See Other River2u Commonsense Guides River2u.com
      Home Improvement  »  Inside the Home  »  Flooring  »
Hardwood Floors

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:

Shape

  • 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.

Composition

  • 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 replaced instead).

As a service to you, we are experimenting with providing additional product information:
Questions, Comments, Suggestions, & Corrections 2005,2006 CliqueFriends, LLC