Wood or laminate flooring: Explore the choices for the abode

Tile Flooring is always a clean and great choice for the abode but there are rooms where you prefer the warmer feel that a wood or laminate floor will lend. Now the decision is what type, color, and finish of wood do you want or is a laminate a better choice?

There are so many different types of woods and laminates to choose from.

  • What are the advantages or disadvantages?
  • With so many choices of wood and laminates what are the best products and materials for you?
  • What will work within your budget?
  • What cleans and wears well?

You never realized how many decisions you would have to make just for the flooring. It takes a lot more than knowing what looks pretty when choosing your furnishings for your abode. You need to be informed about your investments.

Laminate Flooring;nice synthetic material for flooring.

there are many choices in laminate flooring
  • Laminate flooring is made like laminate counters. It is made by laminating together a multi-layer synthetic product. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials.
  • Laminate flooring can mimic many other surfaces. Most commonly laminate flooring will look like wood, but it can also simulate stone or metal. This is done with a photographic appliqué layer under a clear protective layer.

    laminate flooring is a great alternative to wood
  • Laminate flooring costs less than natural wood and stone.
  • Installation is fairly easy. Sometimes it will have a glue backing for ease of installation.
  • Laminate is a good compromise if you like the look of wood but not the wear or expense.

Wood Flooring; spans many categories.

  • Material (type of wood, such as oak)
  • How the material is formed, such as solid or engineered
  • Size and shape such as planks or parquet (square).

To decide what type of hardwood floor to use you have to first take into account the kind of traffic and wear this area to be floored will have.

  • The most common woods are oak, maple, and walnut.
  • Pine can be used too but is considered a soft wood.
  • Exotic woods, such as zebra and teak, can also be used for hardwood flooring but will be more expensive.

Hardwood flooring has different forms of material: solid wood, engineered wood, or acrylic impregnated wood.

Solid Wood Flooring; one solid piece of wood and usually 3/4″ thick.

  • Wood can be measured in strips (that can be anywhere from 1.5 inches wide to 2.25 inches wide), planks (3inches wide to 6 inches wide), and parquet (tiles formed from pieces of wood in a geometric pattern).

    beautiful hardwood parquet with medallion
  • Solid Wood is more easily affected to humidity and should only be installed above grade (not in basements) over wooden subfloors.
  • They have to be nailed or stapled down.
  • If, and when, needed solid wood can be refinished a number of times.

Engineered Wood Flooring

engineered flooring works well for more humid locations
  • Takes thin pieces of wood and laminates them in piles, alternating the grain of the layers in different directions. This is called cross-ply construction.
  • Humidity will not affect this wood flooring as much as solid wood. Therefore, these floors can be installed below grade as well as above grade.
  • Depending on the choice of engineered floor, they can be glued down, stapled down or floated over many different kinds of subfloors including wood, dry concrete slabs and some types of existing flooring. The floating method makes installation easier and usually can be done over any surface.
  • An engineered wood floor is more durable and is able to withstand more weight and force. It comes in a variety of finishes, thicknesses, and sizes.

Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring; new to the market.

  • These are made of a combination of solid wood and acrylic to create a stronger material that can withstand heavy traffic.
  • They are impregnated with color and sealant through the flooring. This makes this flooring better looking, more durable and longer lasting.
  • This flooring is extremely strong and will work in humid areas.
  • Since they are impregnated these floors will also be more protected from scratches.
  • This flooring is the most expensive of the wood flooring.

A compromise to consider is to turn your unfinished hardwood floor into an acrylic impregnated floor.

  • Instead of waxing, staining and buffing, acrylic monomers will be injected into the wood cell structure. This will produce the pigmenting effects you want and will make the floor stronger and longer lasting.

You can also consider using the eco friendly cork and bamboo tiles as an alternate option to a wood or laminate floor.

Wood and Laminate floors add warmth to the abode. Choose the material that works best for your home. Wood makes a great dance floor. Put on the tap shoes and never be afraid to dance!

Stay tuned for a posts about choosing carpeting for the abode.

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2 thoughts on “Wood or laminate flooring: Explore the choices for the abode

  1. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
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