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Should I choose Engineered or Solid Hardwood Flooring?

You would find it difficult to tell the difference between engineered or solid hardwood flooring once they have been installed, but they are very different types of flooring.  They are both made from real hardwood, but in very different ways.  The main difference between engineered and solid wood flooring is in the construction of the planks.  This, in turn, affects how, when and where they can be used.  The choice between engineered or solid usually depends upon your preference and also where and how you want the flooring to be fitted.

What Is Engineered Hardwood?

Engineered wood is built with 3 to 14 layers of ply. The ply layers are cross arranged, glued, and pressed together to make them strong. The top part of the wood contains a 4mm wood veneer that is sanded over time to continue to restore the engineered wood’s original appearance.

Engineered wood is made using different wood materials. Those consist of wood, sawdust, metals, and other artificial boards if they are durable. However, the top part of the wood consists of a water-resistant material that protects the inner parts.

Engineered hardwood flooring looks wonderful in your dining room, living room, or bedroom. You can also limit its use in the bathroom and the other areas exposed to humidity because moisture shortens its lifespan.

 

What is solid hardwood flooring?

Solid hardwood flooring is simply made from a solid piece of hardwood.  The wood is cut straight from the tree trunk, then made into a plank of flooring by a machine.  You will be able to find solid wood flooring with different species of wood, varying plank sizes and a choice of finish.  Alternatively you could opt for unfinished solid wood flooring.  This gives you the chance to install your hardwood floor first and then match a colour stain and style of finish to you décor.

Solid hardwood flooring is popular and widely desired as it is thought to create a luxurious appeal to your home. The majority of solid wood flooring comes with the more traditional tongue and groove fitting profile, although you can find solid wood parquet blocks and occasionally click fitting planks.  Solid wood flooring need to be fixed into position during installation.  It cannot be floated over an underlay as it needs the stability of being securely fixed to the subfloor.

What are the advantages of solid hardwood flooring?

  • It is the most traditional and luxurious type of wooden flooring.
  • The planks are made from just one solid piece of hardwood.
  • You have the option of sanding and re-finishing your flooring a number of times if and when required.
  • Your solid wood flooring has a long life expectancy, offering a timeless and charismatic appeal.
  • You can find solid wood flooring in a wide variety of species of wood, ranging from light to dark with different patterns and grains.
  • The planks of solid flooring can be found in random lengths and different widths so that you can choose something which suits your surroundings.
  • The tongue and groove fitting system is the more traditional and well established method of installation.
  • You have the choice of either unfinished or pre-finished planks of solid wood flooring.

 

What Makes Engineered Wood Special?

Engineered hardwood is strong, and this is one of the reasons why it is special. The different ply layers joined with glue makes it more resistant to damage and other external impacts. In fact, due to its strength, it’s useable high traffic corridors or living areas.

Below is a list of other benefits of engineered wood that make it a popular choice for homeowners.

⎆ Low Maintenance

Every floor requires proper maintenance to retain the aesthetic and functional features. While some floors need in-depth cleaning and costly polishing, engineered wood’s maintenance requirements are small by comparison.

After installation, you only need to wipe the spills using a soft cloth. But, you must wipe them immediately so they don’t leave a mark. While there is no specific process for cleaning engineered hardwood floor, you must at least keep it clean to prolong its life.

⎆ Easy to Install

Ideally, you want to hire a competent person to do the installation. However, the truth is that engineered wood is easy to install. You might even try a DIY installation if you understand the basics.

Even if you hire an expert, they take minimal time in the installation and you pay less over other types of flooring installations.

⎆ Multiple Styles and Finishes

Versatility is a major concern when choosing a wooden floor. As a homeowner, you want the best floor that matches your home’s interior, and that’s exactly what engineered hardwood provides.

In fact, it comes in many colors, styles, and designs. The wide array of options makes it possible to choose the best for your needs. Furthermore, you may resize it to fit your space.

Before you install, compare the different engineered wood grades and make sure to choose the best quality.

⎆ Affordable

The initial installation costs for engineered wood are less in comparison to solid wood. Even so, the flooring appearance is great. This also means you enhance the appearance of your home without breaking a bank.

 

Where do you want to install the flooring?

Where you want the flooring to go may help you to decide whether to choose engineered or solid hardwood flooring. Solid wood flooring is great for high traffic areas as it can be sanded down and re-finished multiple times.  So if you are looking for flooring for an entrance hallway or living area then solid wood flooring could be a good option. If however, you want hardwood flooring for a room where temperature or humidity is continually fluctuating, we would recommend engineered hardwood.  For example, conservatories, rooms with a lot of glazing or even for a kitchen.  Engineered hardwood flooring has been designed to withstand slight changes in its surroundings, so can cope with changing air temperature, or moisture in the air.

Do you have underfloor heating?

If you are thinking about using underfloor heating with your wooden flooring then you will need to choose engineered hardwood.  Engineered hardwood is the perfect match for underfloor heating. It allows the heat to be transferred to the surface of you floor safely.  Engineered hardwood can cope with the constant changes in temperature and will react accordingly.  It will expand and contract and is dimensionally stable enough not to become damaged by the heat from underneath.  We would not recommend using solid wood flooring with underfloor heating.

What is your budget?

If you have a tight budget for your floor then engineered hardwood usually works out more cost effective than solid.  Solid hardwood is generally more costly because of the amount of solid wood that is used for each plank of flooring.  Be careful not just to assume that engineered is better value than solid hardwood.  Some types of engineered flooring can be quite costly, especially if you choose a rare species of wood, or opt for a very wide plank size.  Always be sure to check both options when deciding what is best for you.

 

How To Select Hardwood Flooring

Once you understand your budget and personal or environmental flooring preferences, there are a few simple steps you can follow to help you drill down to the best hardwood flooring choices for your home.

1- Color Preference – Before starting to select wood flooring, it is always a good idea to have a color palette in place. What we mean by that is you should know the general colors you are going to be using for furniture, paint, etc. in order to give yourself a palette of colors to match with. This will enable you to more easily narrow your flooring color options down to a manageable number.

On the other hand, if you are starting with floor color and do not yet know what furnishings, paint and other elements you are going to be using in your home design, this can be more challenging. You will need to begin with an open mind on floor color and allow your eyes and preferences to guide your selection.

2- Smooth or Distressed – Next you will want to determine your wood floor finish preference. Do you like the look of distressed wood, a smooth flooring style or maybe handscraped hardwood?

Selecting the texture you prefer will help eliminate wood flooring that might not come in that style.

3- Board Width – Another wood flooring style consideration is plank size or board width. There are virtually hundreds of options of wood floor widths to choose from. Typically sizes range from 2 1/4″ up to 11″. Just as with finishes, choosing the width that best fits your decor plan will help you eliminate wood floor options that may or may not come in that specific size.

4- Wood Floor Species – Hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood, and even laminate flooring comes in many different species. Each species of wood flooring provides a different base color, design pattern and overall look (Oak, Birch, Maple, etc). In addition, the varying hardness of a specific wood flooring species plays a role in its suitability for various installation applications based on the species hardness and overall durability. See hardwood hardness examples.

5- Environmental Application – Ask yourself about the conditions that you are going to be not only installing your new wood flooring but the daily environment that your wood flooring will exist in. For example, if you have small children, active dogs, high traffic areas may require a more resilient wood flooring type. Other considerations such as available natural light, moisture areas such as bathrooms or basements could also impact color or composite preferences.

6- Sustainability – Finally, consider your green requirements for your new wood flooring. Are you looking for highly sustainable green flooring options such as bamboo wood floors, or will lower impact environmentally friendly engineered hardwood flooring. Both are considered to be more Green friendly options over the traditional solid hardwood flooring.

Which Epoxy Flooring Option Works For Your Garage

Is Epoxy Flooring Good For Homes?

Over the next few sections, we will assess whether Epoxy flooring is good for your home. Epoxy floors are colorful, bright, and vibration. Being safe and durable, they are one of the top flooring options for many homeowners.

Is Epoxy Flooring Good for Homes with Pros and Cons

Epoxy flooring is certainly one of the best and most durable flooring options for your property. Over the following sections, we will weigh out its pros and cons in detail.

Durability

Epoxy floorings are extremely durable compared to most common hardwood floors. In fact, they are one of the most long-lasting flooring solutions available in the market. These floors are not just chemical resistant, but they also provide significant resistance against stains and scratches. While these floorings are ideal for almost all homes, we’d specifically suggest this option if you use or move heavy equipment. Since the flooring is resistant to impacts, you can comfortably move your equipment without any scratches or marks on the floor. No worries anymore your large sofa will damage your floors. If you are minimalistic person, this floor could well adopt to your overall look becouse it can look very simple.

Adherence Problems

The material does not adhere well in a moist environment such as a basement. If the basement floor is dried and prepared in advance of the epoxy application, you can avoid the adherence problems. Applying epoxy in a damp environment on a moist floor causes the epoxy paint to lift off the floor. In addition, you must clean the floor thoroughly before applying epoxy to avoid adherence issues.

 

Easy to keep clean

Perhaps the best feature of epoxy flooring is how easy it is to maintain.  Epoxy floors are renown for being easy to clean.  Sweep up debris effortlessly and quickly, and mop or wipe it down with a cloth to get rid of any spills.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  Epoxy floors are most popular in garages, and even oil and automotive fluids are no problem to clean up quickly and completely.

Polished, clean look – Epoxy floors are virtually seamless, creating a smooth and uniform look.  Beyond that, the glossy finish makes a professional and clean appearance.  It can turn a garage or warehouse into a showroom, and can turn any type of space into an extension of your home.  Some homeowners even choose to have epoxy flooring in their mudrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, or really anywhere.  The finish creates a modern look, and the other benefits are still there.

Scratch-Resistant

This is yet another major advantage of using Epoxy flooring. In addition to withstanding the adverse effects of a chemical reaction and heavy automobiles, these floorings are also resistant to scratching and peeling. Ideally, a well-installed epoxy flooring is likely to last you at least one decade. The paint will not peel off and the material of the floor itself will offer solid resistance against yellowing This way, epoxy floors get to retain their gloss for several decades. They will resist spills, any type of hot tire, heavy tools, and even road salt.

 

Better Safety

This is yet another major benefit of epoxy flooring. They offer a better degree of safety, thanks to their supremely high gloss. You can further double-up the safety by choosing a coating that is slip-resistant, impact-resistant, heat resistant and/or fire-resistant. These coatings don’t just improve the safety but also peps up the brightness of the given area. Note that most high gloss epoxy coatings are deemed safer than their counterparts.

Cost Effective

Epoxy kits are a cost-effective method to create an attractive floor on a concrete surface. Applying an epoxy floor is a do-it-yourself project, which cuts the cost of professional installers. Processes such as concrete staining or stenciling can be difficult and requires the services of a professional, which adds to the cost of the floor.

Application Time

The application of an epoxy floor can be time consuming. You must clean and prepare the floor before applying the material to the concrete. In addition, the first coat of epoxy must dry completely before adding the next coat.

 

Variety of Styles

Epoxy floors come in a wide variety of colors and styles. You can also customize the appearance by adding paint flakes and chips that create a flecked look to the floor. The variety of colors gives you the ability to create your own designs such as a checkerboard or diamond pattern on the floor.

Slippery Surface

The epoxy floor paints can be very slippery when it is wet. In an area that may be prone to spills or water on the floor, an epoxy floor is not a good choice. You can add texture to the floor with add in products to reduce the slippery surface

 

Reasons why you should always be priming your epoxy floors

One of the most common questions I get with epoxy floors is if it is necessary to prime the floor before applying the epoxy floor coat. Many contractors would like to avoid priming epoxy floors, as priming means at least an extra day of work as well as the additional cost of purchasing the primer products.

Flooring professionals are actually divided over this issue, but let me just say that I belong to the Priming is necessary camp. So in this article I am presenting five great reasons why I always recommend the use of primer.

  • Let’s start with the most obvious: Adhesion. The floor primer penetrates the substrate and enables the bonding of your floor coat to the substrate. The right primer will guarantee better adhesion of your floor coats to the substrate. It will give your floor a longer life and will reduce the risk of the coat chipping or breaking.
  • Priming epoxy floors will significantly reduce the chances of bubbles emerging in the coat. This is especially common in thicker coats like self leveling where air trapped in the concrete slab can generate gas bubbles and pinholes in the coating. By properly priming and sealing the substrate you are reducing the risk of gas being released. (Note: There are also other causes of bubbles in epoxies so don’t just assume that you have bubble-proofed your floor by priming)
  • Priming helps you get a feel for the floor. When you work with old contaminated substrates the floor may have absorbed all sorts of chemicals like oils, paints, greases, moisture etc. By applying a coat of primer you can see how the existing substrate will react to the epoxy. This way you can take precautionary measures before it is too late to act. I was once having a wall prepared for a wall coat only to see it turn red after we applied the primer (true story). Another time we assumed that all the oil had been removed from the surface – only to see the oil rise again to the surface of the floor.
  • Priming will reduce the chance of the coat being absorbed by the substrate. Sometimes substrates can be very dusty and absorbent. If you try to apply a coat on them you may end up getting an ugly matte look as all the fluids have been absorbed by the substrate. Use primers to seal off the surface before you apply the paint coats. An extra coat of primer may actually save you on consumption of epoxy paint.
  • Finally no matter how well you clean the floor there will always be some microdust stuck on the surface. Priming is a great way to eliminate this dust and to create a nice well sealed surface.

Must Know Tips To Make Vinly Flooring

Vinyl Flooring – Pros and Cons

Vinyl flooring is a 100-percent synthetic material. In standard sheet vinyl and vinyl tiles, the base layer is usually fiberglass which is then coated in PVC vinyl and a plasticizer. The resulting sheet is printed and embossed with a surface print layer. Over this, multiple wear layers are applied, along with a layer of no-wax polyurethane. With vinyl plank flooring, the core layer is a thicker, multi-layer PVC vinyl. Luxury vinyl flooring comes in planks or tiles that fit side-to-side to form a floating floor. The overall thickness for vinyl flooring ranges from 1.5 mm for sheet vinyl to 5 mm for luxury vinyl planks.

 

What to About Installation

The key to successful installation of vinyl flooring lies beneath the flooring itself. Vinyl tiles require an extremely smooth surface, because any flaws and imperfections will show through as bumps and indentations in your floor. Usually the best subfloor is a layer of well-sanded plywood.

Most manufacturers do not recommend laying new vinyl over more than one layer of existing vinyl, and in fact will not guarantee the flooring if there is more than one layer of vinyl beneath. Another problem with laying over existing vinyl is that if the lower layer is patterned, the texture will eventually show through your top layer.

Vinyl flooring can be laid on top of concrete, but again, uniformity and smoothness can be a problem. Also, a plywood layer will give you a better feel under foot.

 

Maintenance and Repair

Vinyl flooring is relatively easy to care for. You have to make sure that grit and dirt are kept swept free to maintain the surface of the floor. Then, you can use a damp mop and an approved vinyl floor cleaner to remove stains. Few flooring options are as easy to care for as vinyl.

Printed vinyl tiles and sheets, as well as luxury vinyl tiles and planks, have a clear wear layer that acts as a surface barrier, protecting the floor from stains and spills. These materials are very easy to clean and maintain. While vinyl is generally resistant to stains, it is susceptible to discoloration when it comes in contact with rubber. Mats that have a rubber backing, or rubber shoe heels that scuff against the floor, can cause a chemical reaction in the material that can permanently discolor it.

As with any building material, the durability of vinyl flooring varies according to its quality. High-quality vinyl will be extremely durable, while low-quality material will be susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished, so when it is damaged it needs to be removed and replaced.

 

Vinyl Plank Pros

Easy to Install

Most vinyl plank options have a click lock method of installation that is DIY friendly and can be free floated over your subfloor so that no adhesive is needed.

A Variety of Styles

Vinyl planks are available in numerous styles designed to mimic the look of all the most popular flooring options including wood, natural stone, cement, large plank formats, and more.

Budget Friendly

The cost of vinyl plank flooring is usually in the friendly $2-5 per square foot range. Compare that to some wood and stone options that can potentially be 2-3 times that cost.

Versatile and Moisture Resistant

Vinyl handles moisture better than wood flooring, so it can be used with confidence in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.

Low-Maintenance and Easy to Clean

Vinyl planks might be the easiest flooring type of all to clean and maintain. It can be vacuumed, swept, or mopped with mild detergents to keep looking beautiful for years to come.

 

Vinyl Plank Cons

Discoloration

When it comes to cons of vinyl flooring, a disadvantage is that it can become discolored due to constant exposure to direct sunlight. So, it’s not a great option for outdoor use. Certain rubber material, such as a rubber backing from a floor mat, can also cause vinyl to discolor.

Biodegradability

Unfortunately, vinyl planks are not biodegradable. They can also be difficult to recycle depending on the brand and composition. So, if environmental consciousness is a critical factor in your decision-making process, this is a drawback to consider.

Not Impossible to Damage

While vinyl will hold up for many years, you can damage it. Dropping a glass or moving heavy furniture can result in scuffs and gouges that are difficult to remove. If you do arrange furniture, be sure to cover the feet with felt, or lift the piece off the ground before moving it.

Vinyl plank flooring has come a long way over the last several years and has really grown in popularity. And when looking at the pros and cons of this material, you can see that the pros outweigh the cons. So, if you’re looking for an affordable flooring for especially a high moisture space in your home, then choose vinyl plank flooring. But, of course, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your home.