Laminate — A laminate hardwood floor has an image of a hardwood floor on a plastic material fixed onto a compressed board. It is not a real wood floor and can never be sanded and refinished. Most laminates are 1/4-inch thick. They are not glued or nailed directly to the subfloor; they are glued to each other and installed over a Styrofoam material. This installation method is called "floating." These are inexpensive imitations of real hardwood floors.
Engineered — An engineered hardwood floor has a layer of real hardwood glued to multiple layers of plywood substrates. The thickness of the top layer of real hardwood will dictate the number of times these floors can be sanded and refinished. While the majority of these floors come prefinished, there are some manufacturers that sell unfinished engineered flooring. Some engineered floors can be sanded as many times as a traditional 3/4-inch solid hardwood floor. These floors can be floated, glued, or nailed directly to the subfloor.
Solid — Solid hardwood floors are real hardwood floors. They come as thin as 5/16-inch, but the majority are 3/4-inch thick. If sanded correctly, they can be sanded eight to 12 times before needing to be replaced. They come prefinished or unfinished and are installed by being nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor.
Prefinished wood has been stained and finished at the manufacturer.
Unfinished wood floors are still the most common form found in homes today. Most unfinished hardwood floors can be sanded eight to 10 times in their lifetime and can be stained in varying shades each time they’re sanded.
We carry an extensive line of prefinished flooring including Kahrs, BR111, Mirage, Somerset, Bruce, and Robbins.
For the most part, deep stains will never sand out of the floor. Generally speaking, the darker the stain, the deeper it is in the wood. The only solution is to replace the wood that has been damaged. Once you remove several boards of hardwood from an older floor and replace them with new wood, it may not perfectly match the existing floor. If a bad stain is in a small area, it may be possible to remove a few planks of the original floor from a closet or another hidden area to replace the damaged wood. The best solution for multiple major pet stains is to replace the entire floor.
Screening the floor will only remove light marks caused by normal wear and tear. Once the floor is screened (lightly sanded), it will be coated with usually one coat of finish. It usually takes only a day to screen and recoat a hardwood floor. Screening will not remove deeper scratches and indentations. Also, screening will not help a floor that has been worn down to the stain. In these cases, the floor should be completely sanded and refinished.
This will depend largely on the size and type of job, but here are a few steps to take for most of them:
For prefinished floors, you can walk on them as soon as they’re installed. For site-finished floors, you can walk on them as quickly as two to three hours from finishing. Wait two days before moving the furniture back on the floors, and wait a week before putting down an area rug.
It is not difficult to install borders or medallions in your hardwood floor, but there is a substantial amount of extra time and planning associated with them. You will need to allow extra time when having these things done.
Leave the air conditioning or heat on at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and turn on fans after the finish is applied. If possible, set the fans up so that they move the air away from the new floors.
Yes. You need to choose a hardwood floor that meets your needs. As one example, a soft yellow pine floor would not be appropriate for a family of five with two big dogs and a cat where all the neighborhood children play. It would not stand up to the heavy traffic.
Hardwood can be installed in every room of the house except full baths where water from bathtubs and excessive humidity become factors.