Flooring Types

There is more to floors than choosing the type of wood for your house...

hardwood-flooring-types Understand Flooring Types Before Buying

There are a multitude of flooring types on the market. Understanding the main criteria involved in selecting the one for your home will play a decisive role in your long term experience with hardwood flooring.

The manufacturing process, type of finish, installation method or pattern chosen for your floor will all play a role in the final look of your home as well as the strenght of your floor.

Let's take a look at how wood floors are being categorized and why.

Flooring Types and the Manufacturing Process

It is made out of 3-5 different layers of wood, glued to each-other in an overlapping pattern.

This type of manufacturing ensures that, under the pressure of environmental changes, every layer will tend to move in the opposite direction with the one next to it, therefore keeping each other in place with the end result of having the most stable type of wood flooring on the market.

If you are researching flooring types in search of a stable flooring material, engineered is the best choice out of all the flooring types.

Flooring Types by Finish

Unfinished flooring, it is a type of flooring that will require site finishing It is cheaper than its alternative, but its cost of installation will be higher than the one required for prefinished, because of the extra sanding process involved. This type of flooring used to be exclusively, regular, solid hardwood flooring.

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With the technological advances made in the last few years this is not the case anymore, unfinished wood being available both as engineered and solid hardwood flooring.

If borders, designs or inlays are the reason for your "flooring type research", I recommend going with the unfinished option.

Prefinished flooring- is a type of flooring that was factory finished, therefore requiring only installation without the need of site sanding and finishing.

The installation of a prefinished floor it takes shorter overall, than unfinished flooring, but this type of flooring won't allow you to customize it much.

If you are interested in upgrading your floors to wood flooring, but are not willing to put up with the mess associated with some of these projects, prefinished is the recommended flooring type.

Flooring Types and the Direction of Installation

The direction of floor installation is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of all.

wood-flooring-chicago Choosing The Proper Installation Angle is Essential

Still, the choice you are going to make in this department it will drastically affect the look of your house, once the project is completed.

Let's take a look at your options.

Moisture Content and Hardness

The mechanical properties of wood are very important. Moisture content plays a large part in how wood will behave after the installation. Hardness is also an important factor to take into account when installing a hardwood floor. The hardness of a particular species can be determined by consulting the Janka scale. There you can determine the resistance of a certain type of wood to impact, how easy it dents or dings.

Flooring Installation Methods

chicago-oak-flooring Wood Floor Installer at Work

There are many ways to install a floor and choosing the right one for your home and floor type is very important.

Floating floor – represents the type of installation in which the boards are literally floating on top of the subfloor, without being nailed or glued to it.

One common misconception about floating floors is that, they are not durable enough, another one is that this type of installation can only be performed in case of engineered flooring. This is nothing more than a false theory, kept alive by the numerous contractors that simply don't know any better.

Nailed down floor-floating subfloor combination- is an installation type of flooring, used mostly in the high rise buildings, where nailing into the existing concrete subfloor is prohibited and the issue of sound traveling is being brought up.

Just as the name describes, this type of installation, implies the creation of a floating plywood subfloor, consisting out of two layers of 3/8'' plywood, screwed and glued together in an overlapping pattern on top of which the hardwood flooring is being nailed. The floor installed using this method will offer a high sound-proof barrier for the units below.

Glue down floor – Represents the type of installation in which the floor is being glued to the subfloor. Because of the elasticity factor of the glue, that will allow a solid floor to move excessively when exposed to environmental changes, I only recommend using this type of installation as a method of installing engineered floors only.

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Nailed down floor – Probably the most common type of installation type represents the process in which the floor is being nailed down to a wooden subfloor, using either staples or cleats.

Nails-glue down combo – is a process in which the floor is being installed using a combination of glue and staples. Many contractors avoid this type of installation because of its high material and labor costs. Yet, this is the most durable, type of installation.

So, understand your options, consult with your contractor or interior designer and make an informed decision.

It can make the difference between a floor that lasts forever and drastically enhance the look of your home or one that will last a short time creating only problems to you and your family.

Go to Flooring Types top of the page or see below for more Chicago wood floor articles


You Should Also Know...

What Separates Us From the Crowd...

Our Process

The completion of a flooring project is always associated with stress, big mess, lots of money and time invested by you, the homeowner. We understand this and developed a process designed to protect you from these "inconveniences". Please click here for details.

Our Warranty

Buying a product backed by a strong warranty is very important for every single one of us. Many companies learned this litle secret and are using their warranty as an advertising tool, making promises they know they can't and will never keep. We believe that putting our money where our mouth is, would be the best way to prove that our warranty is not just a piece of paper. For more details, click here and read about our warranty and why we believe it will give you piece of mind.

Contact Us

As much as we try to give you an insight on all the in and outs of the flooring businees, as much as we try to help you make the right choice there are always going to be these details that belong to your house and your house only. These are the details we cannot anticipate, the things we cannot write about. For more helpful flooring advice as well as a free estimate on your upcoming project, please contact us.

Floor Refinishing Advice that Will Keep You Out of Trouble...

Floor Sanding - Myths, Facts and Outright Lies

Many times, a flooring contractor will say anything to close a sale. But is he always telling you the truth? Understand floor sanding to avoid being scammed! More details here...

Hardwood Floor Sanding, Few Steps Your Contractor Will Try to Skip!

Sanding a hardwood floor? This is where your contractor will try to cut some corners. Read on for details...

Flooring Stains: Understand Your Options

Some flooring stains can be harmful for your health. But if you choose the right one, you can achieve stunning looking floors, without the negative side effects. Click here for more details...


Wood Floor Choosing Tips...

Engineered vs Solid, What Should You Choose?

When it comes to engineered vs solid flooring, most people decide based on price. But is this the best way to make a choice? There is more to it than that... Understand the differences between the two, the pros and cons of each one of them and, most importantly which one is recommended for your house, prior to buying... Click here for details!

Flooring Types, What You Need to Know

Design, wood species, durability and installation style will, all, play a role in the overall look of your home after the installation is completed. Get a grasp of these factors and how will they affect your wood floor for years to come... Click here for details!

Selecting the Right Wood, What Should You Know?

There are hundreds of flooring types out there, from exotic to domestic, unfinished or prefinished, engineered and solid, green or not so green. With so many options to choose from, selecting one could feel overwhelming. But if you know what to look for and if you follow the proper steps, selecting wood floors can be easy and fun... For more details, click here!

Wood Floor Maintenance Advice...

Wood Floor Maintenance

Elegance and beauty are the main characteristics of a good wood floor. But without wood floor maintenance these specific qualities will soon start to fade. Take the necessary steps to avoid that from happening. Understand the do's and don'ts of floor maintenance and you will have a beautiful floor for many years to come! All the details here...


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There's more to floors than you think. Great wood floors are the result of quality materials, thoughtful design, and precise and careful installation. Be sure to choose a vendor who understands the details of wood flooring.

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