How to choose your wooden flooring and tips for installation

Can’t tell the difference between laminated and a hardwood flooring? Fret not; we have put together a handy guide for your shopping needs

Choosing the perfect wooden floor for your home can be confusing. And because making the wrong choice could be an expensive experience, we’ve made the whole process of selection much simpler for you.

Here’s our handy guide explaining the various kinds of wooden flooring followed by a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when installing it.

The different kinds of wooden flooring include:

Solid hardwood: This is procured by milling solid wood and comes in unfinished and stained options.
Tip: Buying it unfinished means you get to select the colour you wish to stain it. But purchasing the prefinished version saves time as it arrives ready to be installed.

Engineered hardwood: Layered hardwood and plywood with medium-density fibreboard backing.
Tip: Highly stable and perfectly suited for high-moisture areas because it mimics the natural movement of wood.

Bamboo: Bamboo fibres are compressed under intense heat and extreme pressure to create this flooring option, making it twice as hard as oak.
Tip: This makes for a relatively sustainable option that is also very durable.

Laminate: This is a popular choice as it is easy to install and maintain and is durable in almost all circumstances.
Tip: It resists stains, scratches and fading and is available in high gloss, distressed, and hand-scraped textures.

Vinyl plank: Perfect for high moisture areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, these come in planks that look exactly like wood or tiles. Not only are they super durable, but they also feel great underfoot.
Tip: Easy to install because it comes in a simple peel-and-stick or click-together format.

Wood-look tile: As good looking as wood and as practical as tiles, these make for smart-looking options in the kitchen and bathroom.
Tip: Makes a surprisingly great kitchen backsplash.

Cork flooring: Cork is obtained by peeling off the bark of the tree, leaving a protective layer intact that allows it to regrow. Cork floors offer natural cushioning and great heat insulation besides sound-proofing.
Tip: If you’re looking for something to quiet your conscience and your home, this is the flooring to go with.

Brands to look out for:
Pergo is rather popular and has a wide range of options and GreenLam’s Mikasa has a beautiful range. Squarefoot is one of India’s oldest wooden flooring firms and offers LEED-certified eco-friendly options too.

Installation do’s and don’ts:
·        Plan well and measure the floor area carefully before installation. Leave a half-inch gap for the flooring to expand if you are
         choosing an option that reacts to humidity. This can be concealed with base moulding

·        Always order 10% more material than what you estimate, as on an average there is approximately 7% to 10% of the total area
         wasted due to cuts, planks damaged during installation, or courtesy measuring errors

·        Start laying the floor lengthwise to the wall, starting with the longest side

·        For hardwood, laminate, bamboo and vinyl flooring, don’t forget to use an underlayment product to dampen sound, protect from
         moisture and provide thermal insulation. These are also easy to install and are usually sold in rolls that measure three to five feet in
         width. They can be used with floating, glue-down or nail-down installations

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Written By: Simona Terron

Contributing Writer

Lifestyle
7 May 2018

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