Floors are not just for walking.  The choice for flooring materials is determined by factors such as cost, endurance, noise insulation, comfort, and maintenance.  Moisture is also a determining factor.  Laminate and hardwood floors can only be used above grade to prevent moisture damage.


The subfloor supports the flooring materials.  Additionally, special purpose subfloors can be laid under the main flooring materials to give structural strength.  Floating floors, raised floors, or sprung floors require special purpose subfloors.  Subfloors below ground level, like basements, have a concrete or dirt floor.  Above grade subfloors, above ground level, are made from plywood.  Earthen adobe or clay floors can be used as a floor or a subfloor.  Concrete floors can be painted or have polymers applied for special design effects.  Wood flooring is laid onto a subfloor.  It can be laid directly onto plywood subfloors.  However, when the subfloor is concrete, a moisture barrier must be laid or built into the underside of the engineered flooring.


Wood flooring holds its value with a return on investment (ROI) of 70 percent.  Wood can be shaped into planks or parquet.  Plank wood flooring has less seams than parquet.  Planks are 5 inches to 12 inches wide and their long length tricks the eye into thinking the floor is larger.  One wide plank takes up the space of several narrow ones, which means wider boards lower installation and labor costs because it takes less time. Modern hardwood designs include a tongue and groove design for installation.

Planks vary in cost by the type of wood used.  While reclaimed wood may seem like a bargain, there may be hidden costs due to the condition of the wood and increased labor to nail down the boards.  Wide boards are susceptible to cupping and warping, but kiln drying strengthens the wood and professional installation minimizes gaps.  The appearance of knots and imperfections give wood flooring a rustic appearance that fits with shabby chic, farmhouse, and traditional home décor.

Parquet floors have never gone out of style.  The diversity of color and pattern make a design statement.  Additionally, parquet floors are durable, affordable, and moisture resistant.  It rarely scratches and will endure 50 years with proper maintenance. Suitable for high traffic areas.

Hardwoods are more durable than softwoods.  Hardwoods have less thermal conductivity than laminate wood flooring.  Engineered hardwood has a thin layer of wood on top of a composite core and is installed by a click-lock method.  It is less expensive than hardwood, but it can not be sanded or refinished.  Bamboo, technically not wood, is durable and environmentally friendly.  Cork flooring is made from tree bark and is eco-friendly since does not damage the tree. Cork flooring is made in tiles or planks and is secured by glue or a glueless method.


Laminate flooring looks like hardwood, but it is made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) or plywood core with a plastic laminate top layer.  High density fiberboard laminate (HDF) is made with fiberboard with decorative paper and a transparent protective coating on top.  Laminate may be more durable than hardwood, but it cannot be refinished.  If damaged, it would need replacement of the damaged planks or tiles.  Additionally, laminate flooring locks or taps together for a floating installation.  Underlayment is required to provide moisture and noise control.  Laminate can be pressed with vinyl and laminate into an extremely durable floor.


Hardwood Floors are a major investment.  Hudson Floor Group Inc. is a full-service flooring company providing installation, refinishing, restoration, repairs, maintenance, flooring material and high quality, professional service.  Contact us at info@hudsonfloorgroup.com OR phone us at 201-644-4400.  NJ Location: 92 Bell Street Orange, NJ 07050 NYC Location: 244 Fifth Avenue, Suite Q291 New York, NY 10001.   CERTIFICATIONS: OSHA, NWFA, and FSC.