We at Buddy Allen Carpet One are experts when it comes to wood flooring. We carry a large selection of solid wood, engineered wood, bamboo, and cork, and we even can help you with installation (click here to check out some of our work). Do you think wood flooring might be best for your next project? Are you intrigued by wood’s natural beauty and durability? Read on to figure out which wood flooring type is right for you.
Solid hardwood is considered to be the original wood flooring option given its rather simple construction. Each plank is made from a strip of genuine wood and nothing else. There is no extra materials added, nor is there any special construction. Typically, solid hardwood planks are 3/4" thick, but there are thicker options available for additional strength and support against foot traffic.
Since solid hardwood planks are rather thick, they can be refinished multiple times. Why is this important? Over time, a hardwood floor, because it is made entirely from natural materials, will wear down and lose its luster. Hardwood refinishing, however, involves sanding the surface, smoothing out any blemishes, and then reapplying surface finish. After the floor is refinished, it will look as good as new!
Solid hardwood is a great choice in homes and other residences, but it's not the best option for below-ground areas or areas with moisture.
If you want the looks of solid hardwood but require additional support and stability, take a look at engineered hardwood. Whereas solid hardwood has a uniform construction, engineered hardwood is made from three to seven layers of real wood. Nonetheless, engineered hardwood looks the same as solid hardwood since the top layer is always a singular piece of premium wood.
Engineered hardwood offers more stability than solid hardwood because its layers are cross-directionally pressed together with the top layer. As a result, the wood grains run in opposite directions, and this counteracts wood's natural tendency to expand or contract. Engineered hardwood is therefore suitable for above-, below-, and on-ground areas, and it also can handle areas with changing temperatures. However, engineered hardwood is still not a great option for areas with moisture.
In addition, because of its layered construction, engineered hardwood cannot be refinished as many times as solid hardwood. Usually engineered hardwood floors can be refinished 1-2 times, while solid hardwood floors can often be refinished 3-4 times.
Hardwood is definitely the most popular wood flooring option, but there are others available. Bamboo flooring, for example, is a wood flooring option that truly offers unique looks. It offers natural but sophisticated patterns of dark bands and nodules, and these patterns clearly distinguish bamboo from hardwood. Bamboo can accommodate elegant or casual looks.
Bamboo flooring is certainly harder than hardwood, and it tends to dent less on impact. It's therefore better-suited for foot traffic and other impacts. At the same time, bamboo is more dimensionally stable than hardwood, so it can tolerate high humidity levels. In fact, in these areas, bamboo planks will expand 50% less than hardwood planks. For extra strength and wear resistance, you can also choose special engineered bamboo constructions.
Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, so harvesting bamboo usually results in 25x the yield of harvesting hardwood. This means that bamboo flooring is a rather eco-friendly flooring option.
Cork has been used for flooring for hundreds of years, but it only recently has become a popular choice in the residential market. Why has cork become popular? Cork flooring has a unique cell structure, so it is much softer and warmer underfoot than hardwood and bamboo. The surface is actually relatively flexible, so any dents will usually fully or partially recover in a matter of time. Cork is therefore a great option for areas where heavy foot traffic may be an issue. Furthermore, cork does well to reduce sound, so noisy foot traffic will never be a problem.
Cork flooring is hypoallergenic (meaning that it's surface does not trap harmful allergens), and it also has natural antimicrobial properties to protect against mold and mildew. Consequently, it is one of the healthiest solid surface flooring options available for your home. To add, cork flooring is definitely the eco-friendliest wood flooring option because it's made almost entirely from the bark of the cork oak tree. The actual tree remains unharmed. So, for a wood flooring choice that is friendly to the environment and to your home, be sure to choose cork flooring.
To learn more about wood flooring, be sure to visit our Nashville, TN store today! Or, give us a call and we will come to you in Mt Juliet, Hendersonville, and all surrounding areas.
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