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Choosing the Right Hardwood Flooring


Hardwood is considered one, if not the best wood for flooring. After all, it’s durable, elegant and other great benefits that make it a popular choice for people the world over, especially here in Toronto.

If you’ve been checking the market for hardwood flooring, you’ve probably noticed this material is available in varying structures, profile types and finishes. Deciding on which one can be quite a challenging task, especially with the floor type and wood species to consider.

Whether you need solid hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood flooring, as a Toronto resident, you need to take various factors into consideration in order to get the best one for the job.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

There are various floor types to choose from

Selecting the right type of hardwood flooring is an important step in planning the installation of your new floor. Learning about the features, drawbacks, cost, and other factors concerning certain floor types will help ensure that you can get the right one for your project.

1.Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood, the classic choice!

This is considered the classic flooring choice and is extremely popular amongst homeowners all over the world. As the name suggests, these solid hardwood planks are made from a single species of wood with each board measuring about 3/4 of an inch (18-20mm) thick.

Solid hardwood flooring has several notable features that make them quite the popular choice over other floor types:

      • Its installation utilizes a tongue and groove to make planks fit snugly together.
      • It is extremely durable and is less susceptible to dings and scratches, especially if the species of wood belongs to the harder variety.
      • To restore its beauty, the flooring can be sanded and refinished multiple times, depending on the depth of the tongue from the top of the plank.
      • It tends to outlast other floor types, given the right maintenance.
      • It is highly admired for its natural beauty and adds to the total resale value of your home.

While solid hardwood flooring has many great advantages, it has some drawbacks that you should take into consideration:

      • It costs more compared to other floor types.
      • Installation can be quite difficult since it has to be nailed down or glued.
      • It is susceptible to moisture damage so it is not suited for rooms with high humidity.
      • Fitting boards together is a bit challenging since the manufacturing process has a slight effect on the shape.

Handled carefully, the disadvantages of solid hardwood aren’t enough to outweigh its benefits. For best results on how to install solid hardwood flooring, opt for professional services.

2.Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Stunning layered hardwood flooring

While solid hardwood is made out of only one species of wood, engineered hardwood is the exact opposite. The flooring is constructed using 3 or 4 layers pressed together to create a plank that is around 14mm thick. The actual hardwood is placed on top and at the bottom.

Engineered hardwood flooring has some unique characteristics that make it stand out from other floor types:

      • The multi-ply construction allows the wood to expand and contract as humidity levels change, making it more resilient to moisture damage.
      • If you’re worried about how to lay engineered hardwood floors, it’s flexible enough to be installed at any level, including areas below ground such as basements.
      • Its construction is more stable compared to solid hardwood, so there are fewer chances it will buckle or form a gap.
      • It is highly resistant to heat; it can be installed over a radiant heating system with no issues.
      • It’s durable and easy to maintain.

Engineered hardwood isn’t perfect, however; it has its drawbacks:

      • Unlike solid hardwood, it can’t be sanded or refinished.
      • It’s less durable than solid hardwood flooring.
      • It doesn’t add as much value to your property as solid hardwood.

In spite of these, engineered hardwood remains the more versatile and flexible flooring option.

3.Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring

It’s infused with acrylic sealant and colour

Acrylic impregnated hardwood is considered unique compared to other flooring types due to the way it’s made. During the manufacturing process, moisture is vacuumed out of the hardwood and is then infused with acrylic sealant, colour, and optional fire retardants. Because of the process, the hardwood floor colours and finish is consistent not only on the surface of the flooring but all throughout the structure as well.

This type of hardwood flooring has some impressive features that result from its unique manufacturing process:

      • The acrylic resin makes impregnated hardwood up to 300% harder, making it more resistant to heavy foot traffic, scratches, and nicks than other flooring types.
      • Since colour has been infused into the hardwood, it is resistant to fading by exposure to sunlight and other elements.
      • It is easy to maintain doesn’t require as much maintenance as other hardwood floors; all you need is regular buffing and waxing, and you’re good to go.
      • It is extremely resistant to moisture.
      • It’s splash resistant, making it suitable for rooms where water might spill, such as the kitchen.

Despite its advantages, there are some downsides to using acrylic impregnated hardwood Flooring that you should be aware of:

      • Due to the complex manufacturing process, this type of flooring is considerably more expensive compared to the others.
      • Installing acrylic impregnated floors need to be handled properly, thus resulting in somewhat higher installation costs.
      • This type of flooring cannot be refinished, so it has to be replaced when damaged.

Because of its features, acrylic impregnated flooring is commonly used for commercial projects compared to residential ones. However, there is no reason why it shouldn’t benefit your home.

4.Distressed Hardwood Flooring

Textured flooring for that rustic charm

This prefinished hardwood flooring is ideal for people looking for a more artistic and unique aesthetic instead of the average light wood floors. In order to achieve the antique, reclaimed look, the hardwood flooring planks undergo certain processes such as:

      • Ageing
      • Wire brushing
      • Sculpting
      • Hand-scaping

Opting for distressed hardwood floors has aesthetic benefits that will instantly grab the attention of anyone who sees them:

      • Distressed hardwood highlights the knots, rings, and scratches present in the wood, thus giving it a rustic charm
      • The lack of uniformity across the profile of the hardwood makes it easier to mask scuffs and scratches made on the surface. These imperfections further enhance the distressed look.
      • It gives your home or commercial space a warm, elegant, and rich natural aesthetic.
      • The textured surface provides an additional grip which reduces the slip incidents.

As with the other floor types, distressed hardwood flooring has its share of shortcomings that are worth looking into:

      • This type of flooring is more expensive than traditional solid hardwood due to the manufacturing process involved.
      • The rustic aesthetic may not always appeal to most buyers in the market, making reselling your home a bit of a challenge.
      • The textured finish makes it difficult to clean compared to floor types with smoother finishes, especially when it comes to dirt and dust.

If you prefer flooring with character, then going for distressed hardwood flooring is for you.

Choosing the best hardwood floors for your project can be a complex and challenging process. However, with careful research, you’ll be able to weigh out the pros and cons and decide on the right flooring that fits your needs.

If you’re looking for quality flooring installation or hardwood floor refinishing in Toronto, contact Capital Hardwood at (416) 536-2200. We’ll be happy to provide you with the best service possible.

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