The three main types of wood flooring.
There aren’t many home improvement projects that can improve the appearance of your home and increase its value like adding wood flooring. Wood floors make any room more attractive, and a good-quality, well maintained hardwood floor will last much longer than other types of flooring.
Upgrading to wood flooring is expensive, but if you ever want to sell your home, it will sell faster and for more money with wood floors.
For the most part, wood flooring is easy to care for and it doesn’t get dirty like carpeting. It’s a good choice for families with children and pets, and it’s better for people who have allergies.
There are lots of choices on the market. But there are basically three types of wood flooring — solid wood, engineered wood, and acrylic-impregnated wood, better know as Pergo.
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Solid wood flooring is made from wood that is ¼” to 1” thick. The sides of the hardwood flooringboards have a tongue and groove cut into them and the boards are fit together and then nailed into a plywood sub floor. You won’t be able to use solid wood over a concrete floor without installed a wooden sub floor. This doubles the price and makes solid wood impractical for homes with concrete sub floors.
Solid wood expands and contracts with changes in moisture and temperature, so it’s not the best choice for high humidity areas. It comes in a huge variety of styles and finishes — it’s also unavailable unfinished. And it can usually be sanded down and refinished several times.
Engineered wood flooring is a smarter choice if you have concrete. To make it, they laminate several layers or plys of wood together, including a base, a core, and veneer. Because the grains of the core are perpendicular to each other, engineered wood flooring is more stable than solid wood. And it can be installed almost anywhere. Plus, it’s available in any color, finish, or texture.
Acrylic-impregnated flooring is the most durable so it’s good for commercial spaces and other high-traffic areas. It’s actually 300% harder than solid wood. The stain is injected along with the acrylic, so the color is fade and wear resistant.
Because it stands up well to moisture, it’s ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
As a rule, impregnated wood flooring won’t add to the value of your home, and it lacks the elegance of real wood, but it’s a more durable alternative to carpeting.