Choosing Your Wood Floor
With so many choices available today, choosing a wood floor can be both an exciting and a daunting task. At Coles, we strive to make your installation process as painless as possible. Here are a few helpful things to know about hardwood floors from the experts!
Engineered Wood vs. Solid Wood
- Engineered wood floors are constructed from multiple plies of wood with a solid top layer
- Because more of the tree is utilized to create the plies, less waste is inevitable and can be considered more eco-friendly
- More resistant to everyday wear and tear and also to buckling or rippling
- Can be used in basements, bathrooms, or any moist areas
- No glue or nails necessary (although glue can be used)
Solid Wood Boards
- Can be sanded and re-finished if needed (it is required on average every 15-20 years depending on your traffic)
- Ages with time to enhance the wood’s true beauty
- Slightly more costly than engineered
- Urethane coated floors can be recoated as needed to renew the surface of the floor. This is more economical than sanding and refinishing.
The appearance of your floor will depend on the species of tree from which it is made. Each species has its own identifying grain pattern, like a fingerprint or signature. The pronounced grain of oak, for instance, would never be mistaken for the more subtle grain of maple. Current trends boast exotic woods and bamboo flooring. Coles offers many different species, each offering its own distinct look.
Board width is crucial in how a floor will look in your home. The narrower board widths are referred to as ‘strips’ and the wider board widths are known as ‘planks’. Narrow board width will expand the appearance of a smaller room, and wider board widths work well in a larger room or area.
The thicker the floor, the stronger the floor, and the less likely that it will be to warp, twist or cup. With quality hardwood flooring, you can count on the exact thickness claimed for its wear layer. But as thinner wear layers are less expensive to produce, cheap flooring is often found to have a wear layer that is thinner than what is claimed.
A high gloss finish is appropriate for low-traffic rooms such as dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms. A semi-gloss finish is ideal for moderate-to-high traffic areas such as family rooms. And satin and low luster finishes are suitable for high-traffic areas including kitchens and hallways.
The edge style of the boards is just as important as their width and finish in establishing the character of your floor. A square edge means boards fit flush against each other for a smooth, traditional look. A micro bevel or full bevel edge creates an angled effect where boards meet, to create more depth and dimension.
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