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Types of Hardwood Floors

If you’re looking to enhance your home, or any particular room in your home, then you might want to start with installing a hardwood floor. A hardwood floor can transform a living space, dining area or even a bedroom into a room that looks completely different and a lot classier. If you are a business owner, you may also consider hardwood floors in your office to give it a more professional appearance.

When you decide you want to go with hardwood floors, the first thing you have to do is decide what type of hardwood floor you want. There are some critical differences, but the two main categories that must be decided is whether you want solid hardwood or engineered hardwood.

Characteristics of Solid Hardwood

hardwood-floor-vacuums_01The first choice that you need to consider is solid hardwood floors. The best thing about this type of floor is that you can refinish and recoat it several times over the course of many years. If you get tired of seeing the same floor after three or four years, then you can give it a fresh coat of a different color and it will seem like you have a brand new floor!

Solid hardwood flooring is commonly designed with a piece of wood that has a tongue and groove. You have the option of having some of the floors finished, but most of them will come unfinished.

When considering solid hardwood floors, you need to be aware that they do not do well with moisture. As a result, they can only be installed over a wood sub-floor and above ground level. You definitely don’t want to have this type of floor in a basement or on levels that can be flooded. The last thing you want to do is replace warped planks!

Since solid hardwood flooring is made of natural wood, you will notice that it will sometimes expand and shrink. When it gets cold outside, the wood will naturally shrink, which will cause some larger-than-normal gaps between planks. This may seem unsightly, but they will go back to normal once it warms up outside. You can also expect to hear some creaking noises occasionally when walking on them due to the expansion and shrinking of the wood.

Characteristics of Engineered Hardwood

The most popular choice of hardwood floors nowadays is engineered hardwood. It is frequently chosen because it is more versatile than solid hardwood and can be used in just about any room in your home or office.

Unlike solid hardwood, engineered hardwood can handle a little bit of moisture without damaging the planks. It’s able to do this because it is made with three thin sheets of wood that are made together into a single plank. The cross-ply construction is a unique feature that makes the wood more stable and it won’t expand or shrink as easily during different temperature conditions.

Another thing that people like about engineered hardwood is the fact that the floors can be customized a lot more. You can choose the thickness of the plank that you want and you can also have them installed at different widths and lengths if you want something different. Because of this, you are able to create a completely customized look in your home.

Longstrip Hardwood

Longstrip hardwood is a type of engineered hardwood that is made of multiple wood plies stuck together to form a single plank. Some people like to use longstrip hardwood because it looks a lot different from any other type of hardwood floor. Each plank gives off the illusion that it is multiple planks wide and long, but it’s really just one plank.

Which Type is Best?

The simple answer is that whichever one you like most is the best for you. If you don’t have a room that could accumulate moisture or could get water damage, then you may prefer the engineered hardwood.

Alternatively, solid hardwood is good if you get tired of seeing the same thing in your house for a long period of time and like to change things up a bit. Both types should last you a long time if you take care of them properly, so your decision will depend on the home and the taste that you have for it.

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