Methods of Working With Different Types of Hardwood

To build up a large range of clients, a hardwood floor installer must have a good reputation. He can get this by gaining experience installing different types of hardwood. For this goal, he needs not only skill, but also additional knowledge about the various materials and methods of installation. Today we will talk about two types of hardwood – Solid wood and engineered flooring.

Each board of solid wood is made from a whole piece of wood without any additional materials. Dimensions of solid wood can be quite different between width, length, and thickness. Depending on the size, solid wood has slightly different methods of installation, so you need several tools to do it. In factories, where it is produced, it is released as prefinished and unfinished.

Each type of floor (prefinished and unfinished) have their advantages. When setting a prefinished floor, neither the installer nor the client needs to do any extra work. The result is visible almost immediately.

After installing an unfinished floor, it must, upon approval, be covered with a certain stain (color), as well as several layers of lacquer. As a rule, the entire process of preparing new flooring takes much longer than installing a prefinished floor.

In addition to solid wood, there is another type of hardwood – engineered. To make it, the manufacturers use several different layers: plywood or HDF, different wood fibers, and a layer of natural wood. All these parts are glued together at the factory and kept for some time under heavy pressure. The thickness of the upper layer, consisting of natural wood, varies from 1/8 to ?? inch.

Solid wood and engineered hardwood can be installed in three ways: glue down, nail down, and as a floating floor.

A floating floor always has an underlayment, and is never attached to a subfloor. Its boards are connected by a tongue and a groove. This method is not popular for solid wood, as in this case its boards must be of very high quality, and therefore it will have a high price.

To use the nail down technique, you need to know the exact height of the material, and select an electric gun for this with nails or staples of appropriate length. Typically, floor installers use this method for a wooden subfloor. To avoid the squeaks from contact of the hardwood with the subfloor, they commonly use wax or tar paper as an underlayment.

The third method of installation is glue down. If you use this method, you can install any type of hardwood. In this case, the quality of the subfloor does not play any role. It can be wood or cement. The glue performs the role of the underlayment. If the client wants to increase the sound barrier, suggest using a cork underlayment.

To determine which type of hardwood is better to install, and which method of installation is the easiest, you just need to try it several times. Only then can you will determine your preference.

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