Renowned for centuries for its beauty and durability, solid hardwood flooring has been supplanted somewhat by more affordable, engineered wood floors. Still, solid hardwoods offer unparalleled beauty and a longer lifespan for those homeowners willing to foot the bill. For an estimate of what solid hardwood flooring might cost you, contact us.
As the name suggests, solid hardwood planks are manufactured from whole pieces of wood. For this reason, they can be refinished over and over and typically will long outlast an engineered floor installed at the same time because of its adaptability. Installation itself is quite easy; the planks are constructed in a tongue and groove configuration and a small expansion gap is left around the perimeter to account for expansion and contraction as the wood will continue to ‘breathe’.
One drawback to solid hardwood floors is their relative rigidity. Any subfloor where the hardwood will be installed must be properly prepared. In addition, solid hardwood flooring is susceptible to moisture infiltration. Even with the best sealants, a hardwood floor will eventually warp, buckle or cup with too much moisture or humidity exposure.
Solid hardwood flooring is also not suitable for use above a radiant heating system or in rooms situated more than six inches below grade. In other words, don’t place them in the basement or on concrete subfloors. Lastly, solid hardwood floors are not the ideal choice for bathrooms or kitchens because of the above mentioned moisture issue.
Despite these limitations, solid flooring is often the choice of purists when redoing a landmark home. Indeed, solid hardwood floors have consistently stood the test of time. There are some original floors in the United States that date back to colonial days and ones even older in Europe. The life of a solid hardwood floor is only limited by the original thickness of the wood – which determines how many times it can be refinished – and your changing tastes.