Is your home as cozy as you want? Your professional interior designer may appoint the latest color schemes, but the right flooring can make a big difference in the comfort your home offers. If you have decided to install wood flooring, it can be difficult to select the right type. Choosing the type of flooring manmade or natural hardwood floor–is the first part of your planning. Your choice should reflect your lifestyle and preferences.
Among types of hardwood flooring, the market offers dozens of colors with numerous designs. Some develop a patina as it ages; other maintain a consistent color throughout its life. Installation is more complicated than for manmade flooring. It’s expensive, but its durability and longevity make it a good investment for a long-term home. Minor damage may be sanded out. After resealing, it will look as good as new. It can warp if exposed to moisture, so avoid installing hardwood flooring in areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
In addition to natural hardwood flooring, also consider the kinds of manmade flooring: acrylic impregnated wood flooring, laminate flooring and engineered wood flooring.
Acrylic impregnated wood is thick-cut wood treated with sealant and colors. Generally used in commercial and institutional settings, this type of flooring resists moisture and scratches. It can stand up to high traffic areas, too. Acrylic impregnated wood is costly. Most people would not tackle installing acrylic flooring as a DIY project.
Laminate wood flooring is not actually wood at all. It is made of layers of plastic resin or other manmade material laminated together. Though comprised of many layers, they are sealed together so effectively that few people would notice the difference between it and hardwood flooring. The texture and color closely mimics the appearance of genuine hardwood flooring very closely.
Laminate wood flooring is much less expensive that hardwood flooring and may be installed as a DIY project. The flooring requires only damp mopping. Depending upon the manufacturer, this type of flooring may not be water resistant.
If a portion of the floor becomes damaged, the homeowner can replace as few pieces as needed.
Engineered wood flooring is made of numerous layers of genuine, less expensive wood bonded together with a thin layer more expensive wood on the outside, forming a veneer. Although it’s less costly than solid hardwood flooring, engineered wood flooring is actually less prone to damage, both from water and from cracking. But because the top layer is a veneer in this type of flooring, engineered wood flooring cannot be sanded and refinished indefinitely.
Before selecting the type of flooring you want for your home–wood flooring, laminate wood flooring, acrylic impregnated wood flooring, or engineered wood flooring–carefully compare their pro’s and con’s with your lifestyle.
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