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Comparing Hardwood Flooring versus Laminate Flooring

Overview of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring vs Laminate Floors

Overview of Laminate Floors

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See the Hardwood Flooring Section on FloorFacts.com for more detailed information about hardwood floors.

Overview of Hardwood Flooring

The richness of natural hardwood flooring can add unmistakable charm to any room. Today's hardwood floors come in more species, widths and colors than ever before and are more durable. With proper care and maintenance hardwood flooring can last more than a lifetime and will add real value to your home.

Some hardwood floors are now offered with a click-lock, glueless tongue-and-groove locking system. No messy glues or nails needed. We will probably see even more in the near future. hardwood flooring
  • Wood floors are a natural, non-allergenic product
  • Hardwood floors can add real value to a home
  • 2 Basic types of hardwood floor construction:
    • Solid Wood Floors (prefinished & unfinished)
      • cut from tree as a solid piece of wood
      • plank widths vary from 2-1/4" to about 12"
      • plank thicknesses vary from 7/16" to about 3/4"
      • will react to changes in humidity
      • recommended for above grade installations
      • nail-down installation to a wood type sub floor
      • solid wood needs proper expansion allowances along vertical walls
    • Engineered Wood Floors (prefinished & some unfinished)
      • 3 to 9 wood plies glued &laminated together
      • plank thicknesses vary from 3/8" to about 9/16"
      • top finish veneer may be domestic or exotic wood specie
      • plank widths vary from 2-1/4" to about 7"
      • glue, float, staple, or nail-down on all grade levels
      • wood subfloors or dry concrete slabs
      • glueless engineered wood floors install similar to laminate floors
      • dimensionally stable, most may be net fitted to vertical walls.
      • less effected by humidity changes than solid wood floors
  • Unfinished hardwood floors (also called job-site finished).
    • with a job-site finish they sand the floor smooth, less chance for overwood
    • custom stained colors, generally 2-3 coats added of finish
    • this can be fairly messy, takes several days
  • Pre-finished hardwood floors (also called factory finished).
    • usually installs in less than a day
    • less messy than job-site finish
    • limited to manufacturer's colors
    • manufacturers can apply 7-10 coats of finish
    • factory finishes are extremely wear resistant
    • some manufacturers add aluminum oxide for additional durability
    • today's factory finishes are much easier to care for than the old waxed finishes.
    • prefinished trims are not an exact match to the floor.
  • Wood accents available to create unique looks and patterned designs.
  • Never clean or wet mop a hardwood floor with water. Water can dull the finish and permanently damage the wood floor.
  • All hardwood floors can be scratched. Scratches in the finish layer are fairly easy to repair.
  • Areas with lots of direct sunlight may effect the wood color over time
  • Most hardwood floors can be used over radiant heat with some limitations
  • Wood floor finishes can be used to restore the floors original beauty
  • Mostly used for: living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, dens, and great rooms.

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