There are different species, grades, and finishes of Hardwood, and as a result, finding what works best for your home and fits your budget can be lengthy.
Factors influencing quality:
There are different grades of engineered Hardwood that you will come across.
This type of flooring is made of multiple layers stacked and bonded together to be extremely hard. The top layer of the floorboards is called the “wear layer” and is made of solid wood veneers. Cheaper variants of engineered wood have multiple layers of wood bonded together to form the top layer, but a quality floor has a “single-strip” top layer. Choosing a product with a thicker top coat ensures maximum utility and can be repainted multiple times like solid wood.
The layers that make up the core of the floorboards are called the bottom core and are made of plywood bonded together. The best quality engineered Hardwood is made from a layer of multi-laminated Hardwood that is very stable and durable. When installing engineered wood over a radiant floor heating system, the bottom core should be considered, as the thicker bottom core will be less prone to swelling or shrinking due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
The length and width of the floorboards do not influence the overall quality of the product, but they can affect the look you are trying to achieve in your home. More comprehensive and thicker boards cover more area and are therefore easier to install but are relatively expensive. Room aesthetics, installation labour, and total cost must be considered to find the right size floorboard for your home.
Since the top layer is made from solid wood veneers, determining the species of wood you prefer is also essential. For example, you can find engineered wood variants of just about every popular hardwood species and even exotic options. The main benefit of choosing an engineered variant of any hardwood species is that you can get the same texture and style at a more affordable price. The most popular species are hickory, ash, oak, maple, and hickory. These species are highly sought after due to their hardness, grain patterns, and rich colour.
The following are the most popular types of edging you will come across when shopping for floorboards:
- Square: Feels smooth and level when walking on, ideal for a clean, formal look.
- Bevelled- This Edge creates grooves in the floor panels, and the look achieved is textured.
- Feathered Edge The edges are smoothed out and form grooves that are not as prominent as bevelled floorboards, creating an interesting visual formation and hiding irregularities between panels.
Choosing the right floorboards
There are a few more things you should think about before choosing this type of flooring:
An essential decision for flooring projects is deciding between Hardwood and engineered wood. To make this decision, the advantages and disadvantages of both materials must be compared. While solid timber adds more resale value to your property, it is expensive and reacts significantly to temperature and humidity. Engineered wood is much more stable and affordable, but it doesn’t increase the resale value of your home as much. Installation is much easier with engineered hardwoods as they are available in click-lock plank form and can also be installed over radiant heating. However, the warmth and feel of solid wood are commendable and are much preferred by many homeowners.
These floorboards are available in prefinished and site-finished variants. With prefinished floorboards, you get exactly what you see in the store. However, the grain variation may look quite different from what you imagined in the samples. On-site floor finishing allows you the flexibility to finish it exactly to your requirements and preferences.
Determining the correct finish is important to get the maximum utility from your floor. The foot traffic you get, the weather conditions, and the frequency of repainting are some factors you need to consider when determining your floor finish.
Premium-engineered Hardwood can last as long as solid Hardwood if taken care of well. Choose wisely from a reputable brand and the benefits of this type of flooring. A professional from the store can better guide you regarding the choice of quality flooring.
How to protect your hardwood floors from summer damage
Summer has arrived, and you are ready to receive the sun! As the day progresses, it is the perfect time to enjoy a vacation with your family and friends. But more daylight in the summer means more heat and harmful UV rays that can do noticeable damage to your floor. Hot, sunny days can cause a homeowner like you a bit of anxiety, especially when you have hardwood floors in your home. The summer season can bring about various annoying problems for your floors if you are not careful. Hardwood is vulnerable to damage from the sun and moisture. Extreme heat and humidity change can cause it to warp, cup and warp, while ultraviolet rays can cause fading and discolouration of the flooring surface.
Regulate indoor air quality
Since the moisture content in the air increases significantly during hot summer days, you need to take extra care with your hardwood floors. Proper acclimation of Hardwood to the environment is very important before installation because it prevents warping and cupping. If your flooring is already installed, maintain indoor air quality with a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
Remember that if humidity and humidity levels are not maintained or controlled indoors, they can gradually affect the structure and properties of your hardwood floors, which can lead to rot and mould growth over time. Therefore, you will need to replace hardwood flooring in cases where general sanding and repainting will not do the trick.
Use proper window treatments.
Avoid the damaging effects of the summer sun on your hardwood floor by installing the proper window treatments. Keep your curtains or blinds closed during the day. If you have horizontal blinds, keep the angle of the slats up so that the sunlight hits the walls and not the floor. You can also use tinted glass or special protective film on your windows to block harmful UV rays.
Rearrange your furniture and rugs
Direct exposure to sunlight will result in a discoloured floor. If you can’t completely block sunlight inside, you should take a few steps to ensure your hardwood floor ages evenly in the sun during this time. Rearrange your furniture and area rugs frequently in your living spaces so that the floor surface in a single area isn’t always exposed to the sun. If you allow it, it will fade or discolour the floor surface in that area, regardless of whether it has an oil finish or a polyurethane finish, making the rest of your hardwood floor look noticeably darker.
Some additional tips
- In addition to window treatments, you can use houseplants to offer shade to overexposed areas of your hardwood floor.
- You can build skylights in your room for natural light instead of having windows to minimize sun damage to your floor.
- Be sure to repaint your floor regularly without waiting for any damage to occur first.
- Spending time outdoors is very common during the summers. Place mats at entrances to protect the floor surface from dust, dirt, grime, and gravel.
Follow these tips to keep your hardwood floor looking great during summer. If your existing floor has already been affected by the summer sun in previous years, have it repaired by experienced hardwood flooring professionals. The experts can give you the proper advice after examining the condition of your floor and help you get it back to its original shape.