Wood floors are a very popular selection for home-improvement projects these days. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular, as they have a beautiful, natural appearance, and are comfortable to walk on. They can be a little more difficult to install than some other more simple flooring materials, but they are still well within reach of the ability of most average homeowners.
The one thing that you have to understand about wood floors is that water and moisture are its enemies. So a wood floor will fare best in a moisture free environment. You even have to be careful when it comes to cleaning your wood floors so that excess water or moisture doesn’t seep into the cracks and cause problems later on.
There are a few different kinds of wood flooring to choose from and we will try to discuss each one to help you get more familiar with them.
First of all, let’s talk about strip flooring. This may be what you most often think of when you think of hardwood flooring. Strip flooring is made up of boards that are usually 3/4 inches thick and 2 1/4 inches in width. They are designed as tongue and groove boards that fit very closely together as they are installed. As you put down each board, you simply place a nail through the tongue of the board to hold it down, and when the groove of the next board fits up next to it, the nail will be covered.
As with most kinds of wood flooring, strip flooring benefits from having a solid subfloor installed underneath to hold it in place. Often subfloors are made up of 3/4 inch to one inch plywood sheets that are nailed down first.
Plank flooring is very similar to strip flooring except that the boards can come in random widths of 3 in. or more. The length is usually around two to 8 ft.
Parquet flooring is very popular these days as it features dozens of patterns, textures, and thicknesses. Very often, parquet flooring consists of a veneer of decorative hardwood glued in patterns to squares of softwood backing, then laid on a subfloor. It can be very easy to install, and yet still has the look of a custom designed floor.
The subfloor must be very clean and dry in order to get proper adhesion for the parquet floor that goes on top. Sometimes adhesive must be spread on the subfloor first as you install the parquet tiles, and sometimes the adhesive comes as a backing on the parquet tiles themselves.
Floating floors are becoming very popular too, as you don’t have to actually fasten it down to a subfloor. Instead the plastic laminate material is interlocked and placed on top of a thin foam pad that in turn rests on a subfloor made up of plywood or concrete. Laminate is very durable, and scratch resistant and can tolerate moisture much better than true hardwood floors. With proper tools the average homeowner would be able to install a floating floor fairly easily.
So which wood floor is best for you? Only you can answer that question, but hopefully the information we have provided will help you make your decision and be able to choose the best wood floor for your home.
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