|Hardwood flooring adds luxury to living spaces
like bedrooms and living rooms. It can also
be used in kitchens and baths, but we prefer
ceramic tile for those locations. Here are your main
choices for wood flooring:
- parquet - wood's answer to ceramic tile,
wood parquet floors can be very elegant while
easy to install and very forgiving of uneven
subsurfaces. The parquet tiles (in standard
sizes of 6", 9", and 12" square
and 4.5" x 9" rectangles) lock
into each other and are generally attached
to the subsurface with an adhesive. Parquet
floors are almost always made from laminates.
Individual pieces may be mixed or alternated
in orientation to add a pleasing pattern.
- planks - a cross between parquet and wood
strip, planks are large, interlocking pieces
of flooring that simulate a wood strip floor.
- wood strip - the traditional wood floor,
wood strips are available in various in widths
(but use only one width per room) and lengths.
Color and grain vary from piece to piece
giving each room a unique appearance.
- Solid wood - oak is the most common material
but other woods are available, including
maple and pine. Using solid wood allows you
to sand out any deep scratches or gouges.
Typically, the entire floor is laid and then
sanded level, optionally stained, and then
sealed (usually with a polyurethane). Solid wood floors can be refinished to restore their original beauty.
- Laminate flooring - laminates are commonly
used in new construction because of lower
material and installation costs. With laminates,
the good wood is a veneer on the surface
with lesser quality wood used in layers beneath
(it's made like plywood). Orienting the grain
of the layers in different directions creates
a strong, warp resistance flooring. Laminates
usually come pre-finished; however, since
the top layer is fairly thin, scratches and
gouges cannot be sanded out (the plank is