Solid, engineered and reclaimed hardwood types
So, you think you want a hardwood floor? The best place to start is to know which wood type would suit you project, home or commercial space best. There are many factors to consider, from the type, grade, species and installation method. But let’s take it one step at a time, so the process remains fun, and doesn’t get to be too overwhelming. We’ll begin with the construction types.
Solid hardwood flooring
These planks can be sawn three different ways – flat sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn – each affecting the stability and the price of the hardwood. Typically, solid hardwood is sawn with a tongue and groove edges to lock the planks together.
Solid hardwood should NOT be installed over a concrete subfloor!
Most solid wood will have plenty of wood above the tongue and groove so that they can be sanded and refinished several times and will last for years and years with the proper maintenance and care.
Engineered hardwood flooring
This is hardwood flooring glued to a plywood or high-density fiberboard. Due to its construction method, engineered wood tends to be more stable than straight hardwood because it won’t contract or expand with the temperature or humidity. It also tends to run cheaper than solid hardwood, making it a cost-effective solution for your hardwood flooring project.
Unlike hardwood, engineered wood CAN be installed on a concrete subfloor. It can also be “floated” over radiant heat.
The top layer of the engineered hardwood called the “veneer,” is a thick layer of wood on top of the solid, ply or fiberboard. The veneer can be cut in several different ways that will affect the performance of the wood as well as the price. The most effective – and most expensive is a dry solid-sawn veneer.
Engineered flooring, unlike solid, can only be refinished so many times, so take that into consideration when you decide on the thickness of the veneer. Anything less than 2mm cannot be refinished.
Reclaimed and recycled wood
This choice is for those of you who enjoy the greener alternative, as this type of wood, whether solid or engineered is salvaged – a.k.a. Reclaimed and recycled – from old wooden structures like boats, barns, shipping crates, salvation yards, etc. This wood will add character, warmth, and beauty to any hardwood floor project.
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