There are many options to covering your concrete floor, or when you are in the market to replace the flooring you already have. Carpets are one, though they have a tendency to absorb spills and odors; and daily vacuuming can be cumbersome to busy lifestyles. The wear and tear on carpet takes a toll too soon and carpeting isn’t for everyone. Tile is another option as many people like the durability, easy maintenance, and odor resistance. However, when objects fall it can create divots or chips. Another issue with tile is that it provides no comfort or cushion to tired feet and sore backs. Wood flooring is a sound option many people prefer. If offers some cushioning to walk on, it resists odors and stains, along with being easily maintained. When it comes to your wood flooring, there are quite a few options for taste, style, and budget. With that in mind, we at Sequoia Flooring would like to share the basics of wood flooring for your consideration.
Wood Flooring Types
Engineered Laminate Flooring: Engineered laminate is the lower quality wood flooring option. This is a hardboard with Masonite type backing material that features a photo of a reproduced design, which is then covered with a resin or plastic coating. Though the aesthetics is notable it can give the impression of a sub-quality product. Though they can last a while if properly installed and maintained, they cannot be refinished to extend the lifespan or alter the appearance.
Real Wood Floors: With excellent durability and the ability to refinish, this option is high quality hardwood or bamboo. This engineered flooring has a hardwood layer at the top and is manufactured with various laminates either wood or synthetic. It can be easily installed over concrete, subflooring and in any room including bathrooms, recreational rooms and basements. This flooring is dimensionally stable, durable, and cost-effective.
Solid Hardwood Flooring: This option can be installed over the top of a wood subfloor. They are solid and of the highest quality. They, however, can expand under highly humid conditions, leading to buckling and cracking. Because it is usually nailed in place, it is not the most compatible when laying over concrete floors. Because of the chance of spills in the kitchen and the high moisture of bathrooms, solid wood flooring is not recommended for these areas.
Hardwood Floor Installation
When it comes to installing the various wood flooring types, there are a few options for specific applications. The subflooring must be clean and flat. Nailing, adhesive (or glue), and other methods secure the wood floor. In some instances, the solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood can be installed on tip of a “floating” substrate. This material is not attached to the actual floor and it allows the floor to expand or contact according to the humidity conditions. The floating substrate has the wood floor glued to the surface.
With only the borders attached to the subflooring, some engineered products utilize a tongue and groove method of installation. A less expensive product installed over a foam substrate is offered at some big box stores.