If you love the appearance of timber and are considering having timber floors installed, you are going to be presented with two options: solid/natural hardwood floors or engineered hardwood floors. It is rare to find softwood floors because they are not as durable as hardwood floors. This article helps you know when to choose solid/natural hardwood floors and when to choose engineered hardwood floors.
Solid/Natural Hardwood Flooring
These types of hardwood floors are very durable; however, you have to make many considerations before installing them, especially those related to humidity and subfloor moisture content.
Solid or natural hardwood flooring does not do well with moisture. It also has a tendency of expanding and contracting, which can affect its durability (this can widen spaces between timber planks. If moisture gets into these spaces, your floors can start rotting). This is the main reason why you might hear your flooring specialist inform you that solid/natural hardwood flooring is not suitable for some or all the rooms in your house. The specialist usually measures the moisture content of your subfloor and the humidity levels of your surroundings before deciding on the kind of timber floors you should purchase.
This type of flooring is manufactured to eliminate the downsides of solid/natural hardwood flooring. To make things better, they are even cheaper. The only disadvantage is that they might not be as durable as natural hardwood flooring. You need to ensure that you don't get many scratches on engineered flooring so that you reduce the number of times you need to sand the floor. Engineered flooring cannot handle as much sanding as natural hardwood floors can.
You also need to apply waterproof coating and insect-repelling products. Some of the engineered floors can be pre-treated when they are manufactured to save you the trouble and effort of doing so after purchase.
Which of the Above Floors Should You Choose?
For high-traffic areas, choose natural hardwood flooring so that it gives you a long, useful life. However, check with your flooring specialist so that he or she can confirm that the flooring won't be affected by moisture and temperature changes.
For rooms with less traffic, you can choose engineered flooring; it will offer great durability when compared to the level of traffic. You should also consider placing carpets in areas that might have a high probability of getting scratches.
Contact a flooring company to learn more about engineered flooring.