Friday, December 10, 2010

Which Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Best For Your Home?

Hardwood flooring always improves the appearance of a room. Hardwood, however, comes in multiple types, some of which may be better for your home than others. While woods come in different species, as well as domestic and exotic varieties, the type of wood installed into your home or building can be solid, engineered, or laminate. Out of these three, two are made fully from natural wood, while laminate has the appearance of wood, although no natural components are used. Instead of settling for carpet, go with a hardwood floor to give your room a modern and sophisticated character.

Solid hardwood is considered the purest form of flooring available. Made fully from natural wood, solid hardwood flooring has no changes, with the exception of a finish for prefinished varieties. No matter if you opt for domestic hickory or an exotic species like Brazilian cherry, the full piece of wood comes directly from the tree.

Engineered hardwood flooring is descriptive of the process used for putting together a plank or strip. Although this type of flooring is made fully from hardwood, two different types of wood are used. On top is the natural hardwood, and below is birch; three to 16 is the ratio of natural hardwood to the birch. Although a hybrid type of hardwood, engineered is just as strong and sand-able as solid. Homes with a radiating heat source should go with engineered hardwood flooring, as the wood is less likely to warp over time than solid wood.

Although containing no natural wood, laminate is another option to get the look of hardwood flooring. A piece of laminate flooring is made from high-density fiberboard with a high-resolution photographic image of a hardwood species on top. Resin-coated cellulose or melamine is added on top of the image to give the laminate flooring a glossy appearance. Additionally, laminate flooring may also be manufactured to emulate the texture and sound of natural hardwood.

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