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Which is the best hard wood floor option?

Which is the best hard wood floor option?

Flooring   is the most important aspect in the design of your home. It plays a major   role in the look, functionality and ambience of your home.  It is the   flooring that sets the tone for the design scheme. Flooring options are   aplenty and the all time favorite is the hard wood flooring. Here again one   is spoilt for choice considering the gamut of options available. Many factors   like aesthetics, durability, type of wood, etc have to be considered.   Hardwood flooring is a huge investment and care must be taken while choosing   a suitable floor option.

Solid vs Engineered

The most important thing that one has to do is to decide whether   to use solid hard wood or engineered hard wood. Solid hardwood floors are   difficult to install owing to the hardness and thickness of the wood.   Engineered flooring involves thinner top layer of hardwood bonded to other   layers beneath it. This ensures that the floor does not shift while shrinking   and moving ( expansion and contraction).


Another concern is the ease of installation. Solid hardwood is a   little difficult to install by yourself. Depending upon the hardness of the   wood, gaps could occur while nailing the planks together. Also, solid   hardwood is generally installed over one or two layers of plywood. This would   raise the height of the floor and would require the doors to be altered or it   could reduce the ceiling height. Whereas, engineered hardwood planks can be   directly glued on to the concrete floor or sound proofing material like glass   wool.

Prefinished vs Site finish

Hardwood planks can be purchased raw which will require finishing   by a professional after installation, or prefinished, which arrives with the   stain and topcoat already applied. Prefinished wood enables you to go ahead   with deciding on the other décor elements. Installation is also quick and   easy. With the site finish version you will be relying heavily on the skills   of the flooring contractor. Even so, the site finish option provides for a   lot of customization to suit your needs and design ideas.

Types of wood

The most popular hardwood in North America is the oak because it   is very easy to stain and has an appealing natural grain. It is widely available   and more affordable. The other popular wood is the walnut. Although it is   softer than oak, it has a deeper color making it suitable for areas which   require a darker shade. Other easily available options include hickory,   maple, cherry and ash.