Published at Thursday, July 20th 2017. by Belda in Flooring.
Ah the finished floor, what we see and walk on everyday. For homeowners, this tends to be one of the more important aspects of the floor system. Yes the structure is a consideration, but the look and texture of the floor is what all that will be visible after construction is completed. The most common installed floor finishes include: vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, wood strip, wood parquet, and carpet.
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.
Are you going to be able to enforce the warranty? Also, do you really think that a finish can last a lifetime? For example take a nail and try scraping it across the surface. Sure it is a durable, well applied finish, but it is impossible to make a product that won`t get abused at some point in its lifetime. Do you think that the only serious trial your floor will ever see is a stinky sock? Read the fine print on the warranty and regardless of what it says consider the true replacement cost on the floor. It probably only covers the cost of material of the specific damaged product under normal wear and tear. Your product may not be made exactly the same later (trends and product lines change) to replace the section that is warrantied, so you may have to replace the whole floor years later. You will have labor cost along with displacement of trim, cabinets, and appliances. Also most of these lifetime finishes cannot be repaired or sanded because of a micro bevel put on the edge of prefinished floor. Our advice is instead to buy a quality product that can be refinished and repaired because something will go wrong in the lifetime of the floor; don`t get a false sense of security.
Did you see a picture that you like and now you have the bug that you want that special floor? The good news is that it could probably be made for you, but before you go a long ways down the path of choosing which floor you want and requesting a display room full of samples, ask about some price ranges. There is a common misconception that since reclaimed wood is supposedly salvaged it should be cheaper than virgin wood floors. If you are buying a quality kiln dried and precision milled product, generally that is not the case. The only cost savings would be if you found some scraps or did some salvage work yourself, you might save some costs. For example you might find a gym floor or planks out of a barn hay loft that you want to nail down on your floor. The material might have been next to free, but how much time are you going to have in making it usable and pulling nails? Are the results what you want?
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.
Dust, grit and moisture are gifts of nature and we all have to deal with them. Grit which stems from sand or dirt being tracked from the outdoors on the surface works like sandpaper on the floor finish. Dust mites, balls and the like are merely pulverized bits of dirt which in essence acts in the same way as grit over the long haul on your floors. Once your floor finish gets damaged grit and dust left on the surface tend to discolor the hardwood while being ground into the surface pores with each step made on top of it like a hammer pounding stroke after stroke.