Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring comes in a variety of wood species with Oak, Maple
and Cherry being three of the most common types. There are many variants of
these three species of wood as well as a plethora of other wood species to
choose from. So there is a species and a price point nearly for everyone.
Hardwood flooring comes in both strip and plank widths. As the names suggest
strips are narrow boards ranging from about 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 inch in width,
whereas planks range in width from 3 to 8 inches. The thickness of hardwood
flooring boards typically is 3/4 inch thick.
As mentioned earlier one of the main advantages of solid wood flooring is
that it can be refinished many times. Thus a solid hardwood floor can last for
many decades with proper care and maintenance. In addition, it can be purchased
with or without a pre-finish. Most people elect today to purchase pre-finished
solid wood flooring as it makes installation much easier.
The main disadvantage of solid wood flooring is it is susceptible to high
humidity and moisture levels. Thus it should not be used in basements or other
wet or high moisture areas. High humidity and moisture levels causes the solid
wood flooring lumber to expand and contract which can cause the wood floor
planks to cup and contract. In addition the entire wood floor can end up
buckling when the moisture levels are high, effectively destroying the wood
floor. Also, when the boards cup their edges stick up leaving a non-smooth
flooring surface. Besides looking unsightly it can be easy to trip on the floor
when a shoe hits an edge.
Solid wood flooring is also sensitive to scratching. The amount of
sensitivity to scratching is highly dependent on the type of wood species chosen
and the quality of the wood floor finish.
Solid wood flooring, however, can add significantly to the ability to sell a
home. Almost every home buyer out there assigns a premium to a home when they
see hardwood floors within it. If you are building an expensive home don't
cheapen out when it comes to the flooring. High end home buyers expect to see
hardwood floors in the home. Using laminate flooring in a high end home, except
maybe for a kids room, is a big mistake.
Laminate Wood Flooring
Pergo is just a particular brand name of laminate flooring, however the two
names are ubiquitously interchanged.
Laminate flooring is constructed out of a subfloor wood base and a top
plastic surface. Sandwiched in between the plastic surface is a photographic
print of the desired finished surface, e.g. a wood look or pattern of some type.
Laminate flooring ranges in thickness from 6 to 12 mm.
Due to this manufacturing method laminate flooring can not be refinished.
Laminate flooring, however, is highly durable due to the hard plastic
surface. This said, they can scuff or become scratched over time. When this
happens, there's no choice but to tear it up and replace the flooring. Thus it
is ideal for high traffic areas or for homes with young children in it.
Due to its construction there are many types of finished surface patterns or
looks that can be purchased. Like solid wood floors, however, laminate flooring
is susceptible to moisture. If water seeps in around the panel edges of the
laminate flooring pieces the panels will swell and the flooring will be
Due to its plastic surface, laminate flooring won't stain or dent.
Consequently laminate flooring manufacturers typically provide 10 or more year
warranties on their products.
Laminate flooring is much easier to install than compared to solid wood
floors. Consequently the moderately skilled DIY homeowner can install laminate
flooring. Solid wood flooring, on the other hand, should be left to the pros
unless the homeowner has previous experience and the right tools to install it.
To conclude, if you plan on staying in your home for many years, install
solid hardwood floors. If, on the other hand you own a starter home and have
small children then use laminate flooring.
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