Hardwood floors made from solid wood have endured centuries. Engineered wood flooring were manufactured in the 1960s and placed on top of concrete slabs. Concrete slabs held onto humidity and the moisture could cause the solid wood to buckle and warp. Engineered flooring was installed in a single application with very little variation in floorboards, and very little variety in finishes or style of wood.
Engineered wood flooring for high-moisture environments is better than solid wood in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Solid wood is better for living areas like bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and dens. Solid wood has better durability in high traffic areas. Solid wood has a greater range of design options and feels sturdy underfoot.
Engineered hardwood flooring, $2.50 to $10 per square foot, is slightly less expensive than solid hardwood, $4 to $7 per square foot. Three-inch-wide traditional red oak costs about 20 percent more than engineered wood. However, cost must consider design aesthetic. Most engineered hardwoods have a uniform texture and limited color variation. Solid wood contains knots and a greater diversity in wood color. A light oak can create a sleek Scandinavian feel, while a dark walnut may suit a more traditional style.
Solid wood durability is derived from the ¾ inch board that can be sanded, finished, and refinished as the design aesthetic changes. Engineered wood ranges from paper thin to ¼ inch high quality wood over plywood core. Engineered wood can be finished once, but it is water resistant. Manufacturers recommend that the boards be viewed in the intended room as lighting, walls, baseboards, and wainscotting will influence the design appearance.
Stability matters for a Hardwood Floor. The wood flooring industry uses the Janka Scale to measure hardness of a particular type of wood. The test measures the force needed to push a 0.444-inch steel ball halfway into a wood board. Brazilian cherry is one of the hardest, at 2,350. At 1,290, red oak is the median. The Janka score indicated the wear and tear a Hardwood Floor will endure over time. For children and pets, the harder the wood the better.
Hardwood Floors made from solid wood are available with and without stain, sealer, and finishing. Testing multiple shades of finishes increases satisfaction when the consistent color is applied to the entire area. For your records ask the installer for the color formula and keep a small can for repairs. Engineered floors are finished and sealed at the factory so the choice must be made with the purchase.
Finishes range from matte to high gloss. Oil or wax finish for a soft hand-rubbed look can only be achieved with solid hardwood. Wire brushing will add texture and enhance grains giving the solid hardwood a 3-D effect and hides a lot of stains.
Climate affects the solid wood flooring. Wood swells in high humidity and shrinks in dry air. In high altitudes, like Colorado, a humidifier may be needed in the winter to maintain dry air. Down the shore, like New Jersey, you may need air conditioning. Engineered Flooring is more stable to changes in temperature and humidity.
New wood flooring must be delivered a week before the installation begins. This allows the wood to adjust to the temperature and moisture conditions in the home. Acclimating the wood prevents buckling and warping after installation and as the seasons change.
Unless you do the floors before you move into a space, there is no getting around the packing up and moving furniture. However, Hudson Floor Group provides furniture moving services as well as short term storage for those homes that have no space.
Existing flooring must be removed or sanded. Leveling is done if necessary. New unfinished hardwood is installed. Sanding creates a lot of dust that is then cleaned before the first finish is placed. However, at Hudson Floor Group a dustless sander is used which protects your walls and home. The wood is stained, wait for it dry, sand, and sealed with three coats allowing for drying time between each coat of sealant. The floors must rest a week to allow the sealer fumes to dissipate and to season before normal walking traffic resumes.
For engineered wood, the space must be cleared but the installation is quicker as boards are glued into place and the finishes are pre-set.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.