Installing hardwood floors in your home is a great way to increase its value and overall appeal. There are many types of hardwood floors available and it is important to understand the differences between them. This will allow you to make an informed purchasing decision and ensure that you get the best hardwood floors to suit your needs.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
It should come as no surprise that solid hardwood flooring is made out of solid sections of wood. You can find solid hardwood flooring available in both unfinished and finished varieties. Although unfinished hardwood flooring may be cheaper, it will need to be sanded and stained before you install it in your home.
Solid hardwood flooring is generally available in three different styles: plank, strip, and parquet. Planks are much wider than strips of hardwood flooring. Parquet is actually installed in a pattern and deviates from the typical look of side-by-side planks and strip flooring.
Installing solid hardwood flooring in your home can be a bit difficult. Due to the solid nature of this type of flooring it is easily affected by changes in the moisture level. In many cases solid hardwood flooring is not recommend for basements, or overtop of a concrete slab.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
If you looked at a cross section of engineered hardwood flooring you would find multiple layers that have been fixed together. There is a wide selection of engineered hardwood flooring available so the number of layers can vary between different brands. Like solid hardwood flooring, you can find the engineered varieties available in several different widths.
Engineered hardwood flooring is generally more adaptable to things like changes in moisture. For this reason, it can be installed overtop of a concrete slab and in the basement of your home.
Sometimes laminate flooring is confused with engineered hardwood flooring because of the way they are produced. Both floorings are the result of several different layers of material that are glued together under pressure. Unlike engineered hardwood floors, laminate flooring does not contain real wood. What you actually see are layers of materials, including high density fiberboard, that have a photograph of wood placed on top of them. This photograph gives the impression that the flooring is real wood even though its not!
Many people prefer to install laminate flooring in their home because it looks like real hardwood at a greatly reduced price. Laminate flooring is also very easy to install which makes it attractive to those who enjoy a DIY project!