Pre-finished hardwood floors come ready to be installed. The hardwood boards have been sanded, stained and finished at the manufacturing plant, which often means a harder and better-protected surface with multiple coats of protectant.
Pre-finished floors offer more choices of wood and can save hours of labor and cleanup. But unfinished wood floors offer you the ability to truly customize your floor. You select the wood species. It’s then sanded and stained right in your home. With unfinished floors, you also have the opportunity to level the surface of the entire floor after it has been installed.
Pre-finished floors come with an extended factory finish warranty.
If you choose an unfinished hardwood floor, maybe because you need to match an existing trim, then a job-site finish is your only option. In this scenario, you begin with a bare floor that is sanded, stained and finished right before your eyes (if you decide to watch, of course).
The advantage of a job-site finish is that you can customize the heights between planks (to ensure they’re even), the color and the placement. The disadvantage is the mess — and the fact that the process can take several days!
Job-site finishing methods include:
⦁ Water Based Urethane
Water is added to the chemical composition of the polyurethane finish.
⦁ Solvent Based Urethane
Oil is added to the chemical composition of the polyurethane finish.
⦁ Moisture Cured Urethane
Similar to solvent-based urethanes, but requires humidity in the air to cure.
Laminate is a manufactured product that simulates the look of hardwood floor, laminate tile, natural stone and many other types of flooring. Laminate is well suited to shoppers who want the look of real hardwood or stone but without the cost or maintenance that can be associated with natural products
A prefinished engineered hardwood flooring is sold as boards made up of a hardwood surface (called the wear layer) glued on a plywood base. Developed for installation in areas with variable humidity levels, engineered flooring is more stable than solid wood. the boards can be glued directly onto concrete, an acoustic underlay, or even a subfloor with a floor heating system. They can also be stapled to a plywood subfloor. This is a perfect floor covering for condominiums, basements, and commercial uses.
The quality of an engineered wood floor can be determined by looking at four factors: the thickness of the wear layer, the number of plies that the plywood is made of, the surface cutting procedure used, and precision of the cut.
The wear layer should be at least 5/32" (4mm) thick to offer the same resanding possibilities as solid wood. For greater stability, the wood should be dry sawn rather than rotary peeled or slice cut since only dry sawing produces a high quality, natural-looking hardwood board. A tongue and groove that join perfectly on all four sides indicate high-quality manufacturing.
Different Types of Wood Flooring Installation
If you are thinking about reconstructing your home, you may want to start with the flooring. The flooring plays a very big role in changing the overall look of your home. While there are many different types of flooring available today, wood floors are the most popularly used ones. This is because wood installation creates this warm and cozy appeal. And the best thing about wood flooring is that there are different types of wood flooring to choose from. Here are some of them:
• Engineered Wood Floor
Engineered wood flooring is typically used in areas where solid wood flooring cannot be installed such as kitchen, utility rooms, powder rooms and basements, where moisture is a concern. Engineered floors are constructed using layers of wood that are pressed together and then glued together. Unlike solid wood, the grains run in many different directions for additional stability. Most of these engineered floor woods are available in three to five ply thick.
• Solid Wood or Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring, on the other hand, have sizes that range from 3/8" and up to 3/4". These hardwoods are best used in places that received high heat since they are very durable and resistant to direct sunlight. Solid hardwood flooring comes in lots of different colors and designs. There are exotic colors, you can stain them or accent your flooring with borders or paint them to look like a work of art. Solid hardwood is great for ground levels and up. They last for a very long time. Although they may be priced a little stiffly, it is a great investment. This makes a very choice for all rooms.
• Floating Flooring
Floating flooring is either man-made or laminated floors. They are usually not affixed to the subfloor. They come with thin pads that protect the wood material from moisture as well as reduce the noise. Most of the times cushions are installed before the subfloor and then the floating flooring is then installed on top. The tongue and the groove boards are usually held together using a click and lock system or sometimes glue.
• Acrylic Impregnated Flooring
This is a process wherein acrylics are injected into the wood, which then creates solid hard and highly durable wood flooring installation. Most of the times, these are used for public places such as shopping malls, shops, and restaurants or just about in any place that receives a high volume of traffic like your kitchen, family rooms and what not. These may be a little expensive but they are tough that they have the ability to last a lifetime.
Wood floors also come in varying styles. Parquet is one of the most popularly used because it creates a geometric design that looks more impressive. Plank style, on the other hand, is wider in width and they are usually linear. Strip floors are also known as linear flooring. They make a linear effect that gives an illusion of a wider and more open space.
When looking for the right flooring for your home or your business establishment, it is always best to consult professional flooring companies before making a decision. They would be able to explain to you the different types of flooring as well as the different styles that'll work best for your taste.
What kind of hardwood is right for you? : By Sarah Cook
Laminate Flooring and installation of laminate
Laminate flooring is a synthetic material made to replicate real wood or stone in both its appearance and texture. Fashionable, hard-wearing and cost-effective, it is helpful in altering the whole look and ambiance of a home. It is essential to keep in mind that currently, laminate flooring is available in all different types of designs in order to reflect your own personal taste and preference. Though it is basically an imitation wood, it is actually extremely resilient. It is particularly resistant to excessive sunlight, fading, and damages that may occur such as burns or stains. These benefits motivate many homeowners to use this option when modernizing their homes due to its enhanced natural look of wood but with the added extra of sturdiness and strength.
Laminate flooring is most commonly sold in small tongue and groove edged planks that lock into each other.These consist of multi-layer materials, typically melamine resin, which is then topped with a layer of patterned material to simulate a natural finish. It is prepared by pressing the synthetic and non-synthetic materials together under intense heat and compression. It is then finalized with an extremely tough and clear coating made from a unique resin-coated type of cellulose. These final coatings act as a shielding layer that helps prevent abrasions and scratches from appearing. It is so dense that it allows for laminated flooring to be a long-term option with the ease of quick and simple maintenance solutions.
With a locking mechanism that ensures a secure floor without the hassle of glue and nails, this type of flooring has become the ideal choice for households because it has a quicker installation time, it's easier to repair and it can be fitted by a homeowner themselves and not necessarily a professional fitter. As there is no need to splash out on labor, this can save you a considerable amount of money. It is also a very eye-catching, low expense and lifelong flooring option. An easy to clean surface, impact free and flexible, allows for laminate flooring to be installed over many different types of ground surfaces and on all grade levels, making it a flexible flooring choice.
Maintenance for this kind of floor covering is comparatively simple compared to other hardwood flooring solutions. It does not require waxing or polishing in order to enhance the wood. Utilising protection pads under furniture helps to prevent scuff marks or scratching the surface.
Laminate wood flooring is immensely popular mainly due to its in-expense, quick and easy installation, strength and simple upkeep. If you are especially concerned about value for money, it is good to note that most of the flooring manufacturers will provide a lasting warranty for laminate floors. Of course, the guarantees provided will also vary in terms of their stipulated purpose, being domestic or commercial in use.
Installation of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is one of the easiest installations available among the many flooring options. If you are a do-it-yourself person, you should have no problem with this. Even if you are not, with this simple guide, installation of your laminate flooring should be relatively pain-free.
A word of caution, though! Before you begin the installation of your laminate flooring, consult the installation instructions as laid down by the manufacturer so you do not end up doing anything to damage your warranty.
That being said, here are three simple steps required for installation of your laminate flooring:
Step 1: Prepare the Surface of the Sub-Floor
Laminate flooring is most commonly installed over concrete slabs. You do not want to have oddly angular, creaky flooring at the end of the installation, so the first step is to ensure that the slab surface is flat and even throughout.
If you find that there are issues with the surface, you should take steps to "straighten things out" before you proceed. You could start by eliminating bumps along the surface with a surface grinder and using fillers to ensure flatness all around.
To avoid having your laminate flooring absorb too much moisture, you should wait as long as necessary to have the concrete dry completely before continuing the installation process. If you are someone with little patience or time, you can speed things up by using some of the conventional drying devices readily available.
When the slap becomes dry, sweep the floor to get rid of dirt particles, and then move on to the next step in the process.
Step 2: Install the Underlay
For each and every type of laminate flooring, there is a corresponding suitable underlay. You do not really have to bother too much about this, just make sure you inform your retailer about the kind of surface you intend to install your laminate flooring over, and they will point you in the right direction.
Now, if you are installing over concrete, tape the seams of the underlay together and ensure that it goes up the wall a couple of inches. It should also be oriented in the same direction as the flooring itself.
There is not much difference if you are installing over wood, except that it is not necessary for the seams to be taped.
Step 3: Install the Laminate Flooring
To make your work look neat and professional, first measure the breadth of the room and calculate how many planks it would take to floor the entire room. Normally, you will not be lucky enough to have a whole number. Divide the fraction by two to get the size of the first and last plank.
Advantages Of Laminate Flooring.
When it comes to choosing flooring for your home you really do need to take a look at all the options because the type of flooring will greatly affect the overall feel of the room. One of the most popular choices at the moment is laminate flooring, and the reason is that there are several advantages to this flooring type in comparison to hardwood floors.
One of the main advantages is that laminate flooring has many different design options when compared to hardwood, which means you can add a unique design to a room, and this means it is a great tool for interior designers and those who have design flair. Allied to this, laminate flooring is also much cheaper than hardwood flooring, which can be something that is very important if you are working on a tight budget.
When it comes to installing the flooring, you will find that this type is much easier to install, mainly due to the fact that there is now such a thing as glueless laminate flooring. All that you need to do is simply fit the planks together and in a matter of hours, you can start to have a floor that looks professionally installed without having to deal with glue or nails. This lack of glue means you can also use your floor immediately after installation.
Another advantage is that laminate flooring is an extremely durable flooring option, and is, therefore, a great choice for places where there is a lot of activity, especially the hallway and the kitchen. For this reason, many laminate floors come with an extremely long guarantee, something which can give you great peace of mind. Allied to the durability is also the fact that this kind of flooring is very easy to maintain, especially due to the fact that much of it is UV resistant, and will therefore not change color when put in direct sunlight. To keep it in good condition all that you need to do in most cases is wipe it with a soft damp cloth, and you will have a floor that will keep its looks for many years.
Hardwood floors refinishing installation & sale in Los Angeles
Benefits of Letting a Professional Do Your Hardwood Refinishing
Hardwood flooring has a very versatile design that goes along with almost all decor. It provides a certain feel of coziness and elegance to
any room. But over time, it loses its charm. It starts to dull, fade and develop splinters due to wear and tear. Exposure to moisture and other
home problems additionally add to the condition.
To revive the luster and former splendor of your hardwood floor, you need to refinish it. This is just like a beauty overhaul for your floor, so it looks fresh and new again. Your hardwood floor has a protective covering which permits it to shine. This shine will be restored with hardwood floor refinishing, and it will also do away with the burrs and splinters in your flooring. The floors and any cracks between will be sealed so that the former glory of your hardwood flooring is back again.
There are several ways you can test the finish on your floors to determine if they need to be refinished. First, you can pour a small amount of water onto a small area of your floor. If the water appears as beads, then your finish is excellent. If the water that comes in contact with the floor seeps into it, then your floors are in need of refinishing. Another way you can determine whether your floor needs to be refinished is to examine it carefully and look for any signs of warping and buckling. If these signs are present, your floors need to be refinished.
Benefits of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors.
Refinishing Gives a New Look to Your Hardwood Floors
If you want to revitalize your hardwood floors, then it is a good idea to refinish them because refinishing will give your flooring a completely new look. Plus other people will think that you have reconstructed your floors and be amazed.
Refinishing Enhances the Life of Your Hardwood Floors
Refinishing your old hardwood floors can undoubtedly improve the life of your flooring because with refinishing, small repairs are also included. Hence refinishing will not only give your hardwood floors a new look, it will also help them last longer.
Refinishing Recovers the Damage Caused By the Moisture
Moisture is known to be the biggest enemy of hardwood floors, as it completely destroys and ends the life of the flooring. To overcome this issue, refinishing your hardwood floor is the right thing to do because refinishing eliminates the moisture from the wooden planks, allowing you to have an extended life for your wooden floors.
Refinishing Eliminates Scratches and Other Marks from Your Hardwood Floors
Refinishing dynamically eliminates all types of scratches and other major as well as minor marks from your hardwood floors, allowing you to have a new and scratch-free floor.
Refinishing Removes the Damage Caused by Water, Chemicals and Direct Sunlight
If you want to get rid of the damage that has been caused by water, chemicals, and direct sunlight, then it is a good idea to refinish your hardwood flooring. Refinishing will bring back the lost color and shine of your hardwood floors that is caused by these factors thus allowing your flooring to look as good as new.
Refinishing can certainly make your hardwood floor as good as new, and the best thing about refinishing is that you can get it done at an affordable, inexpensive cost. This will not only give a new look to your floor but will also give a long life to it.
What are your 1st impressions when you hear the word laminate? Most people think of the old-fashioned, super shiny and outdated styles of laminates we’ve seen in the past. At our Los Angeles showroom laminate flooring has a whole new look! These days laminate flooring is elegant and has a very realistic look and feel. Laminate floors have always been praised for durability and water resistance characteristics. Now we find true beauty in the strength of the laminate. In fact, all of our Los Angeles showroom locations have laminate floors installed throughout. Customers are blown away when we tell them the flooring in all our Los Angeles showrooms is laminate! Laminate flooring comes in many colors and sizes as well as hand scraped and distress styles.
How do you decide if laminate floors are the right fit for your home? As previously stated, we know that laminate is very durable. If you have a high traffic home, pets or children then laminate is the way to go. Laminate flooring is certainly more durable than hardwood floors…the only drawback is that it cannot be refinished or repaired. When the floor wears out, it must be replaced. On a budget? Laminate flooring is also a fraction of the cost of real wood not to mention the install is literally a snap! Laminate floors are click lock installed and require no glue. Our flooring contractors simply cannot say enough good things about laminate flooring.
There are no floors more beautiful than real hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are an asset to any home big or small. Once you decide that hardwood floors are the right fit for your lifestyle …then you are ready to think about the many options available to you. Here are some hard facts on hardwood floors.
Engineered Vs. Solid Wood? That’s the question of today! Some people may prefer the classic look of unfinished wood or solid wood floors. These floors are truly built to stand the test of time. We see so many houses from the turn of the century and older that have the original hardwood floors that the house was built on. These floors although pricey can be sanded several times and last for decades. Before jumping into solid wood ask yourself: “Will I be in this home forever?” “Do I plan to sell or rent in the future?” Unfinished wood floors are not the best option for a possible rental home. Tenants are just not careful enough when they are not the ones who invested in the process.
These days engineered hardwood is most common for many reasons: 1st there are much more varieties in engineered wood as far as color and hardwood species. 2nd Engineered wood takes less installation time from beginning to end. 3rd Engineered wood is also more durable because they are factory finished, with different hardening agents such as but not limited to aluminum oxide. 4th If your home is newer, most likely you have a concrete subfloor. In this case, you almost have to go engineered, as this type of wood floor can be glued down directly over concrete as opposed to solid hardwood which must be nailed down over a plywood subfloor.
Once you have decided what kind of hardwood flooring to install in your home, you can start to schedule estimates with flooring companies to come and measure the space. It's a good idea to have a few companies provide you with quotes so that you compare pricing between the hardwood flooring companies. Be sure that all the estimates and work are provided by licensed and bonded flooring contractors. This is very important for the integrity of the work and your long-term happiness with your newly installed floors.
The new face of laminate flooring: by Sarah Cook
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