Wood and Engineered Wood Flooring Options
- Solid hardwood flooring lasts longer than many other flooring options and can be refinished five or six times -- or even restained to change its appearance.
Today's polyurethane finishes allow installation in kitchens and half baths, as long as you take precautions to minimize water spills. Wood flooring is available in strips, planks, and parquet squares.
Unfinished flooring gives you almost unlimited color stain options. The drawback: Unfinished flooring must be sanded and finished after installation, which puts the room out of service for several days.
Prefinished flooring features a factory-applied finish that remodelers sometimes favor because it eliminates sawdust and finish vapors, and the room can be used within 24 hours of installation. The color options for prefinished flooring are not as varied as for unfinished flooring.
- Engineered woods are considered more stable for kitchen and bath applications. This type of flooring consists of two or more layers of wood pressed together, similar to plywood. The top layer consists of a hardwood veneer, while the lower layers are typically softwood. Engineered planks are almost always prefinished. Like prefinished hardwood floors the color options are not as varied as for unfinished flooring.
Tongue-and-groove flooring features two different kinds of planks, one with a tongue and the other with a groove. To lay the floor you fit the tongue of one board into the groove of the next. This design helps to ensure a flat floor and hides gaps that may occur when the floor shrinks or expands due to changes in humidity levels.Dimensions available
- Plank flooring is available in widths of 3 inches or more.
- Strip flooring is available in widths of 2-1/4 inches or less.
- Random width flooring is installed in a pattern featuring three different widths installed in succession. The first row, for example, might be made of boards 8 inches wide, the second row of boards 5 inches wide, and the third row of boards 3 inches wide.
A dark wood floor absorbs light and can make a room appear smaller. When paired with a light wall color, dark floors visually anchor the space. A light wood floor, on the other hand, can make a small room appear more spacious.
Parquet provides the warmth of wood with a tile-like pattern. Inlay designs and borders can be used to draw attention to a particular area and help define a large space.
- Oak is light brown wood with highly visible grain patterns. Red oak has a pinkish tinge. The grain in white oak is less pronounced, and white oak is actually browner than red oak.
- Maple and birch are both lighter in color than oak with lighter grain lines. These woods are more difficult to finish as they burn easily during sanding.
- Ash is whiter than oak but similar in appearance. It does not take stain as well as oak.
- Walnut and cherry are tough but softer than oak. Walnut finishes easily. Like maple and birch, cherry surfaces tend to burn when sanding.
- Pine and fir are softer woods and dent easily.
- Planning Your Flooring Project
- Preparing a Room & Floor for New Flooring
- Installing Ceramic & Stone Tile: How To Install Tile
- Installing Wood Flooring: How To Install a Wood Floor
- Installing Laminate Flooring: How To Install a Laminate Floor
- Installing Resilient Floors: How To Install a Resilient Floor
- Installing Carpeting: How To Install Carpet
- Installing & Staining Cement Overlays: How to Install Cement Floors
- Installing & Finishing Baseboards: How To Install Baseboard
- Paint & Epoxy: How to Apply a Paint or Epoxy Floor Coating
- Floor Repair: How to Repair & Maintain Floors