The Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring will make a lot of people happy. There’s just something about a gorgeous hardwood floor that is so warm and inviting. You can always expect to get compliments when you have a lovely floor. But what is it that makes them better than any other floor?

Hardwood floors have a lot of excellent points about them that you just can’t find with some other flooring options. This is especially true with carpeting. The first is that they are excellent for almost any home. All you have to do is decide on the wood species, width, and grade, and then sit back and enjoy the results. It’s hard to go wrong with hardwood floors. Another of their top benefits is durability. High quality floors installed by professionals can last for a very long time. Carpeting can eventually get matted down, not match the room any longer, or get too damaged overall and need to be replaced. In order to replace a hardwood floor, it needs to be seriously damaged – and that takes effort. Even after decades, a floor can look exceptional in one room while other floors start to show their age.

Cleaning is a breeze with a hardwood floor. Spill something? No problem. It can be quickly wiped up without any worries. This is because these floors are given the right protection and coatings in order to withstand such spills or messes. A glass of wine is not an issue. Carpeting, however, is another matter entirely. Without just the right cleaning products, you may be left with a stain on your carpet for years to come. A quick soft cloth takes care of dust bunnies, and with a bit of solution made for hardwood floors, you can get a gorgeous like-new shine in a matter of minutes.

Some people may think that all floors are the same in how they look. But this simply isn’t true. The sheer number of options available to you means you can choose just how the finished floor will look – and, in fact, making a decision amidst all those options may be the most difficult part! There are many wood species that you can utilize for flooring, and each of them will have a distinct color and grain pattern. Wood grades mean you can choose from ultra clear cuts to a rustic, rugged look. You can even request reclaimed lumber for an even more weathered look, giving your floor a worn yet well-loved style that not many homes can claim.

Selecting a Laminate Floor to Suite Your Needs

The traditional look of hardwood flooring is timeless; its beauty has brought a sense of comfort and elegance to homes around the world for many generations. Hardwood floors are however pricey, not very durable and require a fair amount of routine maintenance and care. Even the most recent technological advancements in surface treatment have not been able to solve such problems as scratching, fading, denting and staining. This has lead to the invention of laminate flooring. With its machine made construction and hardwood photographic laminated surface, laminate flooring is the perfect solution for the look and appeal of real hardwood floors that are more durable and require less maintenance.

Since the introduction of laminate flooring into the US in 1982, the sector has experienced growth of up to 20% per annum at the expense of other flooring types, making laminate flooring the fastest growing flooring type in the country. Its appeal lies not only in its aesthetic value of its representation of real hardwood, but also due to its incredible durability and ease of maintenance. Laminate flooring is built to withstand the rigors of today’s active lifestyles.

Unlike hardwood, laminate flooring will not stain, fade, dent and is far more scratch and water resistant. Laminate warranties range from 10 years to lifetime and cover such factors as mentioned above. Entry level laminates are designed for light traffic areas and come with warranties ranging from 10 to 15 years. Most people set their expectations too high and expect that an entry level laminate will perform under heavy traffic conditions and still look good for the duration of the warranty. This is however not the case, as an entry level laminate subject to high traffic will start to show wear and tear within three to five years.

Buying the laminate flooring that suits your needs will save you money in the long run. This is not to say that every home requires a high end laminate with an extensive warranty. Consider the amount of traffic as well as the amount of time you intend staying in your current home. There is no point in purchasing an expensive floor with an extended warranty if you plan on moving in the near future. Remember, flooring is usually the first thing replaced by people when moving to a new home.

Laminate floors come with cores ranging from 6mm up to 12mm. A thicker core is more stable, less vulnerable to buckling and will sound more like real hardwood when walked on. Good quality laminate cores are treated with water repellent chemicals, and resist swelling due to excessive moisture. This is very important especially when considering placing laminate floors in bathrooms and kitchens. For these applications also consider a laminate that has Paraffin wax impregnated joints. The Paraffin wax acts as a water repellent and will prevent topical water spills from penetrating down to the laminate core. Also remember to scrutinize the warranty, as certain laminate floors are not covered for use in bathrooms and kitchens.

The introduction of glueless locking mechanisms has opened the door to the DIY market. The absence of glue allows for a quicker installation and easier repair, and unlike other flooring materials that require specialist knowledge and equipment, these floors can be installed by people with no prior experience and no specialized tools. The ability to install the floor without having to hire an installer will save you a considerable amount of money.