Wooden floors render a very elegant, warm and natural look and feel to your home interiors. A well-maintained, highly finished wooden floor is more appealing than any other floor covering material.
Woode Floors – Types
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring is available in three basic styles.Plank wood flooring is usually three to eight inches thick.It is cut into long pieces. Strip wood flooring is similar to plank wood flooring except it is usually less than 3-1/4 inches wide. Parquet flooring involves placing pieces that will create a repetitive geometric design on the floor. Solid wooden floors can come finished or unfinished.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring is produced by adhering three to five layers of wood and plastic laminate veneer. Each layer is switched so that the grain alternates directions, making it more stable. Do not confuse this with laminate flooring. Laminate does not have any real wood.
Acrylic Impregnated Wood Flooring
Acrylic impregnated wood floor is made by injecting with an acrylic material that seals and colors it. The process makes it very durable, moisture- and scratch-resistant and harder than other types of wood floors. Acrylic impregnated wooden flooring is ideal for commercial use and areas accustomed to high traffic.
Laminate Wood Flooring
Laminate flooring is manufactured by using fiber board materials coated with a photographic print layer and a top coating of melamine resin. Laminate floors give a realistic wooden appearance.
Hardwood floors are made from an assortment of special and domestic wood. They can be laid easily. The price varies according to the type of timber used like wood from Sheesham, Acacia, Oak, Maple, Cherry wood etc.
These wooden floors must be laid by professionals as the sanding and finishing part of this flooring is very important. Regular wear and tear of this floor warrants regular sanding and refinishing every few years. A rug may be used over this flooring. This flooring has to be maintained with utmost care as it can retain moisture and also attract termites.
Bamboo flooring is more insect and moisture resistant than any other kind of wooden flooring. It strongly resembles hardwood flooring in appearance. It is more Eco friendly than the latter. It takes 120 years approximately for an Oak to mature, while it takes just 3 yrs for the Bamboo. But bamboo flooring is also prone to dents and scratches.
Another Eco friendly flooring option is cork flooring. Cork is a sustainable and renewable resource harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree. This is done every nine years or so. Available as planks and tiles, Cork flooring is just right for your study, office, conference rooms etc, due to sound insulation properties. Cork flooring is insect resistant, comfortable and durable.
Where to install wooden flooring
Wooden floors are ideally suited for living room, bedroom, study, home offices, family rooms and kitchen. Wooden floors must be avoided in bathrooms, as there are chances of damage due to moisture. High relative humidity in the atmosphere matters a lot, as it can damage the wood flooring.
Taking care of wood floors
Wooden flooring must be kept clean by vaccumming, sweeping or damp mopping. Do not use wet mops. Avoid wooden floors where there is excessive grit and heavy traffic. Preferably, use cleaning products that are recommended by the manufacturer. Heavy furniture leaves its mark on wooden flooring. So use furniture pads always. Oil soaps and products containing wax cleaners are to be avoided. Light sanding and re-coating is required if the wooden floor finish loses its shine. This must be done by professionals only.
Types of finishes for wooden floors
Your lifestyle and the type of maintenance you choose determines the right type of finish for wooden floors. Different wooden flooring finishes decide how your floor will look in the long run.
Acrylic impregnated finishes
Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood to create a hard and extremely durable floor. Acrylic impregnated finishes are very rarely used in residential applications. They most often are used in areas of high traffic like retail floors in malls, restaurant floors etc.
Water based finishes
Water-based finishes for wooden floors are clear and do not turn yellow over time. They have a mild odor and usually dry in a few hours.
Oil based finishes
Oil-based finishes are amber in color. They have a moderate odor and generally dry in seven to eight hours.
Other finishes are acid cured, moisture cured and wax finishes.
Wooden floors impart old world charm to your home interiors.