Understanding Hardwood Flooring Styles
There are several different hardwood flooring styles to consider when making your purchase. There are pros and cons to any of them, so choosing the right one is a very personal decision. It’s important to have a good understanding of the styles available, so you can make an informed decision.
Pre-Finished Floors are Easy
The beauty of prefinished floors is that they are ready to live on as soon as they are installed. Featuring an incredible finish that will last for years if cared for, the floors do not require any sanding, staining or sealing. Simply choose the color you like, install it and prepare to enjoy your floor.
There are a few downsides to choosing prefinished lumber. You will have limited color selections and each plank will have a lightly beveled edge. This is important to ensure that the floorboards match up smoothly and minor variations become unnoticeable.
Another problem with prefinished floors is that the finish may have damaged from the factory. Because you won’t be sanding and staining the floor, you will have to carefully inspect every plank for damage to the finish before you install it.
Unfinished Floors Achieve Perfection with Extra Work
There are several great advantages to unfinished flooring. Because you are having it stained, you can choose your favorite stain. You can even choose a few different stains and create a phenomenal pattern in the floor. Because you are sanding the floor after it is installed, the finished floor will be completely smooth and perfect.
Small imperfections in the wood are sanded away, and the edges will sit flush together without any grooves like prefinished flooring. They do require extra work, and it is recommended that you hire a professional to finish the wood if you are not experienced with this task.
Engineered Floors are Better for Damp Areas
Choose engineered floors if you want the luxury of wood in an area that might get damp. This includes the kitchen, bathrooms and basements. They are structurally stronger, and the cross-ply construction makes them more resistant to moisture.
Solid wood floors feature a tongue and groove construction that must be nailed to a subsurface. This poses a challenge if you are dealing with a concrete subfloor. Some engineered floors are designed to float. Locking together with a special strip of adhesive, they don’t require the use of nail guns or wood sub floors.
Think About the Grain
When choosing your wood floor, consider the grains that are available. Sliced cut wood features a uniform pattern in the grain. If you want something bold and aggressive that will become the center of attention, then look for rotary cut. This lumber features larger patterns that are bold and powerful.
Different wood species also feature very different grains. In addition to having different colors, they also have different textures. While some people may prefer a heavier grain they can feel, others might prefer something smooth and soft. The decision is a very personal one, but you should take the time to view different species to see which one suits your home and lifestyle.
When it’s time to shop for new wood floors, there are countless options to choose from. Prefinished floors are not as labor intensive, but you also won’t achieve perfection with them. Engineered floors are great for damp areas, and they can also be installed over concrete. Regardless of your needs or personal tastes, you can find a wood floor that is ideal for your home with a little research.
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