Laminate flooring is made by compressing layers of fiberboard together and placing a photographic image of wood grain, stone, or tile pattern over the fiberboard. After the image is added to the surface, a protective coating is added to help prevent damage and add a finish to the flooring.
Solid hardwood floor planks are made from a piece of wood and made to be anywhere from 18 to 20 mm thick. The boards are made with a tongue and groove to fit together for installation. Depending on the species of wood, certain floors will be harder than others. The harder the floor, the less susceptible it is to dings and scratches. The floor can be sanded and refinished several times to restore its beauty, with the total number of times being determined by the depth of the tongue from the top of the plank. Solid hardwood is an excellent way to add visual appeal to a home or business. It will also potentially add value to a home or business .
Engineered hardwood is made using three to four layers of wood glued together to produce a 14 mm thick plank. A real wood surface about 4 mm in thickness is applied to the top to allow it to be sanded and refinished a certain number of times to remove signs of damage, wear, and tear. Engineered hardwood construction produces a more stable product. The greater stability means it is less prone to changes from temperature and humidity conditions in the room. This type of flooring is more attractive than a laminate floor, but it is also less expensive than solid hardwood floors.
Bamboo floors come from bamboo grass stalks prominent in Asia. The floors are produced in China, and come in a variety of styles and finishes to suit various decor options. Since it is a tropical grass as opposed to wood for trees, it is naturally resistant to moisture. The flooring is produced by pressing fibers together under high pressure. Not only is bamboo resistant to moisture, but it is environmentally friendly and an optimal choice for those who are looking to build “green.” The plant grows faster and does not take as long to re-grow than a typical hardwood tree, therefore not contributing to deforestation. Bamboo flooring is softer than traditional hardwoods, so it will not cause pain if it is stood on for long periods of time. The softness of the floor will also reduce noise.
Cork floors come for the harvest of the cork oak tree bark. These trees are widely grown in: Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia. One of the best things about cork floors is that they are environmentally friendly because cork is a sustainable and renewable resource. The natural beauty of the material can suite any decor. The structure of the cork allows for a natural comfort and softness to absorb shock. This is why use of cork flooring is a good application in areas where people will be on their feet for extended periods of time. Using cork floors will reduce noise from traffic or dropping items, also because of the structure of the cork material. The natural properties of the material make it healthy because it is not only resistant to insects, but it is hypo-allergenic.