Published at Friday, July 21st 2017. by Orlene in Flooring.
Some think of interlocking tiles and immediately think of ugly, heavy, rubber flooring used in the industrial sector. This could not be further from the truth. While interlocking tiles were initially created to serve the industrial sector, they have come a long way since that time. Interlocking floor tiles are now available in an array of finishes and material types. They can be purchased in rubber, plastic, vinyl and porcelain, among many other high quality materials. Virtually any tile material that can be used in a traditional installation can also be used in interlocking floor tiles.
This shrinking action pulls the floor together, adding strength to the overall system. The advantages of this type of sub-floor are its strength and durability. One important note, homeowners are often disturbed by the small 1/4" wide gaps, generally left between the individual planks after the wood dries out. Although disturbing to see during construction, upon completion, the spaces are not noticeable, and really have no impact on the sub-floor components at all. Strip floors are designed to be interlocking, through lapping or spacing of joints.
Installing interlocking floor tiles is a much easier and user friendly process. They are designed to clip together, eliminating the need for measuring spaces and also leaving room for the tiles to settle. Each tile is surrounded with divots that lock to the other interlocking floor tiles. They clip together easily, much like a jigsaw puzzle, and allow a perfect seamless finish. If a mistake is made while installing the interlocking tiles, it is easy to fix. Simply pull them apart and start over. As no adhesive is generally used, they do not need to be pried up, risking damage to the floor.
In this article we will be discussing several different categories of wood flooring. Solid wood flooring is one board with no glued up laminations; it is basically wood board that has been sized and profiled to a certain dimension. Engineered flooring has a on the top whatever species and texture you want, and this is glued to a plywood backer on the bottom. Engineered is still all wood but is made with multiple layers that are laminated for better stability and dimensional accuracy. Floors that we will not cover here are laminates or any composite products which are often not wood entirely through the plank or may be made with a photo printed surface. We also will not cover vinyl, carpet, stone, or tile.
Here is a word on prefinished product if they factor into your decision. If you come up short on your order, the next lot that you buy may not match your previous batch. This is especially a problem on the lower end price floors and import floors. Good luck trying to blend it in with your previous floor. So if you go this route, be extra accurate on your measurements. Right now the rage is lifetime warranties on flooring. We stop to think is that really even possible? First will that importer or manufacturer really be around a lifetime? A lot of products are made oversees; the warranty is only good if there is somebody still around for the life of the warranty.
Sixth, compare the cost of a character grade virgin floor to reclaimed. The reclaimed may cost more up front, but the additional variability, texture and character in it may hide or mask the abuse better. It could therefore last longer because of the forgiving nature in the inherent look of the reclaimed material. What is resale value to having a unique product installed? You may alienate some buyers by taking a risk or impress others with the customization.