Multiple Advantages of Using Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring invariably finds a large number of takers. Its popularity has grown greatly in recent times. There are many characteristic advantages of using laminate flooring over its counterparts. These floors look great and are known to be long lasting. Additionally, they are scratch and stain resistant. This makes them ideal for areas with heavy traffic. Moreover, laminate flooring is easy to maintain. It does not fade even in direct sunlight and is likely to maintain its original charm even years after being installed.

Also known as floating wood tile, laminate wood flooring is basically a multi-synthetic flooring product which is fused together with a lamination process. It is a preferred option because it is easy to install. With many laminate floors, a glueless option is also available. This allows each board to be connected by a tongue and groove design, which clicks together and forms a firmly fastened surface. Another major advantage of laminate floors is their high adaptability with any type of subfloor. Even if subfloor is something like cement which transmits high moisture levels to the surrounding environment, laminate floors are an ideal choice.

This type of flooring is also characterized by its attractive photographic finish. Laminate flooring is a very realistic imitation of wood. Alternately, it can imitate a range of effects such as stone and ceramic.

Hardwood and Longstrip Hardwood Flooring- Ideally Suited For Cement Subfloors

Hardwood flooring is often seen as one of the classiest types of flooring. It has a distinctive aesthetic feel about it and is available in a very wide array of options. Even though hardwood flooring is durable and made to last for a building’s lifetime, it is of utmost importance to select the right kind of flooring for a particular subfloor.

As an example, if the subfloor used for installing hardwood flooring on is cement, one has to be very careful in determining the exact hardwood flooring he goes with. This is mainly because cement transmits environmental moisture rather than absorbing it. Engineered and longstrip hardwood floors are best suited for flooring on cement subfloors. These hardwood floors are better suited to absorb moisture. Thus, there would be no chance of cracking, buckling or warping of wooden planks due to moisture.

Engineered and longstrip hardwood floors consist of several thin sheets of wood glued together in opposing directions. As each sheet expands or contracts with humidity changes, sheets in opposing directions counteract the effect of expansion or shrinkage. Another property of engineered and longstrip flooring which makes them ideal for concrete subfloors is that they can be installed as floating floors. For solid hardwood flooring, every plank needs to be nailed in place.

Importance of Selecting Right Kind of Hardwood Flooring For a Particular Subfloor

Hardwood floors invariably have a vast array of advantages associated with them. They can last for many generations at a stretch if properly installed, cleaned and maintained. Additionally, these are available in a variety of price ranges, styles and colors. Both, pre finished and unfinished varieties are common to find. Nevertheless, they should be re-finished or re-screened periodically to restore their luster.

It is of utmost importance to select the right kind of hardwood flooring for a particular subfloor. The subfloor plays a very important role in determining the amount of moisture the flooring is exposed to. Concrete subfloors transfer plenty of moisture to the floor above it. Correspondingly, some hardwood floors handle moisture better than others.

Solid hardwood floors are not considered the best choice for concrete floors. Solid wood expands across its width when it absorbs moisture and shrinks when it loses moisture. This may eventually lead to cracking, buckling or warping of planks. These problems occur because concrete emits environmental moisture rather than absorbing it. Engineered and longstrip hardwood floors are a better choice for installation over concrete floors. These are made of several thin sheets of wood glued together in opposite directions. Since sheets are in opposing directions, they counteract expansion or shrinkage.

High Utility of Longstrip Hardwood Floors

A very popular variant of hardwood floors is longstrip wood floors. A major advantage of longstrip floors over engineered wood floors and solid hardwood flooring is that these are easier to replace. These are also preferable since they are economical and easy to install.

There are some conceptual structural similarities between longstrip plank wood floors and engineered floors. For longstrip floors, several wood plies are glued together to make a single plank. The center core of longstrip wood plank is generally softer wood. It is used to make the tongue and grooves. The top layer can be comprised of any species of hardwood and most often constitutes smaller individual pieces laid together in two or three rows. There can be up to 17 or 18 small pieces in a row. This gives an appearance of three rows of shorter wood pieces while there is only one wide and long pre-assembled plank.

Though generally designed for floating installations, longstrip planks can be glued or stapled down. They can be installed over a wide array of subfloors, including concrete slabs and some existing hard surface floors. These are sometimes also used for radiant heated slabs while the heated subfloor is controlled, and not allowed to go over a certain temperature.

High Popularity of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

In the past few years, engineered hardwood flooring has grown rapidly in popularity. It is a recent innovation and is a great alternative for places where solid hardwood flooring is not recommended. The main advantage of engineered wood floors over solid hardwood floors is that they are dimensionally stable and do not shrink or expand as a result of changes in moisture or temperature.

Engineered wood floors most often consist of three or more thin sheets of wood which are laminated together to form a single plank of wood. These are laid together in cross-ply construction i.e. they are laid in opposite directions during manufacturing process. Wood plies counteract each other and prevent planks from expanding or shrinking.

Alternately, engineered wood planks are more versatile. They can be installed just about anywhere including wood sub floors, concrete floors and basement. Moreover, there are multiple ways of installing tem. They can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down and sometimes even floated on existing flooring. Since engineered wood floors comprise of various layers of wood, it is possible to have the top layer finished differently from the other layers. It is commonplace to find engineered wood floors from many types of wood species.

Solid Hardwood and Engineered Wood Flooring

Various types of hardwood flooring are available in the market. If someone wants to have these installed in his home, he would have an endless set of choices before him. The choice would be in terms of base material, color, finishing and type of wood. Red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory, cherry or pecan trees may be used for making hardwood floors. Alternately, Brazilian cherry, tigerwood, ipe or African teak are also sometimes used. Some of the most common types of hardwood flooring are solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring and longstrip hardwood flooring.

Solid hardwood flooring is the traditional and most common version. It comprises of a single piece of wood with a tongue and grooved sides. Since this type of flooring is very sensitive to moisture, it is often recommended that they are not used below the ground level in places like floodable basements. Nevertheless, solid hardwood floors are made to last.

Some of them are over a century old, but maintain their original charm till date. These can be refinished or recoated multiple times in their lifespan. Oak is typically used to create solid unfinished wood floors. In places where solid hardwood flooring is not recommended, engineered hardwood floors can be used. These are not affected by changes in moisture and temperature. The plank does not expand or shrink with changes in the weather.

Professional Installation of Hardwood Floors

Many people are passionate about hardwood floors. These have a distinctive class associated with them. Additionally, they are known for their longevity and last for many years at a stretch. Many flooring companies have expertise in installing hardwood floors. These professionals are highly trained and have detailed expertise in their work.

Correspondingly, they are able to accomplish installation to perfection and ensure that the end result is flawless.
They are able to manage the project successfully from its start to commencement. If someone is looking to have hardwood floors installed in their home, they have to start with going about selecting the floor. The next step is to schedule an in-home measurement before getting an estimate; service charges tend to be nominal in most cases. The work mainly starts up with removing the old flooring. This is followed by delivery and layout of the new hardwood floor.

This is done in a way that entry ways and vents are covered so that they do not collect dust or debris. Once the project is through, the installation area is cleaned up and project debris is cleared. After installation, a final inspection of the floor is performed. This gives the homeowner an opportunity to know more about the particular specifications of the wooden floor and tips on how to care for them.

Repairing, Recoating and Restoring Harwood Floors

Popularity of hardwood floors has increased exponentially in recent years. These are made to last the lifetime of a building and seldom need to be replaced. Nevertheless, they may require professional maintenance service at certain times.
Many flooring companies which install hardwood floors also specialize in providing maintenance services for the same. Amongst the most prominent maintenance services they provide are repairing, recoating and restoring hardwood floors.

Repairing is required if hardwood floor boards come across damaged. A common form of damage is accidental gouging. In this scenario, disfigured boards are replaced with new ones. Following this, the floor is refinished. Refinishing is done to ensure that the repairs are not identifiable. For the purpose of refinishing, the surface is scuffed and a fresh coat is applied to the same. The procedure rejuvenates wood grain and makes the floors look as good as new again.

In fact, repairs sometimes become quintessential for hard wood floors, irrespective of whether they are raw wood or pre-finished. Damage is generally in the form of nicks or scratches. One can expect professionals to execute their repair services with a certain degree of expertise, such that the end result is impeccable and pleasing to the eye. The floors are invariably left in an exceptional condition.

Refinishing and Recoating of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are invariably associated with a very high degree of durability; they are meant to last for many years at a stretch. The value of hardwood floors is known to increase with time and they seldom need to be replaced. Nevertheless, they need to be refinished or restored at certain times.

It is generally easy to find a large number of businesses which specialize in refinishing hardwood floors. The visible difference before and after refinishing is significant. In most cases, refinishing is called for when a hardwood floor has undergone severe amount of wear and tear. Alternately, this may have been damaged caused due to high traffic patterns. A very commonly used technique for refinishing hardwood floors involves sanding them down to bare wood as the first step. This is often accomplished using some sort of a dust contaminant system. It more or less eliminates the creation of debris and accounts for a dustless refinishing experience. The next step is to stain the floors. Homeowners get their choice of finish for recoating the floors.

Another specialized service often provided by professionals is recoating. This is required when hardwood floors become dull. Recoating restores original luster of hardwood floors. It involves scuffing the floors before applying a fresh coat of finish.

Solid Wood and Engineered Wood Variants of Oak Flooring

Hardwood floors are very often associated with a distinctive sense of style and class. They give an all new personality to a home. With innumerable options at one’s disposal, homeowners are sure to find an option that suits their needs best.

Hardwood flooring comes in pre-finished and unfinished versions. Oak flooring is the most popular type of hardwood flooring. Many textures and colors of oak flooring can be found. Oak is the hardest available wood in the world and is associated with unmatched strength and style. They are available as both, solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring, and are capable of withstanding immense loads and friction.

Solid wood flooring is made from purely perfected wood in form of individual, solid boards. These boards are continuous planks of wood. Solid wood flooring offers great value for money as they seldom need to be replaced and can be re-finished to suit changes in a home.

Apart from solid wood flooring, another available option for oak flooring is engineered wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring mainly consists of manufactured wood planks fused together with solid hardwood veneer. Engineered flooring is more durable and resistant to changes in moisture and humidity. Hence, they are preferred for kitchens and basements.