Flooring: Wood, Laminate

Installing floors is one of the most difficult home projects. You need the right expertise and tools. You can choose from a wide variety of hardwood flooring and laminate flooring for our directory of suppliers below.

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Types of Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood flooring adds a clean, polished look that can last decades, as well as value to your home. Here are some hardwood pointers to consider before heading to the showroom.

Solid hardwood comes in different types of wood, and even bamboo.

Consider the wood's grain, color and durability when choosing what works best for your home. Solid planks of hard wood come in cherry, oak, maple, walnut as well as exotic varieties. One of the more popular “woods” is now bamboo. Technically in the grass family, bamboo is considered more environmentally friendly because it grows faster than hardwood, and it's as durable as white oak.

Before choosing solid hardwood, though, you'll want to think about installation.

If your foundation is concrete, with no sub-floor, it would be easier and cheaper to install engineered wood. While hardwood can be tough to install without a professional, engineered wood is easier, because it's a thinner plank of wood glued onto a plywood board. You can easily latch the boards together as a “floating floor” using a tongue and groove system or glue. Because the wood is pre-finished, you don't have the offensive smell or waiting time after sanding and sealing the wood.

Disadvantages

One disadvantage of engineered wood is that because it's a thinner strip, it can only be refinished a limited number of times. Both hardwood and engineered are easy to clean, but may get scratched with normal wear and tear. This flooring can also be noisy and costly, though discount hardwood flooring stores can save you money over buying from retail outlets.

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