Published at Thursday, July 20th 2017. by Nynette in Flooring.
Most commonly installed are interlocking sheathing panels. This type of sheathing is generally 5/8" thick, and manufactured as either plywood or aspenite (commonly referred to as "chipboard") in 4` x 8` sheets. The sheets come with the long edges designed to interlock with a tongue on one edge, and a grove on the opposing edge. They are installed by simply pushing or pounding the sheets together, and nailing or screwing them to the joist work, in the same manner as raw sheathing. It is often the cheapest to install.
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.
So let`s start off this article with talking about the number 1 reason our engineered oak floors have the upper hand over solid oak floors, this being it`s stability. A quality engineered board will be made up of around 10 layers of multi laminated birch ply wood. These layers are stuck in opposite directions with a moisture resistant adhesive and this gives the floor an immense amount of stability. We have been asked before by customers who have researched the market how strong the adhesive is as they have heard of stories of engineered wood flooring de-laminating.
Fifth, compare overall thickness and the height from the top of the tongue or nail groove to the top of the face on the floor. On an engineered floor this is generally the thickness of a wear layer. Most solid wood floors are 3/4" overall before sanding (but some are less) with 1/4" above the nail groove. Our engineered floor is manufactured to equivalent measurements but most engineered floors have a thinner wear layer. This comes down to how many times the floor can be sanded. What kind of finish and texture you want on the floor factors into how deep you will re-sand the floor during refinishing. A number of our reclaimed wood floors are sold with an original texture that shows the old saw marks and character in the floor, so most likely you won`t want to sand this out. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the wear layer then the longer the floor will last.
Of all the wood flooring, the most often installed is the parquet tile. They consist of square interlocking wood strips, held together with glues and/or metal wires. Often they come as single 6"x6", or multiple 12"x12" square tiles, about 1/4" thick. They are glued directly to the sub-flooring, and are strong enough to span small deviations in it. The wood is often prefinished, and requires little maintenance. Parquet floors are a cheaper alternative to strip flooring, providing the same warm, durable surface.
Fourth, factor in the cost of refinishing the floor later or doing touchups. This is a whole another article. Some finishes can be spot touched up like some of the oils while others require a full sand over the whole floor. Some finishes require a professional installer and may have extreme odor during the cure. If you live with the floor for very long, factor these decisions in for the type of finish to choose for lifetime durability and the cost & effort to refinish.