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Which floors to choose from? Vinyl, Engineered, Or Solid?

Remodeling your house can get a little tough but, it can get easier when you know what floors you want. If you ever decide to remove carpet or existing flooring, then you will have to decide if you want solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, or vinyl. Knowing their characteristics, the pros, and the cons can assist you better in making a decision.





What are they?

Solid Hardwood Planks are 100% natural wood crafted from a single solid timber piece and are the planks are either ¾” or ⅝” thick.


Engineered Planks are made up of different layers, the top and bottom layers are usually 100% natural wood but the middle is built from 5 to 7 layers of plywood. They look like solid hardwood but the natural wood that it has is a thin layer of hardwood bonded over plywood.


Luxury Vinyl Plank is man-made manufactured materials. There are vinyl planks that mimic the look of natural hardwood but with a uniform look. They are made from sheets of vinyl, felt, fiberglass, and dyes.


Durability


Installing Engineered Floors

Solid Hardwood Planks

The lifespan of solid planks is usually between 30 to 100 years, they can be sanded and refinished up to 8 times, depending on the thickness of the planks. The type of wood species can make a difference in how durable the floors can be. For example, woods like Oak and Hickory are much harder, which means that they’re resistant to dents. Too much moisture can cause warping where the planks lift and can be disfigured. Also, solid floors can expand during the summer and contract during the winter.


Engineered Planks

Engineered planks lifespan is about 20 to 40 years, they can be sanded once or twice due to the layers of natural wood and plywood it has. Engineered planks do not contrast, expand, or need to worry about moisture because it’s mostly made out of plywood and a small layer of solid wood.


Luxury Vinyl Plank

Thanks to advanced technology, some luxury vinyl planks are now waterproof. Meaning that they are useful in rooms that are humid and moist. However, the lifespan of vinyl floors is between 10-20 years. Keep in mind, if you decide to install vinyl planks, you will need to purchase more in case you foresee any repairs in the future, This is because the style and color of the vinyl floors usually come seasonal and by the time you want to look for the same planks, they are no longer for sale.



Cleaning and Maintenance

Installing Exotic Hardwood to Stairs

Solid Hardwood Planks

Solid planks are not waterproof and they can easily stain from any liquid. When cleaning your floors, there is a specific product that you can use to properly clean and maintain them. Check out our blog here to read more.


Engineered Planks

Engineered planks are also not waterproof and they can easily stain from any liquid. Exactly like solid floors, they will need a specific product to get the proper cleaning because of the layer of wood it has. Check out our blog here to read more.


Luxury Vinyl Plank

To ensure vinyl planks are looking good for the long run, you need to avoid any sunlight. Overexposure to sunlight can cause the planks to fade or get discolored. Use a natural cleaner to prevent stripping the wear layer to mop the floors and it must be done 2-4 times a month. You should also ensure that traffic is low this will help extend the lifespan of the floors.



Installation

Hardwood Planks

Solid Hardwood Planks

Installing solid hardwood works best in living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. However, it is not recommended to install solid hardwood in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. These areas are high in humidity and where water damages can occur because solid planks are not waterproof. Usually, solid planks are installed by nailing them but they can also be glued down to the concrete and nailed.


Engineered Planks

Engineered planks can be installed anywhere in the house, including basements, however, it must avoid bathroom areas and laundry rooms due to any possible water damages. The structure of engineered planks is that it has a thin layer of natural wood and the rest of the layers of plywood. They are good for over radiant heating and concrete floors. Engineered planks, similar to solid, can be installed by gluing them and nailing them but they can be installed by nailing them as well.


Luxury Vinyl Plank

Vinyl planks can be installed in areas that are low in foot traffic and is ideal to be installed in a basement due to the lack of sunlight exposure. Because they are waterproof and moisture resistant, they are best suited for bathrooms and laundry rooms. Their installation method is floating or glued. The floating method is when the planks click together side by side. The gluing method is when the planks are glued to the subfloor.


Now that you know some information on vinyl, engineered, and solid floors, you can make a proper decision on selecting the best floors for your next project. Each floor has their own characteristics and the best locations of installation. But, if you still have any questions or concerns, you can always contact us for further information.




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