A guest Blog entry by www.woodandbeyond.com
If you are unfamiliar with wood flooring, choosing the correct type may seem overwhelming at first. It is essential to match the type of property or area within the property with the most suitable type of wood flooring board. Fitting the correct type will mean not only great looking décor but also one that will last for many years.
When looking at a well-fitted wood flooring solution you would be right to assume that all boards are alike. However, there are two types of wood flooring construction. One is called solid wood flooring, while its alternative is called engineered wood flooring.
Solid Wood Flooring – Each board is made from 100% natural wood such as Oak. It is the traditional type that has been around since the first wood flooring were introduced and of course still used to this day. The use of complete solid wood means that service life is very lengthy at 100 years and you will benefit from an option to sand and recoat the wood every few years thereby achieving the appearance of new floors for a small investment and little down time.
Engineered Wood Flooring – Each board is made from solid wood (similar to solid wood flooring) as a top layer supported by MDF, Plywood and Softwood. This alternative was introduced to overcome the limitations of natural wood. When fitted, it will look identical to solid wood flooring, however service life does not equal and is estimated at around 25 to 50 years depending on the thickness of the solid layer.
Solid Vs. Engineered Wood Flooring
The suitability of one type over the other in your project will depend on the type of property and more importantly the area. In some cases either type will suit absolutely fine, in others only one type should be fitted.
Commercial Properties – Commercial properties vary from offices to storefronts but they share one common feature. Foot traffic (the amount of people walking on the floor) is greater than residential properties. It means that service life is a particular concern. Therefore solid wood flooring is often the first type to be considered.
Residential Properties – Most properties can accommodate either solid or engineered flooring. Engineered wood flooring due to the lesser use of wood is often more affordable making it a perfect choice when tight budget or large properties are concerned.
Areas With Under Floor Heating – Regardless of property type, only engineered wood flooring is suitable in areas that have under floor heating fitted. Solid wood expands when the climate rises and contracts when the climate drops causing it to buckle in extreme cases. An engineered board does not share this reaction to changes in climate making it the only option if you continue to go the wood flooring route.
Areas That Experience Humid and Wet Conditions – If the boards are to be fitted in areas that experience damp, humid and wet conditions only engineered wood is suitable AND only with a suitable waterproof coating (UV Lacquered). Natural wood and water do not mix well, so fitting a board of solid wood in the kitchen, bathroom or basement areas in prone to damage quickly.
Final Thoughts – Grade and Finish
Both solid and engineered wood flooring are distinguished by grade and finish. Grade is an indication of how refine the wood is in terms of colour variations between the boards as well as how many and what size knots and sapwood is present. Finish refers to a top transparent layer that acts to seal the wood. These should be considered on a case-by-case basis based on your desired décor.
Have any questions? Contact ADS architectural or leave your comment below.