There are basically 3 types of wooden flooring used in the houses.
1. Hardwood Flooring
The hardwood as the name suggest are the planks cut from actual timber to specified dimension. They are either packed unfinished to be finished / stained at the site or factory finished. They come in variety of finishes and styles. Depending upon the requirement they can be flat sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn to produce particular finish. Wooden flooring planks are usually 3/4" thick and are nailed to the subfloor during installation. They have thicker wear surface and can be sanded multiple times. The hardwood floors are difficult to install where concrete is used as a subfloor for example basements and apartments.
2. Engineered wood Flooring
The engineered wood composed of top layer of wood veneer called lamella over core which can be of plywood, finger core construction or fibreboard. Engineered wood flooring is most popular wood flooring in the world. Only in North America Hardwood flooring is used more. However, it is increasing in popularity. Each layer of Engineered wood is run 90° to increase the stability and strength. This increased stability enables it to be used anywhere on any subfloor including concrete. Furthermore, it is less prone to expansion, curling and coupling than that of hard wood flooring. It is often confused with laminate and vinyl floors . Laminate uses an image of wood on its surface and vinyl flooring is plastic formed to look like a wood. Engineered wood can be from 3ply to 7ply, durability and cost increases with increasing number of plies.
The advantages of Engineered wood flooring over Hardwood flooring.
1. Can be installed on any subfloor including concrete.
2. It is not limited in plank size.
3. Is less prone to gapping, curling and cupping.
4. Unlike solid wood flooring it can be used where radiant floor heating is installed.
5. With Engineered wood mostly factory finished. The finish is more durable and drying time of the finish is saved.
6. Less labour intensive to install thus cost and time of installation is less.
3. Laminate Flooring
Perhaps the cheapest and least durable of all the three types of flooring mentioned here. Laminate flooring is basically not a wood flooring. It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Lamination flooring simulates wood or stone with photographic applique layer under clear protective layer. The inner core is composed of melamine resin and fibre board materials.
Laminate flooring has grown in popularity as it is very easy to install and is relatively inexpensive. It can be used in apartments with concrete as a subfloor with tongue and groove assembly.
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