Hardwood Choosing FactorsChoose the right Hardwood floor
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- Cost: Generally more expensive than pre-finished hardwood with added on-site labor
- Seams: None. No seams between the boards, because the finish is applied all the way across the floor, even bridging seams.
- Style: site-finished flooring gives you an enormously wide range of style options that pre-finished can never hope to match.
- Installation: The most involved installation process. Additional wait time is needed to allow for site finished hardwood to fully cure. Greater exposure to dust and chemicals during installation.
- Drying Time: 1 to 3 days minimum before you can move all of your furniture back onto the floor. Sometimes 1 week for heavy furniture. Depending the finish product chosen.
- Maintenance: Easier to do repairs to individual planks.
- Best Attribute: Refinishability: site-applied finish is far easier to sand down and reapply than pre-finished flooring’s top layer.
- Durability: The protective finish on an unfinished hardwood floor can last for years. All depends the finishing product you choose and the care given.
- Deciding Factor: Level and seamless seams, no bevels. Also wider gamma in choices of color stains and finishes.
- Cost: Generally less expensive than site-finished hardwood, but not necessarily the case.
- Style: Limited to manufacturer’s selections, not ones creativity. Pre-finished hardwood floors can be difficult to match in the future if the same product is no longer available.
- Installation: It is much easier, and quicker, to install prefinished hardwood than it is going through the process of sanding and staining the material on site. Pre-finished floors are ready to go as soon as they are installed.
- Maintenance: The thick seal layer of a prefinished floor means that when a section of flooring becomes damaged, the only way to repair it is to either sand the finish off of the entire floor, or remove and replace the broken section.
- Please Note: The thick and pervasive nature of the pre-finished coat requires you to sand down further into the material in order to reach the natural hardwood again… thus adding to the time and cost of sanding pre-finished floors.
- Durability: The protective finish on an unfinished hardwood floor can last for years.
- Deciding Factor: Time to move back in.
With the current technology, both types of hardwood floors have their advantages, and will be able to give you a beautiful look to your home.
Contacts Us and we will help you to find the perfect floor that fits your needs and budget.
- Composition: Solid wood flooring refers to hardwood flooring made from one solid piece of lumber. It is available in a variety of sizes and species ranging in durability. It is solid wood all the way through, from top to bottom.
- Positive Attributes: Unfinished hardwood tends to be a little cheaper than prefinished, but does require immediate light sanding, staining (optional), and sealing after installation which then evens out the price gap.
- Much more options of artistic self-expression. There is a wide gamma of different gloss levels, stain colors, and surface treatments like hand-scraping or distressing.
- Hardwood flooring’s greatest advantage is that it can be re-sanded numerous times, extending its life literally for decades.
- Less Attractive Attributes: Traditional solid hardwood flooring is not well suited for below-grade installations, because of the possibility of moisture issues.
- Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. To compensate for this movement, we leave an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
- Deciding Factor: Location.
- Composition: The finish wood is what you see and walk on is real wood. However plywood underneath comprises 80-90% of the floor. But it’s the plywood that distinguishes engineered wood flooring from solid hardwood. Each ply (sometimes 3-12 plies) runs perpendicular to its adjacent ply, giving dimensional strength.
- Positive Attributes: Stands up well to areas with light moisture–basements and bathrooms.
- Is less susceptible to shrinking and expanding with changes in temperatures and humidity while the multiple wood layers in engineered hardwood make it very durable.
- Environmentally friendly. From a resource-conservation perspective, engineered wood flooring makes good sense: the rarer and more valuable hardwoods are used in smaller quantities for the veneer, while the bulk of the material comes from fast-growing plantation trees. Reclaimed wood flooring keeps valuable materials out of landfills and reduces pressure to harvest trees.
- Less Attractive Attributes: Engineered wood flooring’s greatest weakness is its thin top layer. Remarkably, this 1/16″ to 1/8″ finish layer can be sanded. But only once or twice, sometime 3 times. The ¾” inch thick planks are the best. Thinner engineered wood flooring cannot be refinished. However it should last 20-30 years depending on traffic.
- Unlike solid hardwood, deep scratches and dents in engineered wood cannot be sanded out, the whole plank may need to be replaced.
- Deciding Factor: Location.
- Floor Look & Feel: Real 3/4″ thick solid wood with unique color variations and grain patterns.
- Selection:Wide selection of species, colors, textures, gloss levels, widths, and lengths.
- Scratch, Stain & Fade Resistance:Very good, varies depending on the species and finish.
- Floor Life Expectancy:Could be lifetime if cared for properly.
- Can Be RefinishedCan Be Repaired: Planks can be replaced if necessary.
- Care & Maintenance: Easy routine care: vacuum, sweep, and clean up spills. Light buff and seals care packages are available too.
- Installation: Glue-down, nail-down, floating
- Level of Skill to Install: Best installed by a professional
- Location: Solid hardwood can be installed on or above grade, except for areas with extreme moistures, such as bathrooms
- Floor Look & Feel: Good quality laminates like Bruce Premium Floors have the Magnum Plus HDF™ Core, which gives your floor a more substantial feel and the optimum in sound absorption.
- Selection:Wide selection of faux finishes, including hardwood, stone and ceramic, colors, textures, gloss levels, widths, and lengths.
- Scratch, Stain & Fade Resistance:Excellent resistance to scratching, staining, and fading.
- Floor Life Expectancy: Up to 20 years to 50, depending on product you purchase and care.
- Can Be Refinished: Not needed. Highly resistant to wear, fading, and staining.
- Can Be Repaired: Planks can be replaced if necessary. However no sanding or refinishing.
- Care & Maintenance: Easy routine care: vacuum, sweep, and clean up spills
- Installation:Glue-down or floating
- Level of Skill to Install: Not as many tools are needed, however best installed by professional
- Location: Laminate resists moisture and shifting humidity levels, so it can be installed anywhere in the home. But extra precautions must be taken when installing in bathrooms and basements.