general contractor,  handyman,  home improvement flooring,  kitchen floor plans

Making Sense of Wood Flooring Choices

You are redoing your home and just love the look of wood floors. Excellent choice! However, the numerous options leave your head spinning—how can you make sense of it all? Think of the three main categories, then narrow it down from there.

Sense

Solid Wood

This is the kind of wood flooring that started it all, each piece consisting of wood that was scraped and sanded. When restoring an older home, especially a historic building, this may be the best choice to preserve authenticity. One advantage of solid wood is that it can be refinished endlessly—but a clear disadvantage is that it may need to be refinished endlessly. Natural wood floors are generally suitable for living spaces but not ideal around water, making this a poor choice for kitchen and bathroom renovations.

Engineered Wood

Generally considered the best choice in flooring, engineered wood offers the warm beauty of genuine wood with the advantages of superior technology. With engineered wood, all you see is gorgeous sawn wooden planks. The real beauty lies underneath in the plywood layer, which offers temperature stability and humidity resistance. Some lines, such as the monarch plank Windsor collection, are backed with marine-grade birch plywood and finished with a smooth urethane finish, making this collection perfect even in kitchens and bathrooms. Engineered woods offer a variety of installation methods and are often available in a range of price points.

Wood-look Laminate Sense

The most budget-friendly of the options, laminates are growing in popularity for their durability and easy maintenance. Like other laminates, these floors are constructed by taking layers of compressed fiber and topping them with a photograph (in this case a photograph of wood) and a final coating of plastic. However, there may be issues. While laminates are often advertised as indistinguishable from real wood, repeated images may become noticeable in a living-room-sized expanse of floor. More importantly, it is rare but some batches of laminate flooring have been shown to have potentially harmful levels of formaldehyde, so if you do choose this type, be sure to take steps to mitigate this possibility.