Types of Wood Floors
There are two main types of hardwood flooring solid today: solid and engineered. Grade and humidity generally determines what flooring type should be used. Below grade (basement) will use engineered or floating. Grade level (first floor) and above grade can use solid, engineered or floating.
It's 100% solid from top to bottom. 3/4" is the typical floor, while the slimmer version is 5/16". Unlike engineered flooring, the wood can be sanded and refinished many times. It can be glued down to concrete at ground level or installed over plywood. Urethane adhesives and moisture barriers are used. Lifespan is 100 years if cared for. Humidity levels should be kept at the manufactures range of 45-55%. Because solid floors expand when exposed to moisture, they are installed over a plywood subfloor at or above ground level.
These are wood floors that are manufactured using two or more layers to form a plank. The visible top layer is a 1/16" to 1/8" thick pre-finished lamella. After it has become worn, it can be professionally sanded and refinished, but not as many times as solid wood flooring.
Styles of Hardwood
There are many styles of flooring to choose from. Different styles of hardwood floors can be used to create an elegant and formal ambiance, complement a rustic country theme, or accentuate a traditional interior.
These are wood strips that are placed together in a tongue-and-groove assembly. The strip hardwood flooring creates a linear effect and can give the room the appearance of having a larger and more open space. They can be stained, painted or left untreated. Widths range from narrow (1 - 1/2") to wide (3") and come in lengths ranging from 10" to 6'6".
Planks are solid boards installed in parallel rows. They are simular to strip flooring but with more width. This was a popular flooring style through the 20th century. This flooring must be custom cut and should be installed by a contractor. They can be stained, painted or left untreated. They typically range from narrow (3") to wide (8").
It is derived from the french word parchet, which means a small enclosed space. Parquet is a series of pieces that creates a repeating geometric design. There are a wide variety of patterns: Baroque (Rhombos, Monaco, and Monticello), Block, and Herringbone.
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