Hardwood Flooring Buying Guide

Using a hardwood for your home flooring adds warmth, beauty, and helps to increase the value of your home. The aesthetic value of hardwood floors is also significantly enhanced by the application of complementing luxury rugs. Learning about the different wood flooring techniques makes for an excellent way to choose the best flooring for your home.

Hardwood Construction
Hardwood floors are available in multiple constructions and can be installed on all levels in your home, allowing for flexibility of installation as well as a mitigation of moisture that is better when compared to other subfloors.

When installing hardwood in your home, it is important to consider moisture since changes in humidity might cause warping and gapping issues. To mitigate the possible effects of moisture, maintain levels that are within the manufacturer’s recommendation and choose the correct installation materials as well as hardwood floor construction. Install a moisture barrier to add a layer of protection against the damages moisture causes.

There are three major subfloors over which hardwood can be installed
• Basement or concrete below ground-level
• Plywood subfloor at or above ground-level
Concrete at ground level

There are four types of hardwood floor constructions to address each of the subfloor types, these are;
• 3/4-inch Solid
• Engineered
• Locking
• 5/16-inch Solid

3/4-inch Solid
This is a common flooring construction featuring solid pieces of hardwood 3/4-inches thick. Because exposure to moisture results in an expansion in solid floors more than in engineered floors, installation is only possible over a plywood subfloor situated at or above ground level. It is a recommendation to put a moisture barrier underneath your crawl space, which helps to control the moisture entering your house through the ground. Most solid floors can be refinished and sanded.

5/16-inch Solid
This is basically a slender version of the 3/4-inch wood flooring, and because it is solid, installation below ground level is impossible. It is, however, thin enough to install over plywood just above ground-level or glue down against concrete at ground-level. You will need to use urethane adhesives and moisture barriers to glue down 5/16-inch solids.

Engineered Hardwood
Engineered floors are ideally developed for installation over concrete as well as to help in mitigating potential issues resulting from exposure to moisture. The cross-layer construction keeps the floor from expanding when exposed to moisture. It is, therefore, possible to install engineered hardwood anywhere in your house, inclusive of the basement. Engineered floors are less expensive and more eco-friendly when compared to solid floors, mainly because they comprise of a veneer merely millimeters thick as opposed to the 3/4-inch thickness.

Locking Hardwood
A locking hardwood or floating wood floor is basically an engineered floor with the additional benefits provided by the locking tongue-and-groove system. This type of flooring offers a perfect do-it-yourself solution since glue, nails, and staples are not a requirement. You only have to roll out the moisture barrier underlayment, locking the planks into place. Visit Relative Space and learn more information from the available resources.

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