Hardwood floors are timeless, elegant, luxurious, and durable. They add warmth to any space, residential or commercial, and come in a variety of finishes and colors. Choose a light stain to showcase the grain and keep your space light and bright, or stain them dark to add drama and sophistication. The most common wood used in flooring is oak, but many different woods are available that provide a variety of graining, hardness, and colors.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
What is engineered hardwood you ask? Wood is a natural product, so how can it be engineered to be stronger and less expensive than the traditional wood flooring? Engineered hardwood is made by layering thinly sliced hardwood over plywood and bonding with heat and pressure. It is budget friendly because it requires only a thin layer of real wood over plywood, and it is more durable because the layers of plywood underneath the veneer of real wood are less susceptible to expansion and contraction from use and wear. Visually, engineered hardwood looks identical to traditional solid hardwood flooring unless looking at the side of the floorboards. When choosing an engineered hardwood, it is best to choose one with a higher number of layers, as more layers insures more durability and longevity. Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed by gluing to a concrete or wood subfloor, stapling to a wood subfloor, or floating over a concrete or wood subfloor.
Traditional Solid Hardwood Flooring
There is a reason you still see historic wood floors in old homes. Traditional solid hardwood floors are a product that will last several lifetimes if cared for properly. They can be installed already stained and finished, or stained and finished after installation. Refinishing them is possible as well, whether it is to simply change the color and finish or to fix wear and tear. Solid wood flooring at least ¾ of an inch thick is typically nailed to a plywood subfloor, while thinner solid wood a half inch thick or less can be glued down to a concrete subfloor with proper preparation.
To properly install all hardwood floors, you need to let them acclimate to the space so that they won’t buckle or have gaps once installed. Prefinished hardwood floors, whether engineered or solid, will have a longer finish warranty than an in-home sand and finish installation.