Whether you are finishing off your latest project or changing the appearance of a room, installing a new floor is one of the easiest ways to add value and style to your home. With so many selections on the market today, it can be hard to know where to start. No matter where you are in your process, your local Curtis Lumber is the smart place to begin. Our experienced salespeople will guide you through selection and installation to achieve the look you want.
To determine the types of flooring that you can choose for your new floor, you must first determine what type of subfloor you currently have. A subfloor is the supporting structure underneath your existing floor and is typically a plywood, stick lumber construction or concrete. If the subfloor is plywood or stick lumber, all flooring options are available to you, however if your subfloor is concrete or particleboard, engineered and laminate floorings are the best choices.
The best way to determine your subfloor type is to remove a piece of your current flooring and whatever padding or underlayment may exist. Once you remove these, you will be able to give your salesperson the right information in order to select the right flooring. If you are unsure of what the subfloor is made, be sure to talk to a salesperson before starting your project.
Types of Flooring
The most common types of flooring available are solid hardwood, engineered wood flooring, and laminate. It is important to consider where you will be installing the flooring before making a decision. Kitchens have high traffic and are likely to have dirt and moisture from an entryway. Living rooms are the centerpiece of a home and any flooring selection should add to the decor of the room. Bathrooms and basements are high moisture areas which require special considerations.
Solid Hardwood: Considered to be the most popular flooring option, solid hardwood, or wood strip flooring as it is sometimes referred, is a timeless, durable, and natural material used for flooring. It is available in prefinished or unfinished to fit your application. The durability of the floor is determined by the hardness of the wood from which it is made. Solid wood flooring can be domestic or exotic, meaning made from trees growing in North America or from trees that grow around the world. Some examples of domestics are oak, cherry, birch, ash, and maple. Exotic species include purple heart, bamboo, mahogany, tigerwood and many others.
Engineered Wood: Engineered hardwood flooring offers an advantage over solid hardwood flooring by being able to be installed where typical hardwood cannot. Since engineered wood is an actual layer of hardwood on top of a plywood backing, it is much more stable. This allows it to be installed over radiant heat, in basements, and over a concrete subfloor. Depending on the type of engineered hardwood flooring, it can install without fasteners by locking together or glue together at the seams. Both types lay on top of your subfloor and do not attach. The surface of the flooring is a durable as the hardwood that it is made from and still offers all the natural beauty that solid hardwood flooring can offer.
Laminate Flooring: Laminate flooring looks like wood or natural stone, yet is made up of synthetic materials. A popular alternative to other hard surface products, high-quality laminate flooring resists staining, wear, and fading much better than wood and natural stone while providing a unique look and appeal. It’s durable and water resistant, with the ability for use in bathrooms and kitchens in addition to high traffic areas. Laminates have greater dent and scratch resistance than hardwood flooring, but will become damaged if abused. Best of all, laminates take more patience than skill to install, so nearly anyone can do it.