Many people, myself included, prefer hardwood floors over carpet. In my case, it is because I have more than a few dogs, and they tend to be very hard on carpet. But even if you don’t share my penchant for keeping a pack of beasts in the house, there are many things that make hardwood preferable to carpet.
But which type should you choose? Most people would be surprised at just how many options they have. It isn’t just about which kind of wood you choose, either. There are many other variations as well. Contrary to popular belief, not all wood flooring is the same!
The first thing you must decide is whether you want solid flooring or engineered flooring. The difference is simple. Solid flooring is just that, solid planks of wood that interlock with each other to form a floor. This is what most people imagine when they think of hardwood flooring. However, there is also engineered flooring, consisting of two thin pieces of solid wood with pressed wood in between. This is probably the most important decision you will make in this process.
As you might have guessed, there is a big difference in price. Engineered flooring is usually a lot cheaper to produce and thus, a lot cheaper to buy. However, it does not have the same pleasing appearance and qualities that a real hardwood floor would have. Additionally, engineered flooring tends to be a little less durable because of its pressed wood core. It is particularly vulnerable to water damage. So, if you can afford it, I strongly recommend solid flooring over engineered.
There is, however, one instance in which you would be better off to use engineered flooring. If you are flooring an area that has a high likelihood of being exposed to moisture, engineered flooring is the better choice because it will survive water damage far more effectively than solid flooring.
The last time I put engineered flooring down in my house, I mainly chose it for its low cost. I really thought I had made a smart move, but within just a few months the planks were buckling and bending. As the ends of the planks were exposed, the outer coating began to chip away, exposing the ugly pressed board within. I couldn’t rip it up fast enough!
The next thing you will need to choose is the species of wood. With all the different types of trees out there, you are not short on options. This article gives an overview of some of the more common species used, along with descriptions and pictures: https://theflooringgirl.com/hardwood-flooring/most-popular-hardwood-flooring-species-and-pictures/
For hardwood floor installation Seattle WA is full of options, but as with anything else, you want to make sure you hire someone who will meet your expectations. Pricing and selection must be considered, as well as the overall reputation of the company.
As you can see, the whole thing really is simple once you understand a few basic concepts.