Wood Flooring: Everything you need to know before installation
Are you renovating your home and not sure what to choose for your flooring? Well, this is certainly the most basic yet important decision that you must make as a homeowner! It literally has everything to do with the style, design, looks, as well as durability of the flooring surface. Even though flooring options seem endless, you can never go wrong with high quality wood flooring.
Wood flooring has been around for centuries, and people trust it a lot more than other flooring types. Not only do they give strength to your home floor, but they also give your home an aesthetical performance. However, selecting wood flooring is much more than simply a matter of choosing your favorite color. Therefore, here is everything you should know about choosing the best-suited hardwood flooring for your home.
Selection of a Solid of Engineered Wood Flooring
Historically, hardwood flooring was made of sturdy wood planks. Though solid hardwood is still commonly available today, several manufacturers sell engineered flooring constructed with a thinner top layer of hardwood bonded to additional layers that keep the floor from moving through expansion and contraction cycles.
Engineered wood flooring provides an assembly benefit in basements and apartments with concrete subfloors. In contrast, solid wood is often built on one to two layers of plywood, which may increase the floor’s height and clash with existing doors or slightly lower ceiling height. However, choosing the engineered floors still requires caution since certain they feature top layers that are so thin that they cannot be sanded and refinished in the future.
Determine if the Surface Would Be Prefinished or Completed On-site
Hardwood planks are available unfinished, which requires skilled finishing during completion, or prefinished, which has stain and topcoat already added. The benefit of prefinished wood is that you precisely know what you are buying! After choosing a piece, you will have an identical example to use in coordinating your home’s paint scheme and selecting other design elements such as textiles, wall coverings, and cabinetry.
Additionally, prefinished flooring saves time during installation since no paint or sealant is used. By opting for a site finish, you take a chance that depends on the contractors’ expertise to get things right.
Nonetheless, on-site finishing enables a degree of customization that many homeowners and builders appreciate. The reason behind this is the fact that unfinished flooring is usually sanded after installation and then finished in a single continuous plane.
There is a wide variety of finishing materials available. They range from penetrating oils to oil-like hybrids, site-finish polyurethanes to prefinished UV-cured urethane finishes, etc. However, for the sake of simplicity, most finishes are classified as oil or polyurethane.
The oil penetrates the wood and imparts an exceptionally smooth, matte, and natural appearance. However, it is not as stain- and damage-resistant as polyurethane, which forms a hard topcoat on the surface of the wood. It is more prone to wear and tear, especially in households with children or when food is moving around the kitchen. Although oil finishes are more prone to scratching, they often conceal scratches. Moreover, they are simple to touch up on an as-needed basis.
Determine the Types of Finish
In contrast, with polyurethane, you must replace a board or buff and recoat the whole portion of the floor. A soft oil finish makes cleaning smoother, but it needs more frequent attention. The more difficult the polyurethanes are to work with, the less often maintenance is needed, but the more demanding the maintenance is.
Consider the Wood Flooring Types
Oak: Oak is the king of hardwood flooring. It’s a very sturdy wood that stains beautifully. Additionally, it features an attractive natural grain and is readily available in the USA, resulting in affordable prices. White oak is prevalent in design circles because it lacks the pinkish tones characteristic of red oak.
Walnut: The second common choice is a walnut. Though it is marginally softer than oak, it has a rich color that makes it an excellent choice for rooms that need a darker finish. Walnut is an obvious preference when richer, warmer tones and shades are desired. Additionally, hickory, pine, and ash are also easily accessible hardwoods in America. Color and grain preference plays a significant role in the selection process.
Choose the Pattern of Grain
Logs are sawn or cut in three distinct ways, each of which produces a unique grain pattern. The details of these patterns are as follows:
Plain Sawn: Plain Sawn boards have a more conventional wood grain style known as cathedrals. That is just what you picture in mind when you hear the word wood grain.
Rift Sawn: Rift Sawn boards have a long, straight, consistent grain that is free of cathedrals. This type of grain is also known as straight grain.
Quarter Sawn: Quarter sawn boards resemble rift boards that have additional irregular figuring with iridescent, nearly three-dimensional rays that extend over the plank. It is also known as radially sawn lumber!
Calculate the width of the planks.
When you go beyond and above the standard, everything becomes special. That is why a 4 to 6-inch plank is the normal specification, based on the size of the space and application. However, there is always room for customization. So, the larger the room, the wider the plank you can pick. While it once looked as if nearly all hardwood flooring was built in 2- or 3-inches strips, more consumers are now opting for larger planks.
Another aspect of plank width shows that a floor constructed of thick planks may have fewer seams than a floor constructed of thin strips. Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind that as the wood grows and contracts, the seams become more noticeable.
Ajami Wood offers some of the best quality softwood and hardwood floorings in town. However, while you choose the right type, make sure to keep all the points in mind. This will ensure that whatever wood type you choose will be the best fit for your home.