Considerations for Engineered Hardwood Floors

 

Hardwood flooring radiates a timeless elegance to any room. However, not all environments are befitting for hardwood plank flooring. For instance, if the climate requires the home to utilize heating and air conditioning units, hardwood planks are subject to expansion and contraction based on temperature and humidity and therefore, would be a poor choice in such a location. Engineered hardwood is more congruous with environmental fluctuations. A home a Kingston NY would be best suited for engineered hardwood floors.

 

Climate is not the only consideration when installing engineered hardwood flooring. Another important factor is the construction of the subfloor. The most common subfloors are made of concrete, plywood or oriented strand board (OSB). While originally, hardwood planks were used on concrete subflooring, the technology of engineered hardwood floors create a surface that is resistant to the moisture buildup typical of concrete subfloors. Plywood is conducive to the installation of engineered hardwood as long as it is at least ⅝” thick. Engineered hardwood can be installed directly over ¾” OSB subflooring although, it is recommended that a layer of ½” thick plywood added to increase stability.

 

Installation of engineered wood flooring is easy whether it’s a DIY or professional job. Installing the flooring requires tapping one plank into the other which can cause the finished planks to loosen. If using a glueless click lock flooring, it is often necessary to use painters tape on the completed portion to hold the completed portion in place. To avoid this potentially time consuming issue, many people prefer the glue down method of the tongue and groove engineered hardwood floors. This eliminates the inconvenience of slipping boards. Another reason many people choose to adhesive is that it will not creak as much as the non-glued “floating” floors.

 

Not all engineered hardwood flooring is constructed alike. They can be between 3 and 12 plywood layers in thickness. As expected, durability and cost increases with the number of layers. The surface is called the “wear layer” which is a hardwood veneer. Naturally, aesthetic appeal is important to any homeowner. However, it is important to choose the appropriate wear layer based upon the location of application. For instance, an oak wear layer would be suitable for average wear and tear whereas maple would advisable for high traffic such as kitchen areas. The wear layer also comes in a variety of thicknesses. The advantage of the thicker veneer is that it can be refinished if necessary.

 

Quality engineered hardwood floors can last for more 20 years and increase the value of a home at a fraction of the cost and effort of hardwood plank flooring. They can be professionally installed or a weekend project for the handy homeowner.

 

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Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors

 

Most folks who are considering hardwood floors for their home may not be aware of the difference between solid and engineered hardwood, and whether to go with one over the other is going to be one of the first choices interested parties are going to have to make.

 

“For a lot of folks considering hardwood, the choice to go with solid hardwood versus engineered hardwood comes down mostly to weather,” says one Kingston hardwood installer who installs both solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. “Solid hardwood is more expensive than engineered, and it’s also more vulnerable to humidity and moisture. For those who live in very humid climates, engineered hardwood is the better investment.”

 

Hardwood is a great option for homeowners, many of whom believe it creates a rustic warmth in their living spaces. Hardwood is extremely versatile, and it’s easy to find furniture to match it up with. It’s easy to clean, and if treated properly, will last the lifetime of the house itself. But one of its few major flaws is its vulnerability to moisture.

 

“Another key advantage of engineered hardwood is that it can be installed in the basement. One of the critical issues installers must account for is the natural swelling and constricting that happens with heat variations in the home. Solid hardwood is nailed into the floor and because it’s prone to expanding and contracting, installers have to leave a little space in between the walls. Engineered hardwood is more versatile in this regard and can be installed anywhere in the home.”

 

Engineered hardwood is typically cheaper because the top layer, which is what folks see when they look at their floor is top quality hardwood, while the stuff underneath is generally a cheaper plywood. The plywood may not look beautiful, but it’s more resilient to moisture and can thus even be installed in areas of the home like the kitchen or bathroom where solid hardwood would be prone to decaying.

 

Both solid and engineered hardwood are extremely durable and resistant to chipping, staining, or other issues. They can be sanded and refinished at will, and are extremely easy to clean. “Most folks nowadays are going with engineered hardwood, because it’s more versatile, but if you’re not worried about humidity, the one is just as good as the other. Both are beautiful, durable, and look great no matter what color your furniture is.”

 

“Since the top layer is basically the same, visually, you’re not going to see any drop off in quality between engineered and solid hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood was basically developed in order to combat problems with humidity affecting the wood and shortening the life of the hardwood, which is why it’s the top choice in places like Florida.”

 

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The Best Guide to Carpeting

 

For homeowners in New Paltz who are thinking of buying a new carpet, the myriad of choices can be quite overwhelming, as there are number of different styles, textures, and colors to choose from, and a number of different personal considerations to make before installing one.

 

Carpet Styles

 

There are basically two different kinds of carpet styles that are differentiated by how the carpet fibers are attached to the backing; loop pile and cut pile.

 

Loop pile, as the name suggests, is where each of the tiny fibers are bent into little loops. Loop pile is ideal for heavy traffic areas because it is incredibly durable and stain resistant, but on the other hand there is limited cushioning. The loops can be either all the same size or of different lengths. The multi-layer or mixed sized lengths give the carpet a rugged textured look while the level looped layering (also called Berber carpets) are more durable and better suited to high traffic areas. Berber carpets also resist stains better.

 

Cut pile carpets on the other hand are not bent into loops. They tend to be both denser and softer than loop pile, and thus more appealing to the feet. There are several different types of cut pile carpets as well. Plush has a smooth texture and an even appearance, while Saxony has a longer and thicker fibers. Texture cut pile has fibers of different lengths to give it a rougher texture, while shag and cable carpets have the thickest and densest fibers of all the other options.

 

Carpet Fibers

 

Nylon is by far the most popular carpet fiber. Stain resistant nylon increases is the best option because nylon is not naturally very good for fending off stains. It is, however, quite durable.

 

For those that have allergies Olefin may be the best choice. It can resist mold and mildew and other allergens and is often installed in basements or outdoors. It’s much tougher than nylon, but it’s not quite as comfortable to walk on.

 

Wool is the top quality carpet fiber on the market today. It is also the only natural fiber available for carpets. It’s thick, heavy, gorgeous, and durable, but it’s also prone to collecting dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. But that can be offset by routine cleaning, and yearly steam cleaning.

 

Carpet Considerations

 

For most folks that are thinking of installing a carpet, the choice will generally consider one of three factors. For those for whom allergies are an issue, shorter fibers or Olefin may be the best option. For those who are interested in comfort beneath their feet, cut pile wool may be the way to go, and of course, weather the carpet is in a high traffic area will determine what kind of carpeting you’ll want to go with as well.

 

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Laminate Flooring: The Pros and Cons

 

One of the cheaper options available, for those that are interested in wood floors, is laminate flooring. While it’s not considered quite as classy as solid hardwood flooring, laminate flooring carries a much lower price tag, and does have some key benefits that are going to intrigue potential buyers.

 

Installing Laminate Floors

 

“Laminate floor is easy to install,” says one flooring expert from Kingston. “If you’re interested in doing it yourself, laminate flooring is going to give you the least difficulty. Modern laminate floors click into place with the adjacent boards and then lock together kind of like puzzle pieces. On the other hand, depending on the time of year, and the humidity, this process may not be as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the locking design doesn’t work exactly as it should, and that’s where people start to run into trouble. They try to force the planks together and it juts out a bit and this will end up creating problems down the road because floorboards won’t resist moisture as well. So one of its biggest pros can actually become a con.”

 

Cleaning Laminate Floors

 

Laminate floors can be easily cleaned with laminate floor cleaner. The special cleaner is designed to be applied to the mop and resist static electricity. It is also designed to be less damp than water. Laminate floors can also be swept or vacuumed, and they can also be mopped, but on the other hand, laminate floors do not like standing water. Excessive water can seep between the boards causing swelling. Swelling can cause warping and cracking. That can lead to a busted floor. You won’t, however, ever have to wax a laminate floor.

 

Laminate Floors and Water Resistance

 

Laminate floors can resist what manufacturers call “topical moisture,” and thus can be installed in kitchens. If the boards are properly installed and tightly packed against one another, laminate floors will resist the sorts of humidity that may affect more expensive hardwood. On the other hand, laminate floors won’t tolerate standing water, or pools of water. If there is a water leak, there is a high likelihood that the laminate floor can be damaged if the problem is not corrected immediately, which might result in homeowners having to replace the plank or planks where the leak occurred. Thus laminate floors are not a good candidate for bathrooms.

 

Durability

 

Laminate flooring is almost impervious to dents and scratches, but one of the major cons of laminate flooring is its inability to be sanded or refinished. On the other hand, laminate floors are difficult to stain and they will resist most normal wear and tear that would necessitate a homeowner having to refinish a hardwood floor.

 

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6 Advantages to Engineered Hardwood Flooring

 

Hardwood floors have been the preferred choice in flooring for many years. The reasons for selecting hardwood over carpeting can range from home decor preferences to lifestyle choices. Many homeowners, however, appreciate the attributes hardwood floors offer. Not only does it increase the resale value of the home it adds elegance, warmth and to practicality any room. Hardwood floors do not harbor allergens many carpets will regardless of measures taken to prevent this from happening. Hardwood floors are categorized by two types; solid or engineered wood. Both wood and engineered floors come in a wide range of wood grades, types and colors to suit any room.

 

Solid hardwood floors are constructed of one single, approximately ¾ inch, solid piece of wood. The primary advantage to this type of flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished throughout the life of the wood. Engineered floors are a composite of real wood layered and laminated together providing durability to its structure. Engineered hardwood floors in New Paltz have several additional advantages over its solid counterpart. Here are 6 advantages engineered hardwood offers:

 

  1. Engineered hardwood displays greater uniformity which adds to its beauty. Solid hardwood floors display imperfections generally created by the grade of the wood.. Although this lends to the appeal of wood floors, dependent on the quality of the grade itself this can distract from its elegance.
  2. Due to the superior construction of engineered flooring, expansion and contraction is much more efficient than solid wood. This is extremely important in high moisture rooms and/or locations prone to high humidity or heat. Additionally, damp areas such as basements, rainy climates or extreme weather fluctuations will not disturb engineered hardwood floors durability.
  3. New Paltz engineered hardwood floors allow for sanding and refinishing. Sanding will remove the tired worn look which happen naturally with normal wear and use. Refinishing helps hardwood floors regain that vibrant new look again.
  4. High quality engineered planks have the appearance of natural wood with greater durability that can withstand most things an active family or high traffic put it through.
  5. There are a multiple was to install engineered hardwood floors. Among these methods are stapling, gluing or tongue and groove (floating) which can be glued or stapled if desired. These planks can be installed over any surface subfloor even radiated heat in some cases.
  6. There are many factors that must be considered in cost comparison between solid vs. engineered floors. Engineered hardwood floors can run comparable in price depending on the type and grade of of wood selected. However in most cases engineered floors are more cost efficient. Installation can be a do-it-yourself project. This can amount to a considerable savings for an individual who has knowledge for such an undertaking.

New Paltz engineered hardwood floors provide beauty and durability to any room in a private residence or business and will increase value over the lifetime of the property.

 

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The Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring

 

Most folks that are considering installing hardwood flooring in their home do so because they’re really attracted to the look and feel of hardwood floors. It’s warmer and it looks better than most carpeting, and better still, you can throw a nice rug over it if you so desire without impacting the look. It feels better underneath the feet than most people would expect and it gives the room a great rustic feel that a lot of folks really appreciate.

 

But there are going to be quite a few decisions to make in the process of selecting what kind of hardwood flooring you want to install, and like all things in life, there are always pros and cons.

 

Pro: It Looks Better

While this is a completely subjective judgment call, most folks are in agreement that hardwood floors look better than carpeted or tiled floors. Another major plus in this regard is that hardwood is much easier to find furniture for. It’s going to be a lot easier to match furniture to a neutral stained hardwood than carpeting, which is why many carpets are brown in the first place. Hardwood gives you more options for tones too. It can be stripped, sanded, and then refinished which will lighten or darken the room.

 

Pro: It’s an Effective Insulator

Being pleasant to look at isn’t the only reason that hardwood flooring is warm. It effectively absorbs and retains heat which will give your toes and feet a cozy warm feel that you can appreciate beyond the aesthetics.

 

Pro: Hardwood Flooring is Easy to Maintain

Carpets can be a source of great discomfort for the allergy prone. Meanwhile, hardwood is much easier to clean and maintain. Many times rugs need to be professionally steam cleaned to remove allergens like pet dander, pollen, or decaying leaves. You will never have to worry about spills staining a hardwood floor and it can be washed on regular basis without worrying about discoloration. Proper maintenance and care can result in a long life for the floor, far longer than carpeting. Knicks and scratches can be easily repaired.

 

Con: Hardwood Floors are Vulnerable to Moisture

“The one major con of hardwood flooring is its vulnerability to moisture,” said one specialist from New Paltz, New York. “Humidity can be a major issue that could cause the wood to deteriorate, which is why you won’t find hardwood flooring in the bathroom or laundry room. The worst kind of damage comes from chronic leaks that get between the floorboards and the area underneath. This will cause the boards to rot and they will have to be replaced. While humidity can expedite the damage to the boards, it’s still unlikely to have to be replaced as often as carpet.”

 

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