The Hardwood Lowdown - 4 Types of Hardwood Flooring Every Homeowner Should Consider

The Hardwood Lowdown - 4 Types of Hardwood Flooring Every Homeowner Should Consider

When it comes time to choose flooring for your home, the options can be overwhelming. Hardwood floors, however, remain one of the most popular choices in flooring and can even have a significant impact on the resale value of your home. Hardwoods come in a wide variety of colors, styles and textures, however, so there are still many options to choose from. Here are 4 types of hardwood every homeowner should consider when choosing your next flooring options.

1. Unfinished wood flooring
If you want something that is truly unique and individual to your home, you might consider installing unfinished wood flooring. The installers will apply a finishing coat right in your home that gives you an almost unprecedented ability to custom design your floors to match your interior decor. This is particularly valuable if you have an older home with original finishings that you want to match to the flooring. The finish takes time to dry, however, so if you plan on installing unfinished wood flooring you will also need to plan on being away from your home for several days and possibly even a week or more.

2. Solid wood flooring
Solid wood flooring is a solid plank of wood sawn from a single tree. Solid wood flooring is generally the most expensive and also the most long-lasting and durable. It is, however, fairly high maintenance. Solid wood flooring can become nicked, scarred and marred over time, although some homeowners love this "vintage" type of look. To restore floors to their original glory, however, they can be sanded down and refinished. They can also be refinished in a different finish to give them a completely new look.

3. Engineered hardwood
Engineered hardwood floors are made from several layers of material that are pressed together, with a thin layer of real wood on the top. Engineered hardwood floors are generally more durable than solid wood floors and often easier to install. Some engineered hardwoods offer a thick enough top layer that they can still be sanded down and refinished the same way solid wood flooring can, but they will generally need to be replaced sooner than solid wood floors. Conversely, however, solid wood floors have a tendency to buckle and warp due to a change in weather conditions and can be destroyed entirely by flooding. Engineered hardwood is less susceptible to buckling and warping and will weather flooding better as well.

4. Acrylic impregnated wood flooring
This type of flooring is generally best for commercial use, although some homeowners with large families or busy, active homes may prefer it as well. Acrylic impregnated flooring is actually infused with a sealant and colored through the entire thickness of the wood. So, what is normally a surface "finish" is actually consistent throughout the wood. As the wood wears down, it never loses its color or protective finish. This creates an incredibly durable and long-lasting wood floor, with very little maintenance or refinishing required. Unlike solid wood flooring, however, it cannot be sanded down and refinished, since the finish is actually infused into the wood.

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