When deciding to install a wood floor in your home, you can choose between three categories of wood flooring: solid wood (which can be site-finished or prefinished), engineered wood, or laminate.  Below are descriptions of these wood flooring categories.

  • Solid Flooring is wood flooring that consists of one piece of wood, regardless of its width or length.  This is an excellent choice in most areas of the home, except for below ground-level. Solid flooring can be pre-finished at the mill or site-finished in your home.

  • With pre-finished flooring, the boards have been stained and finished in a “clean-room” environment, where there are no environmental variables, such as household dust or humidity fluctuations.  The surface will look uniform—like that of furniture.  In most cases, there will be a micro-beveled edge between each board.
  • With a site-finished floor, your home is not a “clean room” environment, so there are things that can get in your finish before it is dry.  Although we try to mitigate this, your floor may not have a perfectly smooth surface throughout, like your furniture.  Some prefer the look of a site-finished floor, because there is no micro-beveled edge like that of a pre-finished floor.
  • Engineered Wood Flooring is a product that consists of layers of wood press-glued together, with the grains running in different directions.  This makes the wood more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and slightly more resistant to moisture. There is a top layer of “finish” wood (usually 1/16” to 1/8” thick) that is glued to a bottom layer of plywood.  This top layer of wood is prefinished at the manufacturer. Engineered wood flooring can usually be refinished, but possibly only a few times, due to the thin layer of finish wood on top of the plywood. This type of flooring is a good choice for basements, where solid wood is not recommended.
  • Laminate Flooring is not engineered wood.  To make laminate floors, the manufacturer takes several synthetic and natural materials (such as resin and wood fiber) and compacts them under high pressure.  An image of wood patterns is printed on the surface to make it appear like wood. The flooring is then cut into planks, with tongue and groove edges that click together. The laminate floors are floating floors.  They are extremely durable, and can be installed in any area of the home.

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