FLOORING and INSTALLATION
The very latest trend is having Engineered Hardwood installed opposed to solid hardwood. This refers to the 3/4" thick variation, which is the same thickness as conventional solid hardwood. The reason this has taken off, is due to the superior stability. Multiple layers of material will reacted far less to the affects of mother natures expansion and contraction process. In a "Nutshell" Engineered hardwood is less prone to cupping in high humidity as well as less prone to checking (cracking) in a low humidity enviroment.
Another trend that has not only been holding its own, but is actually increasing in popularity is Hardwood floors installed in the kitchen. To some, having hardwood floors installed in a kitchen just doesn't seem practical, especially when considering sources like a refrigerator, dishwasher and kitchen sink plumbing.
In reality, if you were to leave standing water on any flooring surface, the water will eventually compromise the sub-floor. In order to access the sub-floor, the finished floor must be removed regardless. This holds true, unless you have one piece linoleum flooring of course. Unfortunately linoleum went out of style along with bean bag chairs. If proper care is taken upon a discovery of a leak or spill, hardwood floors in a kitchen works wonderfully. The other exception maybe vinyl planks which replicate hardwood. Time will tell...
Floating floors come in many shapes and sizes
The options are plentiful when choosing a floating floor.
Floating floors do not need to be fastened in any way. They are "Clicked" together locking them firmly in place. They only need an underlay to minimize IIC (Impact Insulation Class) and STC (Sound Transmission Class). A rating of 62 or better for each is generally a standard requirement for condominiums. The IIC relates to transmitted impact sounds, walking on a floor for example. The STC relates to airborne sounds, such as voices, television and music.
Once a "Floating Floor" has been completely installed and locked together, you will never know that your floor is actually floating. As long as the installer knows what they're doing, a floating floor is as stable as can be.
But one must keep in mind that not all floating floors are created equal. You must consider the AC ratings (Abrasion Criteria) which lets us know the durability factor, and recommends venue type based on these ratings. AC ratings range from 1 through 5.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood is a great choice when considering a floating floor. If you are looking for a real hardwood floor to be installed over a concrete substrate, like a basement or a condominium, then Engineered hardwood should be on the top of your priority list. Nowadays considering the realization of the stability of Engineered Hardwood, it has become a great choice for anywhere in the home.
Engineered hardwood flooring is comprised of a real solid hardwood top layer, followed by an offset tongue and groove layers in the centre, finishing off with the bottom or backing layer which is plumb (vertically level) with the top layer. Each layer typically has the same dimensions, which ensured that the tongue and groove line up perfectly once milled.
Environmentally speaking, Bamboo floors are by far the flooring material of choice. And we can tell you, aesthetically speaking they no longer take a back seat to Hardwood floors.
You will not find distinctive characteristics in stand and woven bamboo floating floors, like you will see with Oak hardwood floors, for example. Instated you will find a more sleeker look, more like maple hardwood.
Strand and woven is a very popular choice not only in condominiums and basements, but looks beautiful in all levels of the home. Bamboo floating floors can be installed over just about any substrate.
When facing the decision of choosing the material for your new wood floor, if finances are a key factor, laminate floating floors is the sure winner. That "used" to mean, lowering your standards aesthetically. Not anymore. You can beautifully and economically install a laminate floor anywhere in your home, over any substrate.
Laminate flooring is made using Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). Which is the same material that much of our furniture is made from. It's very durable. We can provide laminate that will suit any ones taste. In our opinion, nothing less than AC3 should be installed.
Furthermore tab lock systems incorporated into "some" laminate flooring makes it worlds better than the rest. These tabs really work. The tabs lock the sides of the boards together, minimizing if not eliminating board separation, which is a common occurrence with many laminate floors