“Solid wood” means that each exposed part is made of pieces of genuine hardwood and nothing else. For large surfaces, strips or boards are bonded with stronger-than-wood glue and other wood joinery techniques.
Some alternatives are hardwood veneers–thin slices of wood bonded to composite boards or plywood. This type of construction is sometimes described as “all wood” or “engineered hardwood”.
In addition, artificial laminate surfaces of plastic, foil or paper often are printed with photographs of wood grain patterns and bonded to composites such as particle board or medium density fiberboard. Remember the terms “oak, maple and cherry finish” may simply refer to the color or the photographic reproduction of the wood’s grain – it does not necessarily mean it is the authentic, natural hardwood.
If you’re not sure whether the item is solid hardwood or an imitation, examine the construction.
Wood flooring is available in a number of sizes and make-ups, each offering its own distinct advantages. People are often surprised by the limitless choices that wood flooring affords them. Today’s wood flooring is right for virtually every room. Choosing the right kind and style of wood flooring is not hard if you are familiar with several industry terms.
Choice #1: Unfinished wood flooring:
Unfinished flooring is a product that must be job-site sanded and finished after installation. The installation process requires curing in the location prior to finishing so that the wood can become accustomed to the humidity levels.
Choice #2: Pre-finished wood flooring:
Pre-finished flooring is factory sanded and finished flooring that only needs installation.
Choice #3: Solid wood flooring:
Solid wood flooring is completely lumber. It is available in unfinished and pre-finished. Solid wood flooring is produced in:
- Strip – in thicknesses of 5/16″ to 3/4″ in widths of 1 1/2, 2″ and 2 1/4″
- Plank – in thicknesses of 1/2″ or 3/4″ and widths of 3″ to 8″
- Parquet – geometrical patterns composed of individual wood slats held in place by mechanical fastening or an adhesive
Choice #4: Engineered wood flooring:
Laminate wood flooring is produced by bonding layers of veneer and lumber with an adhesive. Laminate wood flooring is available in pre-finished and unfinished. These products are more dimensionally stable and are ideal for glue-down installation or float-in installation above grade, on grade or below grade, including basements and humid climates. Engineered wood flooring is typically produced in:
- Strip – thicknesses of 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″ or 5/8″ and in widths of 2″ and 2 1/4″
- Plank – thicknesses of 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″ or 5/8″ and in widths of 3″ to 8″
- Parquet – one-piece wood tile available in 9″ x 9″ or 8″ x 8″ and other patterns
Choice #5: Acrylic impregnated wood flooring:
Acrylic impregnated is a pre-finished wood flooring product. Through a high-pressure treatment, acrylic and color are forced into the pores throughout the thickness of the wood. The “finish” is inside the wood, creating an extremely hard surface. These floors are highly resistant to abrasion and moisture and appeal most often to commercial customers but are also used residentially. Acrylic impregnated floors are available in the same styles as laminate floors.
Choice #6: Synthetic plastic laminates:
Usually 1/2 inch thick, plastic laminate flooring consists of a fiberboard center wrapped in top and bottom layers of high-pressure laminate — a tougher version of the same material used in many kitchen countertops. These floors cannot be sanded or refinished and must be removed when they wear out. They usually come with 10- or 15-year manufacturer warranties against fading, stains and wear. Look closely at an entire laminate floor, and you’ll see that the faux “wood grain” pattern repeats itself. That’s because laminate flooring is actually a photograph of real wood stuck to a wood composite. Laminates don’t sound like real wood when you walk on it.
Visit the Heritage Showroom
Located near the historic square in downtown McKinney, our showroom features many options for your hardwood floors, from solid wood to engineered and pre-finished. Our design center includes red oak flooring, white oak flooring, maple flooring, walnut flooring, smooth and handscraped finishes. You can get wonderful ideas for flooring your home, and plan your next project with our experienced staff. We welcome you to our showroom, or to take advantage of a free in-home estimate by calling (972) 562-8610.
Competitive Hardwood Flooring Prices in the Dallas area!
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