Should You Install Solid Or Veneer Hardwood Floors?

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If you're concerned about the amount of dirt lurking in your home's carpet, with some statistics indicating that an average piece of carpet can hold up to four times its own weight in dirt, you may be considering the installation of hardwood flooring in your living room, bedrooms, and other carpeted areas. However, with more options to choose from than ever before, you could find yourself facing "analysis paralysis" when deciding whether your new floors should be bamboo or walnut, solid or veneer, and floating or nailed down. Making a decision about the structure of your floors is the biggest step and will allow you to choose finish colors without much hardship. Read on to learn more about the practical and financial differences between solid hardwood floors and hardwood veneer to help you make your decision.

How are hardwood veneer planks different from solid hardwood?

Solid hardwood floors are made from milled slabs of lumber. They are often designed in a tongue-and-groove pattern that allows the installer to easily place boards next to each other without leaving cracks or gaps. These boards may be nailed straight down into the subfloor or nailed or glued to one another to form a "floating" floor that is able to expand and contract with changes in indoor humidity. To prevent a floating floor from warping as it expands in a too-small space, you'll need to ensure you leave a slight gap between the floor and the wall during installation -- this can usually be easily covered by baseboards or quarter-round trim.

Hardwood veneer planks look quite similar to solid hardwood floors, but are composed of a thin layer of hardwood (veneer) above plywood or particle board. Because the base layers are less moisture-absorbent than most hardwoods, veneer floors aren't as likely to expand and contract with changes in temperature and moisture levels, making them a good choice for occasionally humid rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. Hardwood veneer planks are also less expensive than solid hardwood floors and can allow you to choose exotic woods like teak or mahogany without paying the list price for solid planks.

However, one advantage solid hardwood holds over hardwood veneer is its versatility. These floors can be stained, sanded, and refinished a dozen times over the course of a century without losing any of their original luster. On the other hand, hardwood veneer floors with an outer layer thicker than 1/8" can usually be refinished at least once without suffering any damage -- so a deep gouge or wet area on a hardwood veneer floor that has already been refinished may require replacement of the entire floor section.

Which flooring type should you choose for your home? 

Once installed, solid hardwood and hardwood veneer will be essentially indistinguishable from one another in both appearance and function. Your final choice will largely depend on your budget, lifestyle, and the amount of time you expect to remain in your home. Because solid hardwood can be refinished multiple times without losing any structural integrity, installing solid hardwood floors in a "forever" home can often be a good investment. Solid floors can also be a good idea if you have young children and expect to refinish some scratches or scuff marks over the years.

On the other hand, you may find that your budget won't support the cost of installing solid floors in each of the rooms you'd like to redo. Hardwood veneer floors are also ideal for parts of the country with high rainfall levels (and therefore high humidity). Fortunately, whichever option you choose should provide you with beautiful and durable floors for decades to come. 

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4 April 2016

Exploring Contractor's Hand Tools

Welcome to my site, my name is Hugo Ciela. I'd like to talk to you about hand tools used by contractors of all kinds. Although air and power tools frequently make jobs easier, and sometimes even more enjoyable, hand tools have not lost their place in this industry. Many jobs cannot be completed without a hand tool or two due to their versatility and precision. Contractors of all types, ranging from roofers to foundation specialists, keep a plethora of hand tools in their worksite kit. I will discuss the types of hand tools you might see in those kits. I will also explore all of the different ways they can be used. Please stick around to learn more information about contractor's hand tools.