Published at Saturday, July 22nd 2017. by Lundy 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.
Raw sheathing comes in 4`x8` sheets, most often installed as 3/4" thick plywood panels. This type of sheathing is adequate for spanning joist work spaced up to 24" apart. The sheathing is lain with the joints staggered in such a matter, that no two edge joints line up with adjoining sheets. It is very easy to install, requiring the least amount of labour. The sheets are fastened with either 1-1/2" flooring screws, or 2-1/2" nails, spaced about 8" apart. Although not required, it is a good idea to provide backers or supports under the joints, between sheets which run perpendicular to the framed floor assembly.
Interlocking floor tiles are also useful to those who might only want to make a temporary change to their floors. Traditional tiles require adhesive and caulking, which frequently results in damage to the underlying floor. Interlocking tiles do not usually require any adhesive at all and can be pulled up as needed. This allows for more versatility should the user decide to change their floor back or install a different set of interlocking floor tiles.
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.
Let`s move onto another reason why engineered wood flooring is now classed as a superior product to a solid oak floor. The main reason why people will go for an oak floor is that they love the timeless natural beauty that European oak has to offer. What many people are unaware of is the fact that the top layer of a good engineered oak flooring is the same quality European oak as you would find in solid oak flooring. This means that when it has been laid it looks and feels just the same and more and more customers are saying they prefer the look of the longer and wider boards that many engineered wood floors offer.
So, a top quality oak engineered flooring will look the same but will it actually last as long?. How long a floor will last is mostly down to something called its `wear layer`. The part of the floor that is classed as the wear layer is from the surface of the board down to the tongue and on a solid oak board this would be around 5-6mm. Now, the wear layer on engineered wood flooring is the top layer of oak. So if you purchase an engineered oak flooring which has a 5-6mm solid oak top layer it will result in the flooring lasting just as long. In conclusion if you want an engineered flooring that is going to last as long as a traditional solid oak floor then make sure it has a nice thick top layer of wood, ideally 5mm+.