Hardwood is milled to boards 3/4″ thick from a single piece of wood and protected with a thin layer of acrylic, ceramic, or aluminum oxide. The thickness allows for repeated sanding and refinishing throughout its long life. Often cut from oak, maple, or black walnut, hardwood floor is made from many types of domestic trees and from exotic hardwood.
Its solid wood nature makes it subject to expansion and contraction based on the relative humidity of the home. Installers compensate for this natural property by first installing a subfloor, and nailing the wood to the subfloor with a gap between the floor and the wall to allow for expansion. It is best used above grade and not where water and humidity might be a problem.
Engineered Hardwood Floor Services offers a wood grain veneer over a layer of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF) that may contain stone dust for durability. Three to five layers thick, the wood is bonded to the base under extreme heat and pressure to create a product that is usable in areas where humidity can vary, such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, or areas of the home below grade. It remains stable regardless of humidity or temperature.
Laminate flooring has the look, graining, and color of hardwood and engineered wood, but the wood pattern is created with a photographic process to replicate different woods. The base of the flooring is fiberboard sandwiched between two layers of melamine. Glued or locked into place, it is flatter than wood products and it does not raise the floor height from room to room. The product is also resistant to fading, resistant to scratching and impact, and very easy to maintain. While it can withstand surface water, continuous moisture can impact the core and affect performance.
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