When it comes to choosing your new floors, there are so many options available. Carpeting, tile, vinyl, and hardwood are some of the many option you have to choose from. Hardwood is an extremely popular choice for homes in the Kansas City area. It has the ability to add warmth and charm to any room. Once you have decided on hardwood, though, the decision-making process is far from over. You now need to decide what type of hardwood you want. Do you want oak or pine? What color do you want? And another important question to ask is: do you want solid or engineered hardwood flooring? Both are real hardwood, but they each have their own unique properties. It’s important to understand the differences so you know what you’re getting yourself into when you decide you want hardwood flooring in your home!
What are the Differences Between Solid & Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
Solid hardwood is exactly what it says it is – a single piece of solid wood. Typically, solid hardwoods are a bit on the thicker side to account for any sanding or refinishing that may need to be done throughout their lifetime. Solid hardwood is sensitive to moisture levels in the atmosphere, and can expand or contract with the humidity.
Engineered hardwood flooring is still hardwood, but made in a slightly different manner. Rather than being a single, solid piece of wood, engineered hardwood has a core of either hardwood or plywood with a hardwood veneer on its top surface. This type of hardwood, while not completely immune to moisture, is much more moisture resistant than solid hardwood.
Which Level of the House Is Getting Hardwood?
One important thing to keep in mind is on which level of your home you plan on using hardwood. Solid hardwood can be used on any level that is above ground. If you want to put hardwood in your basement, you will need to go with engineered hardwood, since it will be less likely to suffer any damages due to the frequent changes in humidity that Kansas City experiences.
You also need to think about what is underneath the floor. While engineered hardwood flooring can be installed directly over concrete, solid hardwood needs a subfloor. This can affect installation costs, so be sure to ask your flooring installation professional about subflooring needs when installing solid hardwood.
In which room are you planning to install your new hardwood floors? Either type could potentially be used in just about any room – your living room, your hallway, your entryway, your kitchen. But you should take into account if there is any risk of moisture falling on your floor. Areas such as your kitchen or entryway could benefit much better from the use of engineered hardwood. Any water should still immediately be cleaned up, as engineered hardwood is not waterproof. You may also want to consider using floor mats in areas where water is likely to spill. Floor mats can be equally effective at protecting solid hardwood floors, so if you are a purist, you can still use hardwood in your kitchen.
Take note that neither type of hardwood should not be used in the bathroom. There is almost always moisture in the atmosphere in here and it can cause a significant amount of damage to either types of hardwood.
Are You a DIY-er?
Do you like to do your own home improvement projects? If so, you may want to consider engineered hardwood. Solid hardwood needs to be nailed down and spaced properly to avoid buckling and gaps. Engineered hardwood can be nailed down as well, but it is less likely to experience these issues. Engineered hardwood flooring can also be glued down. For those who want to do it themselves but aren’t necessarily skilled at home improvement, engineered hardwood is available in a tongue and groove system, allowing you to interlock planks above the subfloor.
What About Reclaimed Wood?
Reclaimed wood is a big trend right now, especially in many older Kansas City homes. Reclaimed wood is recycled wood taken from its previous use (like a barn or old home) and reused as new floorboards. These planks show signs of previous use and add an antique look to your home. Because you would be recycling old pieces of wood, reclaimed wood is a great option for those who are looking for a greener option to redo their floors.
Hardwood is a great choice that adds a special touch to any room. But with the decision between solid and engineered hardwood, you might be stuck at which to choose. By asking yourself just a few simple questions, you are sure to land on the choice that works best for you and creates just the look you want.