Hardwood Flooring Guide and Review

Hardwood and engineered wood floors can add value to a structure. Wood floors will retain their beauty and last a long time if properly maintained. It’s to the advantage of consumers, considering hardwood flooring, to be aware of the negative and positive aspects of different hardwood floor choices. It’s important for consumers to know how to properly maintain a wood floor.

Consumers can access Information about different flooring choices, and find flooring reviews, on consumer websites. The ConsumerSearch (CS) website publishes reviews about hardwood flooring and flooring choices. A link to the flooring site is under “Sources” at the end of this article. CS is a consumer service from About dot com. The website publishes reviews of products such as lawn mowers, car tires, and air conditioners based on owner reviews and expert opinion.

Hardwood Wood Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are solid planks of milled wood. The most popular floor hardwoods are listed on the U.S. Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA) website:

  • Oak: Red and white.
  • Maple: Hard.
  • Ash.
  • Hickory.
  • Pecan.
  • Walnut.
  • Cherry.

Hardwood flooring can be purchased in several thicknesses, and the 3/4 inch is the most popular. The 3/4 inch flooring is normally nailed to a wood sub-floor. The 5/16 inch width is usually glued to a hard or concrete surface.

The two types of solid hardwood flooring are unfinished and finished. The unfinished flooring is usually prepared on the site of installation. The finished flooring goes through a series of finishing steps at the factory, and comes to the consumer installation ready.

 

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of several glued layers of thin wood sheets. CS claims that wood flooring experts state solid wood flooring “adds more value” to a structure “than engineered hardwood flooring.” Engineered wood floors have less tendency to warp when exposed to moisture, but these floors can still sustain damage from moisture.

Hand scraped hardwood flooring is scraped to mimic the old, antique look. If scraped flooring is refinished, the antique look will disappear.

Wood Flooring: The Good and the Bad

Although hardwood and engineered flooring adds value to a home, both products are expensive starting at about $5 a square foot. The engineered wood flooring is less expensive than hardwood flooring. The CS wood floor review lists the “pros” of wood floors:

  • Warm rich look.
  • Refinished.
  • Durable.
  • “Not as cold or noisy as tile or stone.”

CS lists the “cons” of wood floors:

  • Expensive compared to other types of flooring.
  • Sunlight can fade a wood floor.
  • Wood can warp when wet.
  • Installation is more difficult than other types of flooring.
  • Wood floors can be dented.

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance Tips

Maintenance of solid hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring can preserve or damage a wood floor. The Hardwood Manufacturers Association provides wood floor maintenance tips:

  • Do not clean a wood floor with water.
  • Spills should receive immediate attention.
  • A damp mop or oil-based soap should never be used.
  • Most flooring manufacturers provide cleaning recommendations.
  • Sweep the floor regularly as traffic on particle substance can damage the finish.
  • Doormats are recommended at entrances and in areas receiving high traffic.
  • Protect the floor from sunlight.
  • Shoes, especially high heels, can damage a wood floor.

The ConsumerSearch website flooring review page provides short reviews of different types of flooring choices. The webpage provides a link to a review of hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring. The Hardwood Manufacturers Association provides a wealth of information about the different types and care of hardwood floors.

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