Hardwood flooring tips
So far, this site has provided information about Hardwood Flooring Vs Laminate Flooring, Why choose Laminate Flooring, Why choose Engineered wood Flooring and now we shall learn about the tips on choosing Hardwood Flooring. Once, a decision is made about choosing a particular flooring, you may want to know more about that particular flooring. It is always good to be well informed about the type of flooring because it is something that is done for a long-term purpose. Therefore, a lot of factors must be kept in mind before taking a final call. Here are the tips that might come in handy for you before actually beginning the full-fledged installation.
Solid or Engineered Wood Flooring:
In Hardwood Flooring too, there is again a solid hardwood flooring and engineered wood flooring. In the earlier days, the suppliers used to provide hardwood flooring thick planks of solid timber. Nowadays, many companies began providing engineered wood flooring where planks are made with a thinner top layer of hardwood bonded to other layers such as to prevent the floor from expansion and contraction due to seasonal changes. All types of wood moves in tangential, radial and longitudinal directions. Therefore, engineered wood products are manufactured to minimize or restrict the natural movement of the wood.
Engineered wood flooring is suitable for the apartments with concrete subfloors. Solid wood floor is generally installed over the layers of plywood that raises the height of the floor and interfere with the doors too whereas the engineered wood flooring can be directly glued to concrete or even a soundproofing mat. Only thing is the engineered wood is so thin that cannot be sanded in future. With solid hardwood, part of it can be used and groove for refinishing. There is definitely an advantage with engineered wood however, most owners choose solid wood flooring considering the feel underfoot and it’s a lot quieter than the engineered wood flooring.
Prefinished or Site finished:
Hardwood planks can be purchased that can be given a finishing by a professional after Hardwood installation. The prefinished comes with a topcoat already applied to it. The advantage of prefinished is “what you see is what you get”, once you select a product, that itself is visible after installation. This helps in matching with your home’s color palette, wall coverings and other cabinetry in the living room etc. Prefinished floor also takes considerable lesser time for installation as there is no need to apply color or sealant.
When you choose to go with the Site finished, you are simply trusting the skills of the flooring contractor to get it right that matches your imagination. On-Site finishing allows customization, it comes as a breather for most homeowners and designers. The homeowners opting hardwood flooring have a sense of aesthetic taste, hence, most of them look for customization who can have a control over the sheen and stain. The final product is definitely smoother.
There are various types of finishing products such as penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to site-finish polyurethanes to prefinished UV-cured urethane finishes. Oil penetrates into the wood and gives a soft, matte and natural feel. Consider the maintenance preferences while choosing the type of finish you want.
Surface finishes are durable, water-resistant and also require minimal maintenance. There are types of surface finishes such as water-based, oil-based, moisture-cured finishes, conversion varnish finishes, wax finishes, UV cured finishes and other finishes.
- Water-based finishes are clear and also resist from changing its color over a period of time and are considered durable.
- Oil-based finishes are amber in color and durable too.
- Moisture-cured finishes are clear to amber, durable and more moisture-resistant compared to other surface finishes.
- Conversion varnish finishes are clear to slightly amber in color and also durable.
- Wax finishes penetrate into the wood and hard to form a protective layer, it appears low luster and amber in color. They are durable but show spots from the water.
- UV cured finishes are those that are instantly cured using ultraviolet light. There are multiple sheens available.
- Other types of finishes are natural or oil based finishes. They penetrate into the wood and turn the product durable.
Wood Types and Grain Pattern:
This is altogether a different and a wider discussion point. The wood species range from Cherry, Walnut, Oak, Maple, Hickory, Ash, Douglas Fir, Teak, Birch and Pine. Accordingly, pick the wood type as per the color of your cabinetry and the feel of it.
Logs are cut into pain-sawn, rift-sawn and quarter-sawn which gives three different grain patterns. Plain-sawn gives a look of a traditional wood grain pattern. Rift-sawn appears as long, linear, consistent grain but has irregular figuring that looks like 3D rays striking across the plan. Quarter-sawn is similar to rift-sawn.
It totally depends on the application based on your specification. If your property is more of rustic in nature then the plain-sawn looks amazing, and if the property is modern then rift and quarter-sawn look apt.
The standard specification used is 4 to 6 inch in width depending on the dimensions of the room. The more expansive room would need a wider plank. The wider planks are not only expansive but expensive too. Wider planks may have fewer seams than a floor of thin strips. Over a period of time when the wood contracts and expands the seams look prominent.
After going through these tips, I am certain that you will be able to conclude and decide the type of look you desire for your home. Happy and healthy living!!