Deciding what kind of flooring that is right for your home is a huge decision. When we purchased our new home, we were overjoyed that half of the house had solid oak floors, however, they were a wreck. Rather than have new flooring put in, we decided to have the wood floors refinished and we are so glad we did. Wood floors are beautiful and I would have hated to have them pulled up. Now we are looking at what we should do for the rest of the house. Our den has ugly outdated carpet and our kitchen has white tile that I am not a fan of. Four kids and white tile is not a good combination. I've done a few posts lately on laminate flooring because I really like the look of it and it's a more inexpensive option but my husband decided that he would rather not go that route so now we are back at square one. I think I would like to put wood down in the rest of the house and I had no idea there were so many choices.
Solid hardwood floors are generally milled from a single 3/4 inch thick piece of hardwood. They can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use, which is what we did in our current home. Our house was built in the 60's so the wood is pretty old but they look absolutely beautiful refinished. We paid around $2,000 to have it done which is a great price considering the cost if we had all new floors put in. Solid wood flooring expands and contracts with changes in your home's humidity so installers generally leave an expansion gap between the floor and the wall to compensate for the movement. They can install molding to hide the extra space. I never realized this is why we have the molding around the house. We have a basement we want to eventually refinish but I read that hardwood floors are not a good fit in locations underground like basements because of the moisture levels so we will have to go another route when the time comes to work in the basement.
This is a picture of our hardwood floors after they were sanded and before they were stained. We couldn't believe how great they looked compared to where we started. This is the great thing about solid hardwood floors, you have the option to have them refinished after decades of wear and tear without having to replace them.
Engineered wood is produced with three to five layers of wood and each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together. It's much less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home. This might be a better choice for our basement if we decided to go with wood, although I think we will probably go with carpet in most of that area.
At least now we know we have more options so we can choose which one will work best for us. We have the den, the kitchen, 2 bathrooms and the basement that we would eventually like to change the flooring in so doing our homework and making the right choice is super important. If you are in the same boat, make sure you do your research too so you don't have to do it all over again!