Solid hardwood is 100%, wood flooring. It’s traditionally ¾” thick with various widths and lengths. It comes either flat or plain sewn, which contains the most variations. Quarter sewn is derived from logs cut into quarters before the strips of wood are made. Rift sewn are logs cut at a different angle than the Quarter sewn. It is the most costly but the most stable. Solid hardwood is an excellent choice for either first or second floors, as well as living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and dining rooms. However Solid hardwood is not an economical choice over concrete, as the flooring must be installed over a wooden subfloor. But in the correct application it’s especially durable, having the ability to be refinished multiple times and if maintained properly can last generations.
Engineered hardwood is made up of layers, which are glued together. The top layer or veneer is made of wood. This veneer ranges from 0.6mm to 6 mm. The thicker the veneer the more times it can be refinished. The core, or middle portion is constructed of 5 – 7 layers of plywood, that crisscross in different directions. The bottom of the piece of flooring is also made of wood. Because of its construction it is more dimensionally stable that solid wood. Meaning it will not contract or expand as much due to humidity and temperature changes. Engineered Hardwood is usually less expensive than solid hardwood. It can be installed on all grades, as well as over radiant heating systems and concrete.
Acrylic Impregnated Floors
These floors have the acrylic compounds injected directly into the wood. This creates a stronger, harder and more durable wood. Impregnated floors do well in commercial applications, and can handle more moisture than stand flooring can. These floors also do well in homes with lots of traffic or dogs.
Reclaimed or Recycled
The floors come in either solid or engineered. They are especially unique because they are made from reclaimed wood. They come from old barns, logs, boats that have been retrieved from lakes or rivers. These floors are unique and especially attractive to those who are interested in utilizing sustainable flooring.
So which to pick?
Consider the application. Which room is going into? Do you have children or a dog? Do you live near a hillside, or the beach? Or do you want something from the past that’s new again? These are questions only you can answer.