It’s true that some floors can shrink or contract to adjust to the weather, and it’s also true that excess water can damage a hardwood flooring installation, but there’s no reason to deprive yourself of this rich, elegant material; all it takes is a little extra TLC, such as the easy process of acclimation, and avoiding placing it in high moisture rooms.
Know the difference between the two types: solid and engineered.
Solid is, as the name implies, one slab of wood species all the way through the plank.
Excess water is the ultimate enemy of this material, but if you wipe up spills immediately, and avoid installing it in rooms prone to leaky pipes and appliances, you’ll be okay.
This one definitely needs acclimation; we know you’re anxious to install this beauty, but you do have to leave the opened boxes in the room for about 3-4 days first so it can adjust.
During the last several years, another version of hardwood flooring, engineered, has taken the wood industry by storm.
People who love the look of wood, but have a practical bent prefer it, and what with the stains and veneers, you’ll have the same beauty as any other.
With the engineered version, only the construction is different. It’s layered, with the top one being a sheet of wood species. Underneath are more layers, combined with other materials, positioned in a crosswise layout, giving it more stability and thus better able to handle moisture.
That isn’t to say, however, that you can let spills and liquid puddles sit on it, so wipe up immediately, and never install where there’s high moisture, such as the bathroom.
Because it is so stable, you don’t have the expansion/contraction issue with engineered, so acclimation is not always necessary, nor recommended, depending upon the installation method. It’s also true that engineered hardwood will add value to your home as the other version, can be refinished, and has more versatility; for example, it can be installed in below-grade levels, such as the bathroom, where solid is never recommended.
Feel free to visit Marion’s Flooring Superstore in Portland, OR, to learn more.