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Engineered Hardwood Flooring – How to Select It For Your Needs
Engineered wood flooring is a product made from a core of hardwood, plywood, or high-density fiberboard and a top layer of hardwood veneer glued to the top surface of the core. It is found in almost every hardwood species. Unlike the photo layer, the product has the natural properties of the selected wood species. The “engineered” product is designed to provide greater stability, especially in areas where moisture or heat is a problem for wood floors.
Wooden boards are divided into two main types:
o Hardwood flooring
o Engineered wood flooring
Thick wood Fl is made from 3/4″ thick wood and a tongue and groove side to join the boards. Some manufacturers make a thinner version that is 5/16″ thick. The main advantage of hardwood flooring is its ability to be re-sanded and cleaned over many years. It is not uncommon for hardwood floors to last 50 years or more. Hardwood floors come in almost any type of wood, unfinished or finished.
A major issue to consider with hardwood floors is their tendency to expand and contract due to changes in humidity in the home. To accommodate movement, these floors are typically installed along the wall with a 5/8″ to 3/4″ gap around the perimeter of the floor. This space is covered with shoe moldings and baseboards.
3/4-inch-thick subfloors should not be installed in low-level settings, such as basements. However, thinner 5/16-inch boards can be used in this application. When installing hardwood floors over new or existing concrete, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for concrete moisture limits.
Hardwood flooring comes in three main types:
o Laminate flooring is defined by the thickness and width of the wooden planks. The strip board has a fixed width, but the thickness can be different. Strip board thicknesses range from 5/16″ to ¾” wide. It is available in 1 1/2″, 2″ and 2 1/4″ widths only.
o Plank planks come in two thicknesses, but unlike strip planks, they can vary in width. It is only available in 1/2″ or 3/4″ thicknesses and 3″ to 8″ widths.
o Parquet flooring is very different from regular hardwoods. They consist of geometric patterns made up of individual wooden patterns made up of individual wooden lamellas held together by mechanical fastening or adhesive.
Laminate flooring is not real wood, at least not like hardwood or engineered wood. It consists of a thin top layer of resin paper, all on top of a wood chip composite. Technically it’s wood. This is an excellent simulation of wood. The resin layer is basically a photograph of the wood. Laminate flooring is an alternative to wood flooring. It is scratch resistant and works well in wet environments like bathrooms and kitchens, unlike hardwood. In addition, laminate flooring is very easy to install.
Wood flooring solves many of the problems associated with flooring and laminate flooring:
o Solid hardwood does not tolerate moisture well.
o Solid hardwood may have uneven quality
o Laminate flooring does not tolerate moisture well
o Laminate flooring is fake wood and cannot be sanded.
Basics of Engineered Wood Flooring
Hardwood floors are constructed similarly to basic plywood, with the top surface being real hardwood. Products come in two- to ten-story structures, depending on the manufacturer. Many manufacturers have added a surface layer (also known as a veneer or wear layer) that makes some engineered floors last as long as traditional ¾” hardwood flooring. Any hardwood floor will last longer. One of the most important contributing factors is the amount of material being processed.
Solid 3/4-inch hardwoods have about 1/4 inch of tongue-and-groove construction. Once it has been sanded down to this level, the nails or staples will start to show and need to be replaced. Better and thicker engineered hardwood floors 1/ 8″ to 3/16″ tongue and groove. Since veneer is real wood, it can be sanded up to two or three times.
Engineered floors are the ideal solution for wood flooring over concrete. Dimensional stability of the method of their construction. Each layer of the layer is glued with pressure and installed in the opposite direction. Unlike hardwood, engineered wood floors expand and contract with high humidity. The more, the more stability.
Most engineered floorboards are installed using the glue down or floating floor method. It should be noted that not all manufactured products have the same type of installation features. Some floors may be floating, direct adhesive, or staple only. The manufacturer’s specifications must be strictly followed. Most pre-finished hardwoods come in lengths of 42 to 48 inches, as opposed to hardwoods that are 72 to 84 inches long. Typically, the lower end board will have shorter sections. Generally, longer lengths are preferred as they give a more attractive look when finished.
What is a floating floor? It is a method of installing the floor, not a specific type of flooring material. In this method, individual boards or boards are attached to each other – by gluing or gluing, but it is not attached to the subfloor to be installed. This is in contrast to hardwood flooring, which requires nailing to the sub-floor. Jigsaw is a great comparison. With a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces are connected to each other, but not to the table. A floating floor is like a puzzle. The advantage of the floating floor installation method is that it allows the floor to move and expand in response to changes in room humidity.
Wood board hardness rating
The hardness of a wooden board is measured by the so-called Janka test. A.444-inch steel ball is driven into the wood about half the diameter of the ball. The test measures the force required to drive a steel billet half its diameter into a piece of wood being tested, with the rating measured in pounds-force per square inch. So with this rating, the higher the number, the harder the wood.
The hardness of the wood is important, because one of the main considerations when choosing types of wood flooring, you need to know how resistant the wood is to scratches and dents. For example, if you have a dog with long claws, the floor needs to be scratched, and you should choose highly rated species such as hickory, maple, oak or ash.
While it may seem logical to choose the hardest wood, there are some factors to consider:
Soft wood can be hardened to a certain extent by applying polyurethane coatings
Hardwoods are almost always more expensive than softwoods and medium-grade woods.
o Hardwood is more difficult to saw, drill and nail than other woods, requiring more time and labor, therefore more money.
The appearance of a hardwood floor may vary
Hardwood veneers have the same surface appearance as hardwood flooring because they are both natural hardwoods. Different looks come from different methods of sawing hardwood. Different cutting methods:
o Flat saw (also called plain saw) – Can be straight grain with a cathedral or gothic effect or vertical grain with a radial or edge grain effect.
o Rotary Cut is a method of cutting wood in which the hard layer of wood is removed from the log using large wood lathes. This peeling technique reveals a dramatic, wild grain.
o Off-Set Rotary Cut is a method of cutting wood that gives a sliced look and grain shape, without the expense of a sliced cut, with the stability of a cut cross grain. Hardwoods are more dimensionally stable across the grain, and offset rotary cutting takes advantage of this characteristic. Productivity is lower than normal rotary cutting, resulting in a slight price increase compared to standard rotary cutting.
o Sliced sawing is a method of sawing wood in which a layer of hardwood is cut like regular wood. This indicates a finer grain.
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