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Pros & Cons Of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are a versatile home flooring option. They can be purchased in a wide variety of sizes and finishes to coordinate with several styles from classic traditional to rustic country to modern contemporary. Though hardwood flooring is the first choice for many homeowners, the various types of hardwood flooring offer several advantages and disadvantages concerning aesthetic and physical properties. Have a question? Get an answer from a handyman now!

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Solid Hardwood Flooring
Solid hardwood flooring is a highly desired type of wood flooring. Hardwood floor planks are milled from a solid, single piece of wood rather than composed of several layers of thin sections of hardwood. Solid hardwood floors are the most expensive type of hardwood flooring material, but they also add value to a home. Solid hardwood floors are available in a variety of wood types and stain finishes, so they are adaptable to most rooms and styles. The wood grain in solid hardwood floors gives the appearance of texture. Solid hardwood floors offer the longest lifetime because the surfaces can be sanded and stained to maintain longevity or change stain color. However, solid hardwood floors are sensitive to moisture, which causes warping, swelling or shifting that can be difficult to repair.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Unlike solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring is composed of several thin, bonded sheets of wood and topped with a thin layer of the desired wood grain. Engineered hardwood tends to be less expensive to purchase and install than solid hardwood. Though engineered hardwood flooring is available in slightly fewer options than solid hardwood, many common choices, including white and red oak, maple and cherry, are processed as engineered hardwood. Though the bonded layers are less susceptible to moisture and warping, they are not ideal flooring options for high-moisture areas like a bathroom. Because the desired wood layer is so thin, it is not possible to sand and refinish engineered hardwood flooring, a factor that significantly reduces the lifetime of the flooring material.

Domestic vs. Exotic
One of the choices to make when choosing hardwood flooring is the option of domestic wood types or exotic wood types. Common domestic hardwoods used in both engineered or solid wood flooring include maple, hickory, white oak, red oak and cherry. Domestic wood types tend to be more common, which has the dual effect of appealing to a broader aesthetic as well as running the risk of appearing run-of-the-mill or uninteresting. Domestic woods are almost universally less expensive than exotic woods. Exotic hardwoods are imported and include species like teak, Brazilian cherry and zebrawood. Though more expensive, exotic hardwood floors tend to offer more variety in texture, grade, grain and color. However, highly patterned or textured woods like zebrawood may turn off some buyers who are interested in a more universal appearance.

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