hardwood flooring

A Tale of Two Hardwoods, by Carpet Mart

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for a lot of homes, and with good reason. It adds a beauty and elegance, and those gorgeous undertones alone are enough to awe anyone!

However, like anything else, there are a few concerns that can make people hesitant to proceed.

What many don?t know is that there are two types of hardwood, and they are both as real as the other.

Solid All the Way Through
Solid is nothing but hardwood all the way through, and is typically ?-inch thick. It?s installed in either a glue-down or nailed method, never floating. Solid can be refinished and sanded five or six times.

Solid, in an effort to adjust to weather conditions, will expand or contract so, to minimize that challenge, it should be acclimated before installation, meaning that the opened boxes should stay in the room in which it?s to be installed for about three days prior.

Water and moisture are enemies of solid. Liquid can warp the hardwood, so there are some limitations as to where it can be installed. Since the bathroom is widely recognized as the ?wettest room in the house,? it?s never recommended there, in laundry rooms, or any below grade room, such as basements.

Many people will install solid in kitchens and, as a matter of fact, it can look great. If your kitchen, however, is prone to leaks, it can be a little iffy, and you might want to avoid it.

Engineered is a Good Alternative
Know that engineered hardwood is real wood. The construction is different from solid hardwood, making it more stable, and more resistant to water.

While solid is wood only, engineered is a layered product, meaning that it will include some other materials besides the wood, and that the fibers cross each other.

Typically ? to ? inch thick, this wood floor can be installed in below-grade rooms, and is fine for the Powder Room, but not the everyday bathroom.

Engineered wood has more installation possibilities, including the addition of stapling and fold and lock.

Engineered hardwood can be sanded up to three times, depending upon thickness, (so please don?t fall for those bargain-basement price gimmicks.)

Both solid and engineered versions will add value of your home. Like any flooring, neither should be submerged in water, so wipe up spills immediately. While both are durable, you may want to go with an ultra-tough wood for engineered, if you have a lot of heavy foot traffic.

For more information, feel free to come into the Carpet Mart showroom in Benton Harbor, MI.