There are two types of real wood flooring: Solid Wood Flooring and Engineered Wood Flooring.
Both are comprised of 100 % real wood and there is very little substitute for this traditional hardwood style of flooring.
Solid wood is available in a wide range of wood types, thickness and width.
Although solid floors are available with a factory finish, they can also be finished on the job site.
They can be installed on or above grade and not on a slab. The wood is generally nailed to a plywood subfloor.
NOTE: Solid floors may not perform well in area of high humidity or areas with large temperature changes.
The wood planks shrink during the heating season. They will have a concave section during the winter season. Gaps can form between the boards but these will disappear as the humidity becomes higher.
In the spring and autumn the wood planks section will become convex. That will happen because of swelling process.
However, maintaining relative humidity between 35% and 60% and a temperature of approximately 20° Celsius (68°F) in your home will preserve the internal humidity of the wood and thus its dimensional stability. These conditions are ideal for humans as well.
If the moisture has been much too high there will be permanent damage to the floor. That is happen because wood does not shrink or swell equally in all directions.
That said if you choose real wood planks, the main thing to remember is real wood flooring hates moisture, so you should never lay it in any areas where a lot of humidity is present.
- Basements, cellars or parts of the floor which have concrete below are particularly susceptible to humidity, so examine your home carefully before splashing out.
- If you are laying your real wood floor yourself, all rooms in the house will need a small gap alongside all the walls for some small natural swelling and contraction.
- Excess moisture from the flooded condition must be removed immediately. If cupping of flooring is the only adverse result, drying of the floor is necessary. Use fans and dehumidifiers.
- If the water has been removed and cupping is prominent (buckling not present) light sanding directly across the grain of the flooring to remove the finish is required. One of the reasons why people generally like solid hard wood floors is because they are traditional and can be sanded many times. The sanding procedure allows the excess moisture in the flooring to dissipate faster.
- If the floor has cupped and buckled, excess moisture probably remains in the flooring and floor system. Since the floor has also separated from the sub floor (buckled) and has loosened, replacement of the damaged and surrounding area is generally the procedure for repair. The excess moisture remaining in the under floor system should be completely removed before re-installation and finishing. If the flooring is installed over plywood attached to a slab, removal of the entire system is normally required.
Solid wood flooring adds warmth and beauty to any home. Also, a wood floor will increase the house value. It’s easy to care for and clean, it’s hypo-allergenic and Eco-friendly material.