You can find bamboo flooring anywhere between $2-$8/sq ft and it comes is dark and light colors.
Laminate flooring can simulate the look of dozens of different natural hardwood materials. Its one of the most durable floors on the market and it is an entirely manufactured product designed to look and feel like a natural product. The printing process can also reproduce the appearance of a variety of natural stone, and ceramic flooring materials. It is an easy clean floor and easy installation with snap on process, you will usually not use glue to install just rolls of underlayment that will protect it from moisture. Some of the drawbacks is that most laminate will not be able to be refinished, it will sound and feel different when comparing to natural wood. Laminate flooring is quite hard and unyielding under foot. Even cork or foam padding on the back will generally not alleviate this characteristic. Over all, laminate can be found between $0.80- $5.00 much more affordable than other flooring.
This type of hardwood floor is like a mix between real hardwood and laminate. Engineered hardwood is a more complex product that consists of several layers. The outermost is a hardwood veneer, a thin slice of wood; the inner layers are made of cross-plywood, high-density fiber core or medium density fiber core. The core layers make the product more stable than regular hardwood, while the outer veneer surface adds beauty and authenticity. Its layers block moisture and provide added stability to your floor. Engineered flooring will not swell or warp, making it very low maintenance. Also, its price is much lower than natural wood floor because instead of the whole plank being natural wood, it only needs a thin layer on top of actual wood. If you choose this wood, make sure that the veneer layer is good in thickness, the reason is that if you choose a thin top layer (cheaper price) it is more likely that the wood will fade and warp over time and will not able to be refinished. It is usually an easy install and you can find this type of floor anywhere between $3.00-$15.00.
Hardwood flooring is the most well-known and sought after flooring on the market today, providing natural beauty. Hardwood gives a very rich look to your interior and it lasts longer than any other type of wood flooring. It is very durable which makes it more prone to damage, if it does get damages this floor is actually easy to repair, it can be taken apart plank by plank not like laminates which you have to take out most of the floor to replace. This flooring is a bit less resistant to water so installing it below grade would not be a good idea because that is where moisture accumulates over time. In addition, installing this flooring would require more work and material, adding on to the cost. It usually requires maintenance around every 5 years for refinish and making sure no termite bugs get into the wood and eat it up. It is in the higher end of pricing, usually found around $5.00-$20.00 a sq ft.
Before installing any flooring be sure to go over your total budget for flooring, it is a big part of the home and should require careful thought. Look over your options, styles and location where it will be placed and make sure to talk to a licensed contractor to make sure that he can do the work or a materials expert at your local hardwood store for advice.