What type of hardwood floor?
Hardwood floors are environmentally friendly and they add to the value of
a home. A recent survey of real estate agents estimates that hardwood
flooring can add as much as $7,000 to $10,000 to a home's resale value.
Solid Wood Floors
Solid Wood flooring comes in three basic types:
- STRIP flooring accounts for the majority of installations. Strips
usually are 2-1/4 inches wide, but also come in widths ranging from 1-1/2
inches to 3-1/4 inches. They are installed by nailing to the subfloor.
- PLANK flooring boards are at least 3 inches wide. They may be screwed
to the subfloor as well as nailed. Screw holes can be covered with wooden
- PARQUET flooring comes in standard patterns of 6" x 6" blocks.
Specialty patterns may range up to 36" square units. Parquet often
achieves dramatic geometric effects of special design patterns.
A solid hardwood floor can be installed on a concrete slab as long as the
floor is on or above ground level. They can be sanded and refinished over
several generations of use.
Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home's
relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by
leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding is
the traditional "cover-up" for this gap.
Made of several layers of different woods or different grades of the same
wood stacked and glued together under heat and pressure.
flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be
installed above, on, or below ground level. Some engineered wood floors with
thicker top layers can be sanded many times.
A plywood base topped with a layer of veneer. Plies and thicknesses vary,
but three-ply, 3/8 inch flooring is most common. (Remember that solid
hardwood floors, at 3/4 inch, are twice as thick as wood laminates.) The
veneer topping of wood laminate floors (commonly 1/8 inch thick) can be
sanded and refinished three times, at most. Most manufacturer warranties
cover the finish for five years.