hardwood vs laminateAssessing Hardwood Flooring Types and Installation Methods

If you are looking to increase the warmth and beauty of your home, you can not fail with installing hardwood flooring. There are three choices to pick from: solid hardwood, engineered wood, and laminate flooring. But which will work best for your house? Let us shed light on three kinds to help you pick the perfect one for your own project.

Floors Compositions

Solid Hardwood Floors

As its name implies, this flooring includes actual all-natural wood all the way through. Prefinished hardwood flooring have been sanded, stained, and coated with a protective finish in the mill. Therefore, it’s possible to simply put in them as they are and walk them immediately after setup. Alternately, unfinished flooring require staining, sanding and sealing on site. Additionally, their use has to be restricted until they have been sealed that will take at least 48 hours to wash. You are able to stain and seal unfinished hardwood flooring however you’d like. Strong hardwood floors can be refinished.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered Flooring usually consists of 2 layers of timber. The top layer is made from real wood, whereas the coating underneath includes thicker, less costly wood glued together to form a solid core. It is this core which makes engineered flooring better at standing up to fluctuations in moisture compared to solid hardwood flooring. Some engineered floors have an excess layer in the bottom for additional moisture resistance and structural stability. Engineered wood could be refinished.

Laminate Wood Flooring

Laminate Wood Flooring is largely comprised of fiberboard, which offers shock absorption and stability. The upper layer of its fiberboard core is made up of a photographic image of timber coated with a translucent protective coating. This picture closely resembles the look of a genuine hardwood flooring. A melamine coating below the heart offers additional extra moisture resistance and stability. Unlike solid hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, laminate floors can not be refinished.

Installation Areas

Solid hardwood is vulnerable to fluctuations in humidity levels and temperature. As it expands and contracts in reaction to these changes, the boards can warp and even split. For that reason, it’s a great choice for virtually all rooms except those prone to high humidity and moisture such as basements or bathrooms.

Engineered hardwood has more dimensional strength than solid hardwood, making it less susceptible to changes in temperature and moisture. You can install it in all levels of your home, including your finished basement and bathrooms.

Laminate flooring holds up well in high-traffic areas and is ideal for a busy household. Its scratch-resistance makes it perfect for your home if you have pets or kids and are worried about them damaging your floors. It also works well in moist areas, unlike solid hardwood.

Ease of Installation

Laminate is the easiest wood floor to install. It’s designed to be a floating floor, meaning you can install it over your existing floor provided it’s stable and level. By simply clicking together its interlocking sections, the laminate can be secured.

Solid hardwood is the most difficult to install since it must be nailed or glued to to a wooden sub floor. It cannot be installed over your existing flooring nor directly on concrete. Installation of engineered hardwood floors can be completed over your existing floor, just like laminate, or it may need to be nailed or glued down depending on the wood variety.

Hardwood Flooring Repair

Whether you have already decided on the perfect new flooring for your home or still debating about the perfect fit, Catford Floor Sanding can help. For more than 20 years, we’ve been the Catford Area leader in hardwood floors  refinishing and repair. Contact us at either 020 3151 1760, and we’ll be happy to come to you with a range of ideas. We will help you weigh the pros and cons of each flooring type, enabling you to make the right choice for your home.


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