Hardwood Flooring In NJ
Two Main Types
Hardwood floors add warmth and beauty and help increase your home’s value. It’s good to learn a little about the different types of hardwood flooring before you begin floor shopping. Aside from the many different species of wood that you can choose from, whether you want an oil finish or a polyurethane finish with aluminum oxide, gloss or matte, board widths, and colors, there are two main types of hardwood flooring construction that you must understand.
Solid Wood Flooring
In most cases, solid wood flooring is universally 3/4″ thick. Depending on the species, the style, and the manufacturer, you will typically find solid hardwood flooring in widths of 2 1/4″, 3 1/4, and or 5″. Solid wood floors must be installed above grade on a minimum of 3/4″ plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). In most cases, they must be nailed down. Do not install solid wood over particle board subfloors. Solid wood floors can be sanded or refinished multiple times. Most pre-finished solid wood flooring should not need refinishing for a minimum of 25-35 years and could last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Engineered Wood Flooring
If you want hardwood floors but your space is on a concrete slab, then you must use engineered wood flooring. Despite what your friends might tell you, well made engineered wood floors are a great option even if you’re not on a slab. They are typically constructed with a solid wood, multi-ply, or MDF core, with a veneer of REAL hardwood attached. Engineered floors range in total thickness from 3/8″ up to 9/16″. This type of construction makes engineered wood more dimensionally stable than solid wood. This allows for wider plank widths. It is common today to see engineered wood flooring styles that come in 7″ & 9″ and widths. With this type of wood flooring construction, you can also find styles that incorporate multiple species and multiple textures or treatments. Engineered wood floors are generally glued down or floated over the existing subfloor. When floating a floor over concrete it is necessary to use an underlayment with a moisture barrier. Different underlayments will also have varying degrees of acoustic and sound dampening properties that make the floating floor quieter when walked on.
Objection: Engineered wood floors can’t be sanded and refinished.
Answer: most quality, engineered wood flooring, comes with around a 25 year finish warranty, the same as most pre-finished solid wood floors. You will probably want to change the style of your floor long before you would wear it out.
Will there be moisture in the room?
If you are considering flooring for a bathroom where continuous moisture is expected, you will want to select a product other than hardwood. While the moisture resistance of an engineered hardwood makes it suitable for rooms below grade or ground level when installed with a moisture barrier, it is not advisable to install any hardwood flooring in a full bathroom. We recommend waterproof luxury vinyl plank for any wet areas.