Published at Monday, July 17th 2017. by Aveline in Flooring.
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.
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.
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.
In a reclaimed product the engineered flooring really shines. Since the nature of reclaimed material is rustic with splits, various height, warps and so forth by doing an engineered product we can eliminate those issues. We match the texture and color that you want in the floor but you don`t have to put up with the inherent problems that come with installing and living with a reclaimed wood floor. A number of solid wood reclaimed floors have warped and twisted boards, gaps between rows, height difference between rows, holes, and other "nostalgia and romance" that may become unwelcome after living with the floor for a while. Due to our precise sanding during the lamination process for the engineered product and after, pieces are more consistent in height, more uniform in texture, fit together tighter, no waste, holes and cracks already filled, and no sanding necessary after install unless you want to do a light screen or buff.
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.
Laying the floor is also another area that is worth thinking about when comparing the two types of oak flooring. The majority of engineered wood floors are longer and wider than most solid oak boards because this is the look that most people are wanting nowadays. The flooring being longer and wider means the flooring is quicker to fit. Another aspect that makes this floor easier and quicker to fit is how well machined the boards are. From our experience in the flooring industry we have had nothing but good feedback regarding how easy our engineered flooring was to lay, and this is down to how well machined the boards are. Given that engineered flooring is quicker and easier to fit, any extra money that is spent on purchasing an engineered oak floor is often compensated in the time that is saved fitting it! This is something to keep in mind when comparing prices.