Are you thinking about replacing your floor with wood floors? If yes, then you can’t go wrong because wood flooring is an excellent choice that goes with any modern, traditional and country home. Wood floors come with natural and unmatched beauty. They are perfect of all types of décor, and you can use it in any part of your house, whether its kitchen or basement or living room.
You have landed on the right place because, in this guide, we are going to tell you everything that will help you in using and purchasing the right hardwood floor.
What is the wood flooring?
Wood flooring is a plank of flooring that is composed of real wood. Many different kinds of wood flooring includes various wood species, plank sizes, fitting types and flooring structures.
Most of the times, wood flooring is mixed with laminate flooring. However, laminate flooring doesn’t consist of real wood, but it is a synthetic floor covering. Real wood flooring is made up of real wood or solid piece of wood that consists of a plywood base.
The main structures of wood flooring
There are two basic forms of wood flooring:
- Engineered wood flooring
- Solid wood flooring
Solid Wood Flooring
The first type of wood flooring is known as solid wood flooring. It is composed of a solid piece of wood. This wood comes from the trees which are then machined and turned into a flooring plank. Engineered wood flooring is much expensive as compared to other flooring types because it has a high ratio of hardwood. Although it is not as versatile as engineered wood flooring, it is still quite durable. Also, keep in mind that solid wood flooring cannot be fixed if you install it over an underlay. Moreover, you cannot use it with underfloor heating as well.
Solid wood flooring usually comes with a thickness of 5/8 to ¾. The unique characteristic of solid wood is that you can refinish it as many times as you want. However, if you are living in a humid climate, then solid wood might not be a good option for you. Due to the same reason, it is also not recommended for basements.
Engineered Wood Flooring
The second type of flooring is engineered wood flooring. It is composed of real hardwood along with a base layer of plywood. Due to this structure, engineered wood flooring is more versatile as well as stable as compared to solid wood flooring. Due to its excellent stability, engineered wood can be an excellent choice for any area of your office or home. You can even use engineered wood in below-grade basements. However, unlike the solid wood flooring, engineered hardwood can only be refinished or sanded only once during its lifetime. This property makes engineered wood flooring suspectable to use inside the houses.
In this post, we will mainly discuss the properties, application, pros and cons of solid wood flooring and whether you should use it or not.
Which one’s good? Solid or Engineered?
Although it depends upon your choice and budget, some factors indicate the value of solid wood flooring.
Solid hardwood flooring is widely available due to its vast applications. It is made up of a board of solid hardwood. This board consists of a single piece of wood. Solid hardwood comes with a wide array of unique and gorgeous styles. Since it is made up of a single piece of wood, all boards of solid hardwood will contract and expand at the same under humidity and temperature variations. Due to this property of solid hardwood, it should not be used in specific areas such as kitchen and basement. Furthermore, when installed, it is essential to leave gaps between the floors to allow some room for contraction and expansion.
When it comes to choosing and deciding between different types of hardwood flooring, the area of installation matters a lot, if your area is a high traffic area such as a living room or office, then solid wood flooring is the best option. Likewise, your entrance or hallway is also the ideal place where you should use solid wood flooring. However, if you are planning to use the wood in an area where there are high humidity and moisture or an area where the temperature is mostly fluctuating, then solid wood flooring might not be ideal for you — such areas include bathrooms and kitchen.
Factors to consider before installing solid hardwood floors
To install the hard solid flooring, follow these steps:
Step#1-Decide an installation method and be very careful
Solid wood is a natural product which means that it will continuously shrink and expand according to temperature variations. For this reason, you need to very careful while installing it. You need to allow sufficient room to the solid wood planks to move. There shouldn’t be any extra pressure or stress on the joints of these planks. You shouldn’t choose this wood flooring without having the required knowledge and doing enough research before choosing it.
When it comes to solid wood flooring, it is essential to determine the right procedure to install the floor. The methods of installation vary according to the thickness and width of floors. Moreover, it also varies according to the place where you want to install it. Generally, solid hardwood flooring is clipped to a subfloor that is also made up of wood. Solid wood flooring is usually installed or glued as a floating floor. It is also important to note that it is not feasible to install the solid hardwood flooring below grade.
Step#2-Acclimation is important
It is essential to acclimate the solid hardwood flooring to adjust the moisture content inside the house. Solid hardwood flooring is not water-resistant and is highly prone to attracting moisture; that is why it should be acclimated. To do this, you can store the solid hardwood floor in the environment already before installing it.
The ideal humidity level ranges anywhere between 30 to 50 per cent. You can also consult your manufacturer regarding acclimation before installing solid wood flooring.
Why should you choose solid wood flooring?
Solid wood flooring is not only popular today, but it has a long history of durability. It has an irresistible look and feel which can bring something very unique and special to your indoors. Solid wood flooring doesn’t even require any special attention and care, which makes your life easier.
There are various factors that you need to consider before getting hardwood flooring. Choosing between engineered and solid wood flooring can be difficult as there are only some slight differences between the two. Following are some of the reasons why you should choose solid hardwood flooring for your home and commercial space.
Reason#1-Wear and Tear
You should use solid hardwood flooring because it is highly durable and can withstand against wear and tear.
Reason#2-Ideal for pets
If you are a pet owner, then solid wood flooring is your best friend. This floor doesn’t attract pet hair, dirt and dust like carpets and other floorings. However, it is essential to take special precautions to save the floors from unnecessary moisture and urine. You need to use rugs and trim your pet’s nails to avoid unnecessary damage and scratches.
When it comes to refinishing, solid hardwood floor is the ideal option for you. This floor type doesn’t require constant refinishing like other floor types.
Maintenance of solid wood flooring is easy as compared to other flooring types. You can eliminate the dust and dirt just by using a soft brush. There is no need of hiring floor cleaners or investing in special chemicals. Thus, it makes your life easier.
Benefits of solid wood flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is a reliable and appealing choice, and that is why it has been a fantastic choice for decades.
Following are the reasons why solid hardwood flooring is a fantastic choice for your home.
- Solid hardwood floor is a straightforward way of installation.
- Solid hardwood flooring is highly elegant, and it gives you indoors a look of spaciousness.
- It is known as the most luxurious and unique type of wooden flooring that consists of a single hardwood piece.
- Other than the timeless charismatic appeal, solid hardwood flooring also cuts off the maintenance cost, unlike other flooring options.
- Another advantage of using solid wood flooring is that it is available in various widths and lengths. It means that you can see what is required for your surroundings.
- The installation method of solid wood flooring consists of a tongue and groove system, which is the most versatile installation method.
- With solid wood flooring, you also get a chance to choose from prefinished and unfinished solid wood planks.
- One of the most significant benefits of using solid wood flooring is that it is highly durable and robust. High-quality solid hardwood flooring offers beauty, warmth and improves the aesthetic appeal of your space. It is so strong that it can even last up to many generations. Moreover, solid hardwood is also able to withstand pressure, heavy foot traffic and is extremely hard-wearing. Due to its long-term durability, it is considered as the best option for commercial spaces.
- Solid hardwood flooring is an ideal long-term investment that increases the value of your property. It can become a resale argument, faster sale and higher resale prices.
- Solid hardwood flooring comes with a vast range of styles, stains, colors, patterns and species. You also get a chance to choose from unfinished and pre-finished solid hardwood floors. In short, no matter how diverse are your needs, solid hardwood flooring always has something for you.
- Another benefit of solid hardwood flooring is that it doesn’t produce vibrations and sounds.
- Solid hardwood flooring is also a healthy choice for your interiors. It is free of grout lines, fibers and embossing. Due to this property, it doesn’t trap particles, pollens, dust, allergens and animal dander. That is why it can be an ideal choice for your homes, especially if you an allergy sufferer.
- Solid wood flooring comes with an ageless quality. Other floors can wear and tear over time, but this flooring can make your indoors looks beautiful and elite. Not only this but you will be amazed to know that over time, solid hardwood floors become even more valuable.
- Unlike other flooring types such as engineered wood flooring, carpeting or vinyl flooring, solid hardwood flooring can be replaced and refinished according to your needs.
Drawbacks of solid wood flooring
Solid wood flooring doesn’t come with many disadvantages. Some of the rare problems that you can face with solid wood flooring are:
- As compared to engineered wood flooring, solid wood flooring is much costly. If you are on a tight budget, then solid wood flooring might not be for you. It is more expensive because it has a high amount of wood in each plank. However, here it is essential to keep in mind that engineered hardwood flooring is not as durable as solid hardwood.
- You cannot use solid wood flooring if you have underfloor heating. Underfloor heating can only be used with engineered hardwood flooring.
- Solid wood flooring cannot cope up with the temperature variations.
- Another restriction with solid hardwood flooring is that you cannot use it with a floor over underlay.
- Moisture is the enemy of solid hardwood flooring. Thus, you cannot use it in bathrooms and basements.
Solid hardwood flooring consists of a solid piece of real hardwood which comes straight from a tree trunk. If you choose it, you will be able to choose from a variety of different wood species with varying sizes of plank along with the choice of finish. It is a popular flooring option that can make your indoors attractive.
Thus, if you want your home to look beautiful while getting rid of constant refinishing, solid hardwood flooring can be your ideal choice. Not only it is available in many colors and thickness options, but it is also the most durable option you can get out there.