Wood Floors: Do You Know the Differences?

When you are ready to put floors in your home, there are a lot of choices. You can go with carpet, tile, vinyl, concrete and wood. Wood is one of the most popular choices because of the beauty and durability. However, even when you consider wood for your floors, you still have a lot of selection.

Wood floors are not cheap. For real wood floors, you can expect to pay up to $10 per square foot. But, you can also choose from less expensive wood laminate and engineered wood. What you choose will depend on your budget and your personal choice. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, if you are making the move to wood floors, consider the following.

Solid Wood:

Solid wood floors, also called hardwood flooring, is just as the name suggest, real wood. Many people love hardwood floors because they add a beauty to the home that you can’t get with any other type of flooring. Hardwood floors also add a substantial value to your home, so it is a good choice if you plan on selling your home in the near future. One very desirable aspect of solid wood flooring is that these floors actually age very well. Over time, these floors, which can be refinished and resurfaced, will take on a shine and patina that you cannot get with carpet or tile. Wood floors are also long-lasting. It is important to remember that wood floors usually cannot be installed directly over concrete and wood does expand and contract with temperature and humidity. If you opt for a wider plank in your flooring, you can expect more movement to occur. Because of this, you may not want to install hardwood floors in rooms that have high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens. You will also want to keep in mind that wood floors do scratch, and while you can resurface these floors, it is not cheap to do so.

Engineered Wood:

Engineered wood is another option you have when you are looking into new flooring for you home. Engineered wood flooring has a top layer of wood, but have layers of other material underneath. These floors can be purchased already finished or unfinished, however you prefer. In addition, they come in a wide range of colors and sizes to fit the needs of any room or home. You will not find that engineered wood is any less expensive that solid wood. In fact, these floors will cost about the same. However, these floors tend to expand and contract less than solid wood floors, making it a better choice for the kitchen or bathroom areas. The advantage of engineered wood over solid is that engineered wood floors are more water resistant. However, these floors will scratch and they can only be resurfaced a couple of times. This is important to keep in mind when making a choice on your floors.

Laminate flooring:

Laminate flooring (such as Pergo) is very a popular choice because it gives the look of hardwood at a fraction of the price. Laminates come in all colors and sizes and look almost identical as hardwood. Lovers of hardwood floors will note that while these floors do look like wood, they do have the feel or the sound of hardwood. Laminates are usually made of mdf or hdf fiberboard base and topped with a print and a finish. Many people report that unlike solid wood or engineered wood floors, laminates make a good do-it-yourself project. Laminates are often good choices for families with pets and children because they are scratch and water resistant and are very durable and long lasting. These floors are also economical, as they cost up to $7 per square foot.

Now, if you have decided to go with a solid wood or engineered wood floor, you will need to decide on prefinished or custom flooring. When you opt for prefinished flooring, it comes ready to go when it arrives at your home. Custom wood will be installed, and then sanded or scraped and then finished. This takes longer to install and will cause quite a bit of dust in your home, however you will be very pleased with the end results.