How to choose your wood floors?
Installing wood flooring is becoming more and more popular in home remodeling, hardwood floors add warmth and character to a home or condo. Wood floors are durable and easy to maintain. When choosing a new floor for your home you should know the amount of wood you’ll need to cover, the budget you want to spend, and the color and style you are looking for. Each type of wood has it’s own characteristics, good and bad. When choosing your floor you have to consider your home decor, you want a floor that will complement the rooms character, as an example a traditional decor will look stunning with a dark Oak floor (example: chocolate, caramel colors) as a modern contemporary decor will look stunning with a light uniform floor (example: white wash, grey, beige) it all depends on the style you are looking for.
Wood floors are a product of nature and can therefore present natural color and grain variations from piece to piece. Make sure to enquire about the specific features the wood you have chosen. Some wood species mature differently and full color richness may take several months before settling. Stick within your budget but don’t go with very inexpensive floors, floors that are inexpensive usually means lower quality and less durable. Wood floors don’t need to be replaced and will increase the value of the property unlike carpet or other flooring alternatives.
Solid wood flooring is milled from a single piece of timber that is kiln or air dried before sawing. Depending on the desired look of the floor, the timber can be cut in three ways: flat-sawn, quarter-sawn, and rift-sawn. Solid wood floors are mostly manufactured 3/4″ thick with a tongue-and-groove for installation. Solid wood is not recommended for condominiums and basements due to high levels of humidity that may cause the wood to “cup”( a concave or “dished” appearance of the plank, with the height of the plank along its longer edges being higher than the centre) or to “crown”(convex curving upwards when humidity increases). Gapping is also very common with hardwood in our climate, as winter approaches and the air becomes very dry the floor boards will start to separate from one another leaving a space of about 1/8” and when humidity is very high during the summer the wood will replace itself, hardwood is a natural species and needs to move and breathe. A maximum of 5” in width must be respected to not have any problems with crowing or cupping. Humidty must always be between 37% and 50% to insure a healthy looking floor.
Engineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer (lamella) is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed and is adhered to the core. The increased stability of engineered wood is achieved by running each layer at a 90° angle to the layer above. This stability makes it a universal product that can be installed over all types of subfloors above, below or on grade. Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally. Engineered wood is generally used for condominiums and basements where humidity soars way above regular levels.
Laminate flooring also called floating woodis a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Installation is done by clicking the boards together using advanced click systems that hold the boards tightly in place, no glue or nails are necessary for installation of a laminate floor.
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