Let’s first distinguish the differences between real, solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring. Real hardwood is just how it sounds, real wood. It comes in boards or strips, can be pre-finished or unfinished, and can be refinished many times over the lifetime of your wood flooring. Natural, solid hardwood floors can be everlasting since they have a long lifespan and really boost the value of your property. Engineered hardwood is made of real wood as well but whatever wood you’re trying to install during your interior remodel, whether it be oak, cherry, etc., it won’t be true throughout the entire plank like solid hardwood. Instead, engineered hardwood only uses a thin layer of the wood surface you want on the top layer of the plank. This means you can refinish engineered wood flooring only once throughout it’s use. However, engineered wood floors are more versatile than solid wood floors because you install it right over concrete, use it with floor heating systems, and either at or below ground level. Regardless of the flooring you pick, just keep in mind that both types of wood flooring are subject to excessive moisture and water damage, so try to keep it out of really moist areas in your Fairfax home as well as the kitchen and bathroom. Of all the available flooring, solid hardwood is most likely going to be the most expensive, and you will have to pay a pretty penny to have them professionally installed.
Laminate wood floors just do a good job of looking like wood. It doesn’t contain any wood at all, unlike engineered flooring that has a thin layer of it. Laminate floors instead uses a laminated picture of whatever texture desired, from wood to ceramic to terracotta, and lays that picture over a high density fiberboard. Then that layer is put between two layers of strong plastic which results in a durable flooring material. Laminates are perfect for high traffic areas because they are highly resistant to stains, dents, easy to clean, and won’t fade from constant sunlight. The only downside to this hardwood alternative is that it can’t be refinished if the surface gets damaged, and just like natural wood, too much moisture will damage the top layer as well. Laminate floors are definitely a good, cheaper alternative to hardwood, and installation could come cheap since it’s really easy to install these types of floors yourself.
Porcelain Tiles vs Ceramic Tiles
Porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles are categorized in the same family of “ceramic” clays. However, it’s the minor little differences that make these two differ in price. Porcelain tiles have the color from the top running through the entire tile. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, have the color baked right on top of the tile making the inside a different color than the exterior. Porcelain clays are more durable, hard wearing, and resistant to moisture and weather than ceramic clays because of its dense nature making porcelain a great choice for outdoors or in. Ceramic clays would be better for indoor use since the porous, less dense nature makes ceramic prone to weather damage and cracking as soon as the temperature drops low enough. Since porcelain tiles are porcelain all the way through the tile, if you chipped a little bit of it, you could hardly notice. Because ceramics only have the color baked on top of the tile, you’ll definitely notice the color contrast of the top and interior if you chip the tile. The soft, more porous attributes of ceramic tiles makes this the best tile to use if you are a DIY person because you can cut the tiles yourself. But porcelain is much harder and denser, so you really need a Fairfax professional to cut them for you. In the end, your decision is all based on preference, but ceramic tiles are the inexpensive alternative to porcelain. As long as ceramic tiles are well maintained, no one will spot the difference when you stand on them.
You now should have a good base understanding of a few flooring options, but consult your Fairfax remodeling contractor for further information regarding these and other flooring options. Your contractor will be in a better position to determine which option is most suited to your particular needs,
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