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Walking the plank, naturally |

With wood floors, nothing brings warmth and natural beauty to a room like a hardwood floor. Hard wood flooring such as solid wood, is typically 5/16 to 3/4 thick, and should be installed over a wood sub floor. Many brands have factory applied scratch-and wear-resistant finished helping protect the wood. If damages, hardwood can be refinished up to three times.

With laminate flooring (which is what is in my home) is wood adhered to a medium-or high density fiberboard base and topped with a thick protective coating. It gives the appearance of hardwood at lower pricing. Consider installing laminate in a home with high traffic areas. It is simple to install and maintain, and offers design options that mimic the look of many different species.

Hardwood floors, once a fundamental detail in every home, largely fell out of favor with builders by the 1950s and 60s when plywood and carpet became standard. Today more homeowners are refinishing their old hardwood floors, upgrading to custom wood floors, or building new homes with flooring that has been thoughtfully selected to suit each rooms look and use. In addition to classic solid hardwood, engineered floors offer another high-quality option. Featuring a top layer of real hardwood backed with layered plywood that increases the floors sustainability and performance, engineered floors are ideal for climates with extreme temperature changes as well.

Be sure to remember when shopping for a wood floor, start with the overall look you want. Then think about where the floor will be and how much wear you expect it to take. Some wood species are harder than others, or better at hiding dings and dents. Oak is still the most common for floors-it is hard, take stain well, and its open grain makes scratches less apparent. Hickory, birch, and walnut also hold up well in high-traffic areas.

To add an additional flare and give floors an authentic aged look, to hardwood, try using antique reproduction nails, which replicate hand-forged nails for the 18th century. And dont forget to use doormats to protect your floors from wear and tear of ground-in dirt. Doormats that help remove grit from shoes before is can be tracked in the house are a must for any home.

With engineered hardwood floors, they can be installed over concrete sub floors, which are more common in modern homes. It expands and contracts less than traditional hardwood, and is a good choice for rooms below ground level. Look for product with a 1/10 to 1/6 layer of hardwood.

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