A Beginner’s Guide To Wood Flooring

Apart from adding warmth and beauty, wood flooring increases the value of homes. Although complementing rugs can enhance the aesthetic value of wood floors, understanding the different installation techniques makes choosing the best option a lot easier.


Apart from being available in several constructions, you can install wood floors in every level. Compared to the other subfloors, wood floor installations allow for better flexibility and moisture mitigation.

Because alterations in humidity can cause warping and gapping, you must consider moisture when installing this type of flooring. Apart from choosing a suitable wood floor installation technique and construction, maintaining recommended levels is important, especially when it comes to mitigating the impact of moisture. To prevent damages, you should add a protective layer by installing a moisture barrier. Wood floors can be installed over three subfloor types:
• Above or at ground-level plywood subfloor
• Ground-level concrete subfloor
• Ground-level concrete or basement subfloor

When it comes to addressing each of these subfloor types, there are four kinds of hardwood constructions:
• 3/4-inch solid
• Locking
• Engineered
• 5/16-inch solid

3/4-inch Solid

This flooring construction is rather common and features 3/4-inch pieces of solid wood. Compared to engineered floors, solid wood floors expand more when exposed to moisture. As a result, you can only install a 3/4-inch solid wood floor over a ground-level or above ground-level plywood subfloor. To help manage the moisture that enters through the ground, installing a moisture barrier beneath your crawl space is recommended. Most solid wood floors allow for refinishing and sanding.

Locking Wood

Also known as floating wood, this type of flooring is basically an engineered floor albeit with the benefits afforded by the tongue-and-groove system. Since it doesn’t require the use of glue, nails, or staples, you can easily perform a do-it-yourself installation. All you have to do is roll out the moisture barrier underlayment to lock each plank in place.

Engineered Hardwood

Apart from helping to mitigate moisture-related issues, engineered hardwood floors are designed for installation over concrete subfloors. The cross-layer construction prevents this type of floor from expanding once exposed to moisture. As a result, you can install engineered wood flooring in all levels including the basement. Compared to solid floors, engineered hardwood floors are not only less expensive but also more eco-friendly. This advantage results from the fact that it features a veneer that is mere millimeters in thickness.

5/16-inch Solid

As a slender version of the 3/4-inch wood floor construction, this construction is also solid and cannot be installed below ground level. However, the 5/16-inch solid wood construction is thin enough to glue down against a ground-level concrete subfloor or install over above ground-level plywood subfloors. Gluing down the 5/16-inch solids requires the use of moisture barriers and urethane adhesives. For those interested in learning more, please visit Fuse Flooring.

Posted on: May 24, 2017, by : Pat

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