Shopping for hardwood flooring is a task not to be taken lightly. First and foremost, wood flooring is a lifelong investment that can last for decades with the proper installation and care. As hardwood flooring becomes more affordable in the residential marketplace, more and more homeowners are looking for the best wood flooring for their property.
What Are the Benefits of Hardwood Flooring?
If you’re looking for a reason to invest in hardwood flooring, try these benefits on for size:
- Wood flooring is affordable. Even better, installing hardwood flooring can help to increase the resale value of your home.
- Wood flooring is low maintenance. Basic maintenance won’t involve more than sweeping and vacuuming; occasional preventative maintenance may include adding floor protectors to furniture legs and placing area rugs in high-traffic rooms.
- Wood flooring can improve indoor air quality. Ripping out carpeting and installing wood flooring can cut down on mold and allergens that can easily pollute air in an indoor environment. The EPA named poor indoor air quality as one of the top health threats in the US for more than 35 million Americans with allergies.
What Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Right for Your Home?
As you delve into the world of hardwood flooring, you may quickly find that there are several popular varieties to choose from.
If you don’t know where to begin, consider basic selections in hardwoods to choose the right material for your residence:
- Solid Hardwood: A traditional type of hardwood flooring is solid hardwood made of a single piece of wood with both groove and tongue sides. Most solid hardwood flooring will be sold unfinished with pre-finished varieties available in ¾” measurements.
Solid hardwood flooring is highly sensitive to moisture and should not be used below ground level. Solid hardwood can also expand and contract with changes in season to potentially cause gapping between planks.
- Engineered Hardwood: Another newly popular choice on the market is engineered hardwood flooring that can be used in almost any area of the home.
Engineered hardwood is made of three or more plies of wood laminated together to create a single plank. The planks may be installed in cross-ply construction to create more stable flooring that won’t be susceptible to changes in temperature.
- Longstrip Hardwood: Longstrip hardwood is a type of engineered wood flooring made from several wood plies glued together with a center core constructed from softer wood material.
Longstrip hardwood planks are often preferred since they provide the functionality of a board constructed 2 to 3 planks wide and several planks long. Longstrip hardwood may be glued or stapled in place but is most often used in floating installation.