Friday, September 25, 2009

History of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring has been apart of our economy and homes dating back to the medieval times. Although the history of hardwood flooring has been through many tribulations, today it plays a huge role in the flooring industry. After WWII the numbers were estimated to be over 1 billion. But once carpet was available for homeowners the numbers dropped dramatically. Carpet was introduced being cheaper for buyers and so the demand for hardwood plummeted. Today the majority of homeowners and builders choose hardwood flooring, Not only for the beauty, but unlike carpet hardwood last many years.

There are three main types of hardwood flooring. It’s very important to consider how much traffic you will have on these floors before choosing. There is a layer the manufacturers put on prefinished flooring called veneer also known as wear layer. For a heavy traffic area you want to look for a veneer layer of 1/8 inch or more.

Solid hardwood flooring is non-altered solid wood. The most common solid hardwood flooring species are Red Oak, White Oak, and maple. Solid wood flooring and be refinished several times. This actually adds to their beauty and life. It’s very complex to install, because you have to consider expansion room when installing. During the dry winter months moisture can leave the wood making it change slightly in size, therefore causing gaps between the planks of wood. But during the summer the wood will expand back filling in the gaps. Keeping the solid hardwood flooring away from moisture is a must because it can cause it to buckle. To prevent this, it’s recommended that you do not use it in a room that is underground such as a basement and do not install over top concrete slab.

Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring is traditional hardwood that has been altered or injected with extreme high strengths of acrylic to improve the durability and the life of the wood. They are known for being strong and resistant to humidity. Because these floors are infused with color throughout the wood planks it makes the color last longer and helps protect against scratches. You can also make unfinished flooring into acrylic impregnated hardwood but skipping the last steps of finishing such as buffing, staining, waxing and injecting acrylic monomers into the woods structure. This will make the wood more durable and ready for any household.

Engineered Hardwood flooring is real wood. But unlike solid wood where it is all one piece, engineered is approximately 3 to 10 layers of wood that are glued together in a process known has cross-plying construction. So the difference between solid and engineered is that engineered is more stable than solid and is able to be around light moisture. So it can be installed below ground and over top a concrete slab. But solid wood can be refinished and engineered with a wear layer of 1/10’’ cannot be. Another advantage is once you receive your flooring and it is installed you don’t have to wait like you would solid wood to be able to walk on it.

All these different types of hardwood flooring come in many colors and shades. It is an investment to put in any home new or old. Just remember to pick the right flooring for you and the space your using it for so it last many years to come.

All information was taken from www.flooringnow.com

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