Explore photos of various new flooring styles to inspire your next renovation
Hardwood flooring has evolved over the years to a precise science and WOW floor appeal. The wood flooring can now be stained and customized to exacting sizes, colors, and even patterns, in order to match an existing floor; or, to suite your sense of fashion in almost any room of your home; nothing says natural comfort as much as wood.
Here are a few quick wood flooring facts that should give you a handle on what to expect when considering this option for your home. Firstly, within this industry there are two main distinctions: solid wood flooring and engineered wood floors. Solid is just as the name says, completely made of wood. The exact thickness of any solid wood flooring can vary, but most manufacturers produce thicknesses from 3/4" to 5/16". Functionally speaking, one of the numerous advantages of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Also good to know, solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.
Whereby, engineered wood, are still real wood floors, but are manufactured in layers using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. These sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. Through the manufacturing process the grains of each layer are strategically designed to run in different directions, thus strengthening the wood and making it more stable. It will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during changes in temperature or humidity.
The top layer of engineered wood flooring usually consists of a high-quality wood. This type of flooring can be sanded and finished, but not as many times as solid wood flooring. The experts suggest engineered wood flooring can also be installed above, on or below grade.
Ecologically singing the praises for wood flooring, the NFWA (The National Wood Flooring Association) had this to say, "Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again". And, if properly maintained and cared for, hardwood flooring can certainly stand the test of time, and even last for hundreds of years!
Harwood flooring like any type of flooring material, tiles, carpeting and linoleum, need to be accurately measured to fit into their surroundings. Existing door heights, baseboards, quarter-rounds, trim and floor edgings, must all be taken into consideration to insure you have the adequate space and the correct dimensions of all materials and underlayment for a comfortable fit.
Should you decide to go the 'ole school method', and apply a stain directly to your new hardwood flooring, please take care do so in a ventilated space, as the fumes are toxic and can cause brain fogginess during their application and subsequent inhalation!