Types of Wood Flooring
Prefinished Wood Floors
Prefinished wood flooring is a popular choice for many residents. The factory applied stains and finish coatings are cured with multiple passes of ultraviolet light in a factory-controlled environment. Some lines are infused with other substances, such as acrylic to make them more resistant to scratches and stains. Since it arrives already sanded and finished, there is no drying time or curing time. This means you can move back into the space immediately without any concerns of potentially harmful VOC fumes or damaging the surface while it cures.
The flooring is typically more expensive, but the time required to install is significantly less which can lead to a more affordable project that you can enjoy almost immediately. Our experts have extensive experience with prefinished flooring installs and access to all the major brands.
Unfinished Wood Floors
Unfinished wood flooring is the standard for residents that want the ultimate in creative freedom. Since the flooring ships from the factory in its natural state, sanding, staining, and finishing are all done on site after the boards are installed. Your choice of finishes and combination of plank widths and exotic wood species is truly endless. Another important advantage is that unfinished planks do not arrive with micro-bevels on the edges. Used to hide slight discrepancies between board depths and widths, they are the enemy of the flush look of a custom installation. The absence of grooves allows an installation which started with unfinished wood planks to result in a mirror-like finish.
Unfinished flooring is advantageous if you are attempting to match an existing floor or other interior decor as well as creating customized elements, such as inlays. The materials are less expensive than prefinished boards, but there are additional time and expenses associated with finishing on site.
A final important note is that it is vital to choose true artisans for unfinished projects as you are relying heavily on their talents and experience finish the project properly. We have over 20 years of experience do just that.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring consists of a thin wood veneer over a substrate of plywood or high density fiberboard. The veneer is the same genuine hardwood that you expect in a solid wood floor. Underneath the veneer exists three or more layers working together to increase the strength and stability of the floor. This makes the floor less likely to expand or contract, meaning it's less susceptible to changes in temperatures or humidity. An ideal application for engineered wood flooring is below grade, such as basements, where moisture can be an issue for other wood floor solutions. In addition it can be installed directly over concrete and with a total thickness of 3/8 to 5/8 inch it can be installed over an existing floor with minimal increase in height. Most engineered floors come prefinished with an aluminum oxide finish, but polyurethane, hot oil and waxed variants are available as well.
Some potential drawbacks to solid wood flooring include the fact that the veneer on engineered floors ranges from about 1/12 inch to 1/4 inch meaning very limited ability to re-sand and refinish. in fact, don't expect to refinish more than maybe once or twice over the life of the floor. In comparison, solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished up to 10 times, depending on board thickness. Like Prefinished floors, engineered floors have beveled edges which will never achieve that polished, mirror finish. Depending on the method used to cut the veneer, cheaper options can have a grain pattern that varies from solid wood.