Hardwood floors are probably one of the most coveted features of any home, but there is more to hardwood floors than their beauty. Here is what you need to know about the different types of hardwood floors, the materials, and the uses of each.
Materials and Sizes
Hardwood floors come in almost as many sizes and styles as carpet. Separated into two categories—domestic and exotic—hardwood floors are made of ¾” thick strips of wood about 2 ¼” wide. Domestic hardwood floors are normally made of the “American” woods like red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory, and pecan. The exotic woods include Brazilian Cherry, Tigerwood, Ipe, African Teak, Bamboo, and more.
Among the different types of wood used for hardwood floors, there are three types of hardwood floors you can use on your floors: solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring, and longstrip engineered wood flooring.
Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is suitable for floors above ground level, out of moisture's and mother nature’s way. Since solid hardwoods are so susceptible to moisture, solid hardwood floors must be installed over a wooden subflooring rather than concrete. It is also susceptible to expanding and contracting with the seasons, which can create gaps, buckling, and character in your floor.
Like any addition to your home, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of the different products. There are different levels of qualities that you can choose from, like from Clear Oak to Common Oak.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered Hardwood Flooring may not be solid hardwood, but it still has many advantages. This type of floor covering has become increasingly more popular because of its versatility. Engineered hardwood flooring can be applied on more than just a wooden subfloor; it can be applied almost everywhere including your concrete basement floors, the bathroom, and all of the other places that regular solid hardwood floors should not be placed.
Engineered hardwood floors are created by layering several strips of thin-cut varying quality woods in between strips of hardwoods. Like the solid hardwoods, you need to choose the quality that works best for you, but engineered hardwood floors are much more durable and stable. The cross-ply construction of engineered hardwood floors makes them more structurally sound because it allows the layers to work together to prevent your floors from expanding and contracting.
Longstrip Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Longstrip Engineered Hardwood Flooring is formed just like regular engineered hardwood floors except that the material in the inner material is made of softer woods, which is used to make the tongue and groove. While the pieces of longstrip engineered hardwood floors are long, they are made of several shorter and thinner pieces.
While these floors are installed on virtually any subfloor, they were designed to be floating floors, which means that they don’t necessarily need to be nailed or glued down.