SOLID WOOD FLOORING:
Solid wood is exactly as it sounds, one piece of wood from top to bottom. Real wood floors will mark and dent more easily than a laminate but this is part of the character of real wood and should not be viewed as a fault of the product. Depend on the species, it will either lighten or darken with age. You can find solid wood floor pre-finished or unfinished. Unfinished solid floors needs to be sanded and sealed after installation, with pre-finished solid floors you can walk straight away on them. Solid wood should be in a moisture-controlled enviroment. Type of the sub floor determines the installation method, solid wood(strip or plank) should be nailed down when we have wood sub floor. It can be glued down as well to a variety of sub floor materials. The biggest advantage of solid hardwood floors is that they can be re-sanded and re-lacquered a number of times to prolong the life of the floor. The wickness is they are sensitive to moister they are subject to expansion and contraction and can’t be installed in places with high humidity levels.
There are different mmanufacturing styles of solid wood floors to make the installation process smooth and easy. Tongue and grooved Planks/strips with edges that have been machined to have a tongue and groove interlock that makes installation easier. Life of the floor is down to the tongue usually 8mm.
Square edged: Planks/strips with no tongue and groove, not as easy to install but will last forever as it can be sanded all the way down. Is available in very wide widths and in greater thicknesses. Was the original form of wooden flooring but has in most cases been replaced by tongue and groove boards, due to the extra costs involved in installation.
Engineered flooring when fitted looks very similar to a solid wood floor despite it’s composition is quite different. Engineered floors are those that have a real hard wood top layer ( typically 1/8″ or so ) laminated to a hardwood plywood lower layer. Engineered flooring is made of several layers of cross plywood, with an upper veneer layer of solid wood.
This veneer layer varies between 2mm and 8 mm depending on the price and quality.
The cross ply structure of engineered wood flooring gives strength and stability which has many advantages than the solid wood flooring which has tendency to expand and contract at the slightest sigh of moisture. Engineered floors are suitable for kitchens and bathrooms and even some basements. They are ideal for under floor heating as well. They can be laid in a variety of ways, most common and popular is to float the floor on a good quality underlay. Some engineered floors can be nailed down which require wood sub floor, they be glued down over various sub floor as well.Most Engineered floors are pre-finished comes in a wide range of styles and designs, however unfinished boards are also available. The Engineered floors can be sanded but limited times, they are also more dimensionally stable so it can be installed in areas where solid wood is not compatible due to moisture.
What is a “Floating Floor”?
Floating flooring is a flooring system laid down over a layer of underlay. So while the individual planks are glued together, the individual planks are not nailed or glued into the permanent floor. Instead, the planks form a system that “floats” over the layer of underlay. The underlay can be laid down over existing floors.
Parquet flooring is a decorative form of flooring made from blocks of woods into a mosaic of geometric patterns. The patterns that make up parquet can be simple geometric shapes, like squeres through to highly decorative designs. Most popular patterns are called herring bone, double herring bone and basket weave.
Parquet is available as a single solid wood block or in a mosaic-panel. Parquet block has different sizes and woods they been made of. They need to be installed one by one into the desired pattern. The parquet blocks are glued to a wood or concreate sub floor then sanded and sealed on site, the procedure is time consuming and require a professional fitter.