Wear and tear is a given in any area of your home or office that commonly sees a good deal of foot traffic. Couple that with children and pets, and selecting a resilient flooring style is essential to saving you considerable repair and replacement costs down the line.
There are several variations of wood flooring designed to stand up to the grind of daily life, each with its own particular benefits, price points and aesthetics. Here, we will look at the attributes of several of the most durable options—namely, bamboo, cork, hardwood and laminate—to help determine the best wood flooring for your specific home improvement or construction project.
This flooring option has long been a favorite for its striking appearance, affordable price and sustainable, eco-friendly designation. As a rule, it is vital to do your research before purchasing, to verify the quality of the planks. Flooring from trusted manufacturers with seven to eight coats of aluminum oxide finish typically proves to be extremely durable. By examining the boards, or conducting a fingernail scratch test, you should be able to determine any telltale signs of low-quality milling or inadequate finishes.
Cork has made its name as a softer alternative to hardwood, embodying a flexible, springy quality underfoot. While this gives it the ability to rebound well against minor wear and tear and high traffic, it is imperative to treat it with due care to maximize durability. It is advisable to sweep, vacuum or mop once a week to remove any built-up dirt and debris, which can result in damage over time. Applying a wax finish or protective coat of polyurethane once every few years is also recommended.
When properly maintained, this is perhaps the most durable wood flooring material of all. The finish is ultimately what dictates how well a floor will hold up, and by re-sanding and refinishing periodically, you can ensure that your hardwood surface will last a lifetime. Brazilian redwood, particularly, is built to withstand considerable foot traffic, repelling most dents and dings fairly easily. Exposure to direct sunlight can result in slight fading, so it is advisable to utilize area rugs to minimize this effect.
Laminate is generally considered to be the most durable and cost-effective “imitation” option when it comes to flooring. It is a sturdy alternative to bamboo, cork and hardwood, and a perfect high traffic choice for busy households. Resistant to both sunlight and moisture, laminate is composed of a fiberboard core topped by a transparent resin layer, making it nearly indestructible and immune to wear and tear. Some top manufacturers will even go so far as to offer a 25-year product guarantee.
As with all home improvement projects, it is vital to consult with a professional contractor to determine the proper method for installing and maintaining your new floor, as well as the best wood flooring for your particular situation. While certain types may lend themselves to DIY approaches, others can require a bit more finesse in order to best suit the respective spaces they are filling.
Wood flooring brings warmth and richness to any environment. With diligent research and appropriate maintenance, you can rest assured your new floor will serve its purpose for many years to come.
Burt Lumber provides the highest-quality interior and exterior construction and home improvement products and services for homeowners, architects and contractors, from millwork, wood paneling and flooring to decking and much more. To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Burt Lumber today!