4 Features of the Perfect Foolproof Wide Plank Flooring
So you want to install wide plank flooring? Have some concerns about color, installation, quality, stability? There are some specific features that you can look for in a wide plank floor that will make it nearly foolproof, dare we say fail proof!
Wondering what they are? Today, you’ll find out!
Solid wood flooring has been the staple of the wood flooring industry for hundreds of years, but starting as early as the 1960’s, the structure and construction of flooring has evolved to include engineered flooring as well.
It used to be that engineered flooring was made mostly of wood, but advances in floor manufacturing have made it possible to find wide plank engineered wood flooring along with a variety of other styles including wide plank leather flooring and wide plank cork flooring.
Using an engineered floor can make your flooring project foolproof for a variety of reasons.
First, engineered flooring looks like a solid floor (or it should!). Engineered flooring is comprised of multiple layers, first, there are multiple layers of wood composite that make up the backing or substrate of the flooring, this is the part that is attached to the subfloor. The backing of an engineered floor can be made up of a variety of materials depending on the manufacturer. In the case of Torlys Smart Floors, CorkPlus™ underlayment which is one of the most stable.
The top layer, known as the Lamella, reveals the aesthetics of the actual floor. Ideally, an engineered floor should be indistinguishable from its solid counterparts!
Second, engineered flooring is more stable because it is made up of multiple layers. It maintains its stability, elasticity, and structure especially during changes in humidity.
“[Engineered flooring] will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature.”
National Wood Flooring Association
Third, engineered flooring is easier to install. Solid wood flooring is bound to have fluctuations in thickness, widths and/or lengths, this is why many solid floors must be sanded after installation adding to cost and labor. This makes it difficult to install the flooring and makes it more expensive to use since you have to pay for the additional labor.
“Installation of engineered wood flooring is generally quite simple compared to the installation of traditional hardwood, and can often be accomplished by a homeowner without the help of a professional flooring contractor. If the services of a professional are enlisted, the job can be done more quickly and cost-effectively than if solid hardwood were to be installed.”
International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
Solid wood flooring is often unfinished as well so you must stain and finish it on site, which is why the next feature to look for in a wide plank floor is that it is prefinished!
It can cost between $3-5 per square feet to finish a floor on site. That means after you have already paid for the flooring, and paid for installation you must now pay to have it stained and finished!
If you or your flooring installer haven’t done it already chances are pretty good you will have to sand the flooring if you ordered an unfinished floor. This in itself is a time-consuming process and will have an immediate impact on the quality of the stain and finish application. Often times when installing wood flooring, you must even apply a wood conditioner to ensure the finish applies evenly.
Staining a floor today is not an easy process, especially depending on the color that you want to use. Because many stains are waterbased today, due to new environmental regulations, it can require special attention and multiple coats of stain to get the right look – especially if you want white flooring, grey flooring or very dark flooring. Most stains take several hours, up to 24 hours to fully dry. And staining is just the first step in the finishing process.
Once the stain dries your floors must be sealed. The stain is why gives the floor its color, the sealer is what can protect it from water, spills, stains and traffic. Typically this is an oil-based or water-based polyurethane. The floor should be sealed 3-4 times depending on the type of sealer. Like the staining process, it will require multiple coats and up to 24 hours in between coats. Due to the odor and off-gassing of stains and finishes, it is recommended that you vacate the premises during the stain and finish process and allow ample time to air out the property before returning.
So you can see how using a prefinished floor can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle! Be sure to look for prefinished flooring with touch up kits and refinishing products so you can keep your floor clean and beautiful for years to come.
Floating flooring, just as the name implies means the flooring is floating on top of the subfloor. In the case of a floating floor, you do not need to attach the flooring to the subfloor during installation. When you install solid flooring and even some engineered flooring, you need attach the flooring to the subfloor with nails and/or glue. This not only makes the process more expensive but more time-consuming.
The only way to design a floating floor properly is with a high-quality Uniclic® Joint like those designed by Torlys Smart Floors. Click here to learn more about this revolutionary technology. This design locks the board into place like pieces of puzzle eliminating the need for expensive glues or nails (and the tools that go along with them), and for that reason alone, makes it so much easier for a do-it-yourself to tackle their own flooring project!
In fact, a floating floor, like those from Torlys Smart Floors, can be installed by one person in a single day. Do messy glues, nails, or on site finishing either so you can start start living on it that very same day too.
Easy Plank Replacement
When you install new flooring in your home you want it to last a long time right? But if there is damage to your flooring you would need to replace the entire floor, or a large section of your floor in order to repair it…that is unless you have a Torlys Smart Floor, which can be repaired using the Torlys EasyPlank Replacer. This allows for a single board to be removed and replaced!
Check out this great video to learn more!
Ready to tackle your flooring project now that you know what to look for? Contact us to talk with a flooring specialist or request our free color catalog!