Wood Flooring: What You Need To Know part2

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hardwood flooring is a preferred type of flooring for homes. It is laid over the sub floor plywood that covers the floor joists and makes a very sturdy floor. Solid hardwood is ¾ of an inch thick, and will last a lifetime if properly cared for. It is the best type of flooring for someone considering keeping it 20 years or longer.

There are different Installation Options:

Nail Down – Special nails are used with a wood flooring nailer and mallet to attach the hardwood flooring to the sub floor. Solid Strip floors or Plank floors can only be installed on wooden sub-floors or on batons.

hardwood flooringGlue Down – Engineered wood floors and parquets can be glued down. The recommended glue is spread all over the sub floor (in manageable sections) and the flooring is set into the glue.

Floating – This is when a thin underlay is placed between the wood flooring and the sub floor. The recommended wood glue is applied in the tongue and groove of each plank to hold the planks together. As each piece is placed it is held together with wedges or claps while the glue sets. Engineered & Veneer floors can be floated. This is a very fast, easy and clean method of installation.

Click – This is the same way laminate floors are installed. A thin layer of underlay is laid first like a floating floor only each board just clicks into the other.

There are different types of finish:

hardwood flooringUnfinished Wood Flooring

If you want a custom stained hardwood floor, or a wood floor to match existing trim then an unfinished hardwood floor is the answer for you. Unfinished means you start with a bare hardwood floor and than the floor is sanded, stained, and finished in the home. This can be quite a mess and the process does take several days, but your floor will be finished to your requirements. There are very high quality finishes available for doing the finish this way, they will last for years and still look great.

Factory Pre-finished Wood Flooring

This is the way most hardwood floors are sold today. Most factory finished hardwood floors have several coats (6-10) of finish applied to the wood’s surface. This would be extremely difficult for someone to duplicate on a job site finish, not to mention how many days it would take. This is one of the reasons why many flooring retailers and builders are pushing pre-finished hardwood floors. Instead of taking several days to install and finish a new hardwood floor a pre-finished hardwood floor is generally done in one day.

hardwood flooringThe most common finishes are:

UV-cured – Factory finishes that are cured with Ultra Violet lights versus heat.
Polyurethane – A clear, tough and durable finish that is applied as a wear layer.
Acrylic-urethane – A slightly different chemical make up than Polyurethane with the same benefits.
Aluminum Oxide – Added to the urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance of the wear layer, which is becoming extremely popular on the better grade wood floors.
Acrylic Impregnated – Acrylic monomers are injected into the cell structure of the wood to give increased hardness and then finished with a wear layer over the wood.

Hardwood floors offer great value and practicality and add elegance, warmth and character to a home. They will enhance the visual appeal and style of any room. You may be surprised at just how much hardwood floors will transform your living spaces. Adding a high quality hardwood floor will add lasting value to your home.

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