There are many different wood flooring types available, including hardwood floors, engineered wood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, laminate wood flooring, and pre-finished wooden floorings. Hardwood floors are the most expensive and are usually reserved for the more sophisticated customers. Laminate hardwood flooring has become a popular choice for most homeowners.
Laminate Hardwood Flooring: Laminated hardwood flooring is made from layers of wood fiberboard, which are laid down in layers, and then a photograph of wood grain, tile, or stone pattern is affixed to the top of the wood fiberboard layers. Laminate hardwood flooring is an affordable option that can withstand a certain degree of wear and tear. The composite material that makes up the wood fiberboard can be replaced with another composite material as needed.
Engineered Wood Flooring: Engineered hardwood flooring uses engineered wood materials that are specially cut and formed into various shapes and patterns. Most engineered hardwood flooring come with a lifetime warranty. In general, engineered wood is not as durable as the standard hardwood, but it does make an attractive flooring choice due to its unique design. Engineered hardwood can take a lot of abuse without cracking, splintering, or rotting.
Laminate Hardwood Flooring: Laminated wood floors are engineered products that consist of multiple layers of engineered wood. The most popular variety of laminated hardwood is birch. Birch has a natural honey color and has a uniform texture. The texture makes a laminated wood floor very easy to clean and maintain. The wood grains of birch make it easy for a laminated hardwood floor to resemble the grain of a real wood floor. Because birch is relatively resistant to insect attack, it is often used in homes that have termites, ants, and other wood-destroying insects.
Pre-finished Wood: Wood floors can be finished by hand or machine, depending on the grade and texture of the wood. Machine finishing methods require more sanding and staining than hand finishing. The grain of the wood is sanded to remove any imperfections and then covered with a protective finish. This finish is applied to the wood as it is being prepared to the surface. This process is much more expensive than hand finishing and also requires specialized tools and a higher level of skill.
Whichever wood flooring style you choose, do a little research to find out what options you have available to you before buying. Consider all your options and compare different floors to get the most bang for your buck.