Solid hardwood floors were amongst the first in their field and their popularity raised exponentially over the centuries. Despite the fact that engineered and acrylic floors are now contesting the dominance of solid hardwood floors, they still remain widely used and appreciated.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what solid wood floors are all about. They’re, well, just that: solid. They’re made out of milled hardwood floor pieces and they’re pretty much the most basic form of flooring available.
What impresses about solid wood floors is their wide range of choice. You can buy both prefinished and unfinished solid hardwood floors, they come in sizes ranging from 1/4” to 25/32” and you can further break down solid floors into three categories: strip, plank and parquet.
Strip floors are very common these days as they’re easy to install, remove and maintain. Most strip floors connect using lineal groove and tongue ends, which make it easy even for someone with little experience in DIY and installing household appliances, get the hang of it fast.
After all, if you could connect a LEGO puzzle piece as a kid, you will be able to connect solid wood floor strips as well. Strip floors usually revolve around 1.5” and 2.25” widths, making them the least “solid” of these three categories.
Planks are not all that different from strips. Their main differentiation is that they have higher widths, most of them ranging from 3” to as much as 14”.
This aspect obviously gives them several advantages (and some disadvantages really), namely that they hold out better in harsher environments, they’re more stable and feel more comfortable under the foot. The downside is that having such a large width also makes solid hardwood floor planks harder to remove.
Last but not least, parquet is completely different, in that it is geometrical mosaic formed using smaller solid hardwood planks. Parquets can give a home a unique look and the patterns can very well form image identities in your work place or commercial setup.
On the downside, parquet solid wood floors are harder to install and even harder to remove…once you set them in, you’d best be happy with them.
The difficulty of installing solid wood flooring really depends on the type of floor you’re going with. The easiest choice would be to go with a prefinished strip floor, which is easy to use, cheap and doesn’t require a lot of extra attention after you’ve set it in.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a challenge, go with parquet, that’s bound to get your hair a few nuances grayer.
Given the fact that solid wood flooring expand and contract in relation to moisture and humidity, maintenance could be somewhat of a problem if the floor was not installed properly.
Usually, a few inches of room between the wall and the actual floor will leave room for it to expand and retract, without causing any damage in the long run.