Published at Thursday, July 13th 2017. by Nanine in Flooring.
Hardwood flooring is often a generic term that could apply to any type of wood flooring. Hardwood trees (oak, maple, cherry, walnut, elm, chestnut) are generally trees that had leaves which fall off in the winter. Softwood trees (pine, fir) have needles that may stay on all year and usually they produce cones. Hardwoods are usually more dense and more durable than softwoods. Of course, there are exceptions to these generalities. In our product line the hardwoods cost more than the softwoods.
If your price-point is not even in the same zip code, maybe it is in a different state, start shopping other options. For example if you are in the $1-2/sf range look at the deep discounters or laminate options. The FSC certified 12mm exterior birch plywood that we use to manufacturer the engineered flooring costs us that much alone, not counting all the other labor and materials.
The final advantage of engineered wood flooring over solid oak flooring that I am gong to mention is how an engineered oak floor is more environmentally friendly. The plywood that is used is made up of fast growing softwoods which are plentiful and this is what the under side of our engineered wood flooring is constructed of. This means that far less of our valued oak, which has taken hundreds of years to grow, is used resulting in a much more environmentally friendly flooring.
One drawback is that this type of floor requires special hanger systems designed for the joists, to enable them to be hung from each other or against beams/bearing walls. Manufactured joists are becoming a popular flooring system, for they are relatively cheap, reduce labour time and provide adequate support. However, builders need to familiarize themselves with its installations, for poor installation can cause severe structural damage to the joists. A good example is a three point, center bearing joist, left with the top chord uncut, which can potentially fail or pull apart, over the center bearing point.
Working in the flooring industry we often have customers calling us because they are interested in a solid oak floor. More often than not we end up suggesting they go down the engineered route and then being asked the same thing, `why choose an engineered wood floor over a solid oak floor and does it really feel and look as beautiful?` We are writing this article to briefly outline the main advantages of our engineered wood flooring and why now so many people are choosing the engineered over the traditional solid oak flooring. Throughout this article I will write in reference to a top quality engineered oak flooring with multiple layers of ply wood under core and a thick, long lasting wear layer. I can not speak on behalf of all engineered wood floors as they differ massively in quality and price. In all cases you need to check thoroughly the specifications of the product on offer.
As a reoccurring theme in this article you will find that you often get what you pay for. Admittedly, the higher end price point products ($11+/sf) from more rare woods are not necessarily better quality but we find that up to that point quality improves with price. Our solid wood floors range in price from $4-9 per square foot and our engineered ranges from $7-15 per square foot. We will discuss applications below, but our point is that you need to have a realistic budget when shopping. Sometimes a nice alternative if you have your heart set on an expensive floor is to use less of it and put it just in key areas. Don`t do the whole house. Maybe just do the main high traffic areas and use a cheaper alternative in bedrooms.