Hardwood flooring has been adding warmth and charm to homes in Chicago since the earliest days of residential construction. With its natural beauty, durability and wide range of colors and tones, hardwood has been a popular choice for floors, from cottage-style homes to Victorian mansions. It’s still a staple of the home building industry today.
What’s changed over the years is the number of options available in wood floors. Solid hardwood is a beautiful and resilient floor covering, but it has some limitations. In today’s industry, you now have alternatives that are more suitable for certain applications. These optional flooring materials aren’t necessarily superior to solid wood; they simply fill a need that couldn’t be met in the past.
Let’s compare the types of hardwood floors available for your home in today’s building industry.
This flooring consists of laminated layers of wood or cellulose, impregnated with resins and with alternating grain structures to increase strength and reduce expansion and contraction. These layers are then bonded to a genuine wood veneer surface. This combination gives you the look and texture of a real wood floor on a base that won’t absorb moisture like solid hardwood.
Unlike solid hardwood, this flooring can be installed below ground level and directly over concrete. Theses floors are available in a wide range of woods, colors and widths and some are self-locking, which allows installation without adhesive or fasteners. Some can be sanded and refinished a limited number of times, although it’s important to realize that the hardwood layer is only a few millimeters thick. Professional refinishing is a must with this type of flooring to prevent permanent damage.
Engineered flooring be your only option if you want to install hardwood floors in your basement. The overall thickness is also only 3/8” to 1/2”, making it a suitable choice for installations where the thickness is a factor. Professional installation is always your best option for guaranteed results.
This type of floor may cost more per square foot than engineered floors and must be installed above ground level over a plywood subfloor. They are also best installed by qualified professionals. That said, they can often be a better investment than the alternatives.
Typical thicknesses for solid hardwood flooring are 5/16” and 3/4”, allowing you to sand and refinish them many times. That means that minor damage can be more easily repaired and you can even change the color of your floor if desired. Both solid and engineered floors require regular maintenance, and solid floors allow more aggressive treatment. They are also quieter, have a more substantial “feel” than the alternatives and, of course, are available in a great variety of woods, colors, styles, widths, textures, and finishes.
Hardwood flooring, like most natural building materials, is available in various grades. Grading is based on the number of flaws and natural “imperfections” such as knots per piece. There are other qualities to consider, too, such as the relative hardness of the wood variety, which, of course, affects its durability.
We offer a full range of services in Chicago for your hardwood floors, including hardwood flooring installation, repair, cleaning, hardwood floor buff & coat, hardwood flooring sanding and refinishing. Whether you want to add new floors or restore the original beauty of your existing floor, our expert staff is ready to ensure your satisfaction with state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. We take all the necessary precautions to protect your home and family and utilize the safest products on the market as well as providing the shortest possible completion times.
Take the time to browse our service description pages and learn more about what we offer. There, you’ll find detailed information on our procedures and videos of actual projects so you can see the process and the results for yourself. Let us bring the rich beauty of natural hardwood flooring to your home or breathe new life into your worn or damaged floors.