Types Of Wood Flooring

Choosing The Right Type Of Flooring For Your DIY Hardwood Floor

So, you've made the decision to have hardwood floors installed in your house. What's more, you've decided to lay the flooring yourself. Kudos! With some time and patience, you will have the flooring of your dreams with the satisfaction of having done the job with your own two hands.

It is very important to choose the type of flooring that not only fits your space, but also your abilities to lay the floor. The type of flooring is not the same as the type of wood the flooring is made of-and we'll take a look at this now so you'll understand the difference. Hardwood floors are categorized as solid wood flooring, engineered wood flooring and acrylic-impregnated wood flooring.

Solid Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring is available in three main types, each available in both unfinished and pre-finished versions. Unfinished flooring will require sanding and finishing after installation while pre-finished flooring is sanded and finished at the factory so it only needs installation. Of the two, unless you're really up for the job (and the associated mess), buying pre-finished flooring is a good idea.

The three types of solid wood flooring include:

Strip flooring, which got its name from the fact that it has a set width, but the thickness of the planks may vary. Thickness of strip flooring can range from 5/16 to ¾ of an inch and is available in widths of 1½ inches, 2 inches and 2¼ inches.

Plank flooring only comes in two thicknesses, but its widths can vary. The thicknesses for plank flooring are ½ inch or ¾ inch but it has widths ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches.

Parquet flooring has a very special look and is different from typical hardwoods. Parquet floors are made up of patterns that are composed of single wood slats that are held together with mechanical fastenings or adhesives.

Engineered Wood vs. Laminate

Engineered wood flooring is not the same as laminate flooring. It is produced by layering plastic laminate veneer with real wood. The primary difference between engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring is the fact that laminate flooring does not have any wood in it at all and engineered wood flooring has wood as part of the composition.

Acrylic-Impregnated Flooring

Acrylic-impregnated wood flooring has been infused with a sealant and with color throughout the entire thickness of the wood. What appears to be a surface finish is in fact imbedded into the wood. It is very hard and resistant to moisture and scratches and is more commonly used in commercial situations.

According to the World Floor Covering Association, once installed, it is very difficult to differentiate between a solid wood floor and other wood floors. The most popular choice is solid hardwood strip floors, although engineered floors, because of their lower cost, are becoming more popular.