Hardwood Floors

hardwood flooring
Hardwood floors are beautiful, long-lasting, and make an elegant choice for most rooms in your home. Along with being beautiful and long-lasting, hardwood floors are environmentally friendly too. Hardwoods are a natural resource, renewable, and recyclable. It is rare that this type of floor needs replacing and it add thousands of dollars to the value to a home. This is the reason many homeowners specify this type of flooring in their homes.

Species and types

Hardwood floors are available in numerous species (more than 50), both domestic and exotic. Each wood species has different values of strength, qualities, properties, and color. The most popular examples include Ash, Bamboo (exotic hardwood flooring), Fir, Maple, Oak, Birch, and Pine (Birch and Pine are more of a softwood type). With so many choices, it is important that you research as much as possible prior to making a final decision on your choice of hardwood.

Hardwood flooring is broken into two basic categories, solid and engineered.

Solid hardwood floors are three quarter of an inch (3/4") thick, solid pieces of wood cut into planks. Solid wood floors are suited for installation over subfloors above ground level. It is not recommended for usage over concrete slabs. Hardwood floors installed directly over concrete will absorb moisture from the concrete slab, and the boards will swell and cup.

Engineered hardwood floors consist of several layers of wood that are gluded and laminated to form a plank. Unlike solid hardwoods, engineered planks range in thickness of one quarter inch (1/4") to about one half inch (1/2"). These floors are suitable for installation just about anywhere in your home including over concrete slab.

Advantages

Hardwood floors are durable, tough, and highly shock resistant. They more affordable than traditional carpeting when compared to the life of the floor. Carpet must be replaced within a few of years of installation whereas hardwood flooring may last decades with little wear and tear. Hardwood floors do not trap unhealthy allergens and dust as do carpeting. For those allergic to pollens, pet dander, dust mites, and other dust particles, then hardwood flooring is the best choice for you. Last but not least, it increases your homes value.

Disadvantages

Wood flooring has many limitations due to the natural characteristics of wood. Expansion and contraction of wood from moisture and temperature fluctuation puts many dimensional restrictions on solid wood floors.Hardwood floors are attractive and durable, but they can stain and scratch easily if not cared for properly. They do require careful maintenance and cleaning. Using the wrong cleaner on a hardwood floor could stain or discolor the wood beyond repair.