Choosing The Hardwood Floor For You

What is Solid Hardwood Flooring?

Solid Hardwood Flooring is a product usually 3/4″ thick where each piece is made of a single solid piece. Solid Hardwood Flooring is a popular option for consumers because of its authenticity, strength, integrity, and durability. Solid Hardwood Flooring can be refinished multiple times to freshen the look of the home over and over. Although solid wood may have the reputation of being difficult to care for, with the right contractor and knowledge, it will last several lifetimes. Solid Hardwood Flooring comes in a variety of species, widths, and also options for pre-finished or un-finished.

What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered Hardwood Flooring is a man-made product made up of several layers. Only the top layer is what contains the hardwood. Consisting of a veneer, some thicker than others, glued over the top of a plywood substate. By using a veneer over a plywood substrate, it creates a highly stable core that resists expansion, contractions, or shifting. Engineered Hardwood flooring works well in homes on a raised foundation but ultimately a great choice for places that are subject to moisture such as basements or homes that are on a concrete slab. Engineered Hardwood Flooring is a great choice for use on top of radiant heating systems as well. Most Engineered Flooring products come pre-finished from the manufacturer. In some cases un-finished can be ordered. Engineered Hardwood Flooring products normally range in thickness between 3/8 to 3/4.

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate Flooring is a man made product made of composite materials with a photographic applique layer coated with a protective layer. The bulk of the material is composed of a fiber board material and a melamine resin. Laminate comes in many colors and shades.

Pre-finished vs. un-finished

When choosing a Hardwood Floor, you may come across terms such as pre-finished and un-finished. Pre-finished Hardwood Floors have their stain color and finish applied at the factory and come packaged for installation. Un-finished products are a great way to have complete control over color and finish sheen. Choosing un-finished wood flooring is a great choice if you’re looking for custom options when choosing stain colors or matching a specific color theme.

What Finish Is Right For You?

There are many finishing solutions in the Hardwood Floor industry such as Waterborne, Oil Base, Linseed Based, and Swedish Finishes. Certain finishes have higher levels of VOC’s which are Volatile Organic Compounds.

Waterborne Finishes

  • Very little VOC’s or none at all
  • Dry and cure quickly
  • Excellent durability traits
  • Little to no smell during application
  • Does not yellow over time

Oil Based Finishes

  • Tend to have a strong odor during application
  • Very durable properties
  • Yellow over time
  • Take longer to dry and cure than other finishes
  • Higher levels of VOC’s compared to other finishes

Linseed Based Finishes

  • Increasing popularity due to being able to apply the stain color and finish application in the same coat
  • Dry and cure quickly
  • Very little VOC’s or none at all

Swedish Finishes

  • Very durable
  • Tends to amber
  • High level of VOC’s
  • Long cure time

Maintaining Your Hardwood Floor

Maintaining Hardwood Floors has gained a negative reputation although it is fairly simple if certain practices are put into place. If these practices are utilized, refinishing your lfoors will be a process that will only need to take place every couple decades. Here is a list of practices and maintenance schedules:

Sweep or dust mop. Wipe any spills immediately.
Vacuum using bare floor settings
Bi-Weekly / Monthly
Use industry recommended floor cleaners
Every 2-5 Years
Apply a maintenance coat to flooring