Wooden flooring is one of the most popular options on the market. The problem with this material is the fact that it’s expensive, prone to water damage and might get scratched. However, it’s still incredibly visually pleasing, elegant, able to match every single style and easy for maintenance. Other than this, these downsides aren’t necessarily so big, to begin with. Sure, it’s prone to water damage – so don’t go for it in the kitchen and bathroom. It’s expensive – but you’re doing it once every several decades. So, here’s what you need to know about this versatile option.
1. Prefinished or unfinished
The first question worth asking is whether you want to go for prefinished or unfinished. The first noticeable difference is in their appearance. Prefinished flooring has that glowing look to them, while unfinished flooring looks more natural and rustic. Second, when it comes to health, there are two things to consider. Unfinished wood is more natural and, therefore, healthier. However, finished wood is easier to maintain, which elevates the overall health in your household. Lastly, prefinished flooring options come at a lower cost and are simpler to install.
2. Solid hardwood floor
The majority of people, when talking about hardwood floors, probably envision a hardwood floor. This is raw, quality timber flooring that you can purchase from reputable construction timber suppliers. This type of flooring is hard, durable and incredibly resilient. It can be refinished many times and if maintained properly, it can last for decades. When installed over a wood subfloor, it provides decent insulation. The installation itself takes quite a while, seeing as how each board has to be nailed individually. Moreover, due to low-resilience to humidity, it’s not meant for below-grade installations.
3. Engineered hardwood floor
On the other hand, engineered hardwood flooring is something completely different. It’s a mixture made out of compressed wood, resin and polymers. Once this process is done, the mixture is topped with a layer of real hardwood. As for its traits, it’s important to mention that it comes prefinished and can be installed over different types of flooring. Due to its higher resilience to moisture, there are a lot of instances where it’s installed in the basement. When it comes to maintenance, it’s quite easy to clean and in case of any damage, it’s possible to refinish it. Still, the results are nowhere near the solid hardwood.
4. Type of wood
Another relevant question is one of the types of wood used in the process. The most commonly used types are oak, maple and cherry. Still, there are numerous alternatives worth mentioning, as well. For those who want to go with something exotic for their household, species like teak, jarrah and mesquite are also available on the market. One more thing worth mentioning here is the fact that buying wooden flooring may also be an eco-friendly move. Just make sure that the type of wood you’re going for isn’t endangered locally and that it comes from forests that are sustainably harvested.
5. Alternatives to wood
The thing about wood flooring is that it’s not for everyone and it’s not for every part of the house. So, if you’re merely interested in the look of natural wood, you have several alternatives that can act as a decent substitute. First, you can go with PVC flooring in hardwood texture. Second, you can go for tiles made in the texture of the wood or with wood-like laminate flooring. Natural bamboo is something that the majority of people see as a perfect compromise. This is because it’s a natural, wood-like material that can also serve as a visual replacement. The key thing is that in the 21st century, achieving the look of natural wood is possible even with other materials.
In the end, the key thing to understand is the fact that you always have options. Saying that you want a wooden floor is as specific as saying that you live in a home. There are so many variations, patterns and alternatives to consider. This would allow you to completely alter your living situation and living experience. It will also provide you with numerous customizability options that you and your family can explore in order to turn your home’s flooring into something truly unique.