Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is a great option no matter where you live in the United States. Whether you are in a dry or humid climate, engineered hardwood floors has been 'engineered' to perform! Engineered hardwood flooring is comprised of a core and a top wear layer or 'veneer'. The core is generally made up of multiple thin layers of wood that are glued to each other and that alternate grain direction layer by layer, which produces an extremely stable product. The wear layer or veneer is the top layer of wood that you walk on. Most of these floors are finished with a urethane coating that has additives like aluminum oxide or ceramic oxide. These additives, which are suspended within the multiple layers of urethane, forge an extremely durable finish, with most manufacturers offering a 25 year residential wear warranty. Engineered hardwood flooring can last a lifetime and will always add value to your home.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Do you really want to worry about getting your floor wet? Vinyl plank flooring was designed to offer an extremely durable, affordable, water-proof alternative to engineered hardwood flooring. There are several different types of water-proof vinyl floors, such as glue down vinyl planks that glue directly to your subfloor and there are also floating glue-less water-proof vinyl planks that click together which generally have an attached padding. Floating water-proof vinyl plank floors are made with either a Stone Polymer Core: 'SPC', or a Wood Polymer Core: 'WPC'. These floors are fairly easy to install for the DIY'er and even some offer an embossed in register 'EIR' texture that enhances the grain and the knots, which give it more of a 'real wood' look and feel. Vinyl planks offer a minimum 25 year finish warranty.
Laminate floors are an inexpensive way get the look of wood floors without paying the premium price for them. Laminate floors are not made from real hardwood, in contrast, they are made by laminating pictures of wood to a core that is actually harder than wood. They generally free float over your subfloor but some can be directly glued down to your existing subfloor and there are a lot of laminate flooring options that are now water-resistant! Laminate floors are more durable than wood flooring or vinyl plank flooring which makes it great for active households or those with large pets. Like the vinyl plank floors, most laminates also offer the embossed in register 'EIR' texture, which has the most natural looking wood grain you can get. Like the vinyl plank, these laminate floors offer finish warranties of 25 years minimum.