Four Things You Should Know Before Selecting a Wood Floor

When considering hardwood flooring the options can often be overwhelming. With so many different wood types and stain colors to choose from it can be a difficult decision. We would like to help narrow down the choices for you by helping to define some fundamental differences. Perhaps the most misunderstood wood flooring product is engineered wood. Many people believe this to be an inferior product to solid wood, but is actually preferred by professionals on many projects. So, what’s the difference?

Solid Wood

Solid Wood FlooringThis can be the most expensive of the four types listed here, and is just how it sounds…one solid piece of wood. If you look at the side of the plank you can see the grain of the wood runs all the way through the plank. Because wood reacts to moisture and humidity solid wood can warp and cup after it is installed. Solid wood cannot be installed below grade or on a concrete slab. If you are installing a wood floor in a humid region, solid wood may not be your best option.

Engineered Wood

Engineered WoodContrary to popular belief, engineered wood is 100% real wood. It is made of several layers of real wood veneer or lumber adhered together in alternating layers. This creates a more dimensionally stable wood flooring product that can be installed below grade and on a concrete subfloor. Another benefit is that it can be nailed, glued, or floated. The top layer can be refinished 1-3 times (depending on the thickness of the top layer). If you look at the side of the plank you can see the alternating layers of real wood veneer or lumber.

Laminate

Laminate FlooringThe top two layers of laminate flooring are not real wood. The bottom layer is made of compressed fiberboard. The wood aesthetic that is visible is actually a photograph of wood that is placed just under the top layer which is a clear protective coating that is often embossed with a woodgrain texture. The thickness of this wear layer can vary and should be at least 20 mil for a commercial project. Laminate flooring is increasing in popularity as the aesthetic improves. It can be much lower in cost than engineered or solid wood flooring. There are also underlayments available that can help with the “hollow” sound typically associated with laminate flooring.

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile)

LVT FlooringAs the name suggests, this is not a wood product at all but can have a wood aesthetic. This flooring material is trending not only on commercial projects but is gaining momentum residentially as well. Many homeowners (especially those with dogs) want the look of wood without the cost or maintenance. LVT can be a fraction of the cost of wood. It is generally very thin, but the thickness can vary.

 

Wood floors can be a beautiful addition to any room and will always be a great way to add value to your home.  We love so many of the styles and colors that are available.  If you would like help selecting the wood floors for your interior, we are here for you.  Can you tell the difference between the four types shown below?

Solid Wood FlooringSolid Wood FlooringLVT FlooringLaminate Flooring

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