Published at Wednesday, July 19th 2017. by Calantha in Flooring.
With reclaimed material waste factor is a huge variable. How much effort does the manufacturer take to give you a 100% usable product? Poorly milled with very little defecting and culling done on a solid wood floor that costs $6/sf and has a 15% waste factor actually costs more than a similar product that is milled better costing $7/sf with a 2% waste factor. That extra wastes costs more in shipping and labor to defect. This is one of the hardest things to demonstrate to a customer that the face value costs doesn`t necessarily represent the actual raw material cost unless one is truly comparing identical quality and specified products.
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.
However if you go for a quality engineered wood flooring you can even gone as far as to boil a piece of our floor for 30 minutes and the board still will not de-laminate. The 15mm ply wood under core is what gives the flooring the strength and stability is has. Oak is a natural product and when used for flooring the board widths can change in size. This can cause gaps between boards or the floor to buckle and this movement is most commonly caused by the changing of humidity in the environment. Because of the stability of a quality engineered oak floor it is far less prone to this movement. This stability is also becoming of greater importance today due to the fact that an increasing number of properties are having under floor heating systems installed, which of course causes a frequent change in humidity. Having said this I would again like to reiterate that I am writing in regards to a quality, higher spec engineered oak flooring, and I can not talk for all engineered wood floors.
Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4", 6",8" or 12". They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called "thinset adhesive"), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2" normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called "cement board", which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.
The manufactured joist, which is a relatively new product, is often manufactured from low cost materials in the shape of an I beam, similar to steel beams in larger buildings. What this means is that the joist is constructed with a thicker top and bottom edge, and generally interlocking aspenite vertically spanning between the two. These systems are very strong, often capable of spanning the entire width of the building.
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.