Engineered materials gaining in popularity among homeowners as lower-maintenance alternative
Engineered Hardwood: Where traditional solid hardwood is just that — all wood — engineered hardwood has a veneer of hardwood but is composed of several thin layers of backing, mostly plywood, but it could also be fiberboard or unfinished hardwood. According to Pinto, the layers add stability to the overall strength of the material. Where there can be issues with solid hardwood floors contracting and expanding, engineered hardwood’s composition makes that a nonissue. It also comes with different finishes. Urethane and oil finishes are very popular, said Pinto.
Laminate: Like engineered hardwood, laminate planks are layered materials, but instead of a wood top layer, it has a high-definition photographic wood-look layer, complete with graining, and sits above a moisture-resistant, stabilizing base layer topped by a core of high-density fiberboard, all finished in resin.
Porcelain Tile: Porcelain tile planks can resemble wood, even with a textured grain. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and designs — from sleek to rustic. They’re scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and water-resistant.
You have more choices than ever in flooring for your home, and the choice of what to use should start with functionality. How much wear will it take? How will moisture impact it? How easy is it to maintain? How hard or soft is it underfoot? Trends change over time — remember carpeted master baths? — but it always comes down to what works best for your household.
As there are multiple options to meet different needs, resale is another factor to keep in mind. Where you live should factor into the flooring type you choose in order to get the best return on your flooring investment.
Many homeowners are interested in environmentally friendly flooring, and they have more options to choose from, too. Their reasons might be health-related, sustainability or both. “Green choices in flooring are readily available and are classified as either made from a renewable resource, made from recycled material, recyclable after use or a combination of these,” Ross explains.
Bamboo fits into the renewal category, notes Cole’s manager Fratt. It also repels moisture, which hardwood does not do, but there are some cautions: “There have been some companies found to purchase flooring products with higher amounts of formaldehyde in the product in order to save money. Coles is not one of those companies,” he emphasizes. “All of our products have passed all regulations by the California Air Resources Board. It’s good for consumers to know that if products are sold too cheaply, there must be a reason.”
Reclaimed Wood Products
Pioneer Millworks remills salvaged wood into flooring, timbers, cabinetry, stair parts, doors, siding, and trusses. The company’s primary wood is longleaf yellow pine, but chestnut, oak, Douglas fir, and white pine are also available. Pioneer Millworks also makes engineered flooring composed of a 3/16″-thick layer of FSC-certified reclaimed or fresh-sawn wood on a plywood platform that is 70% (minimum) FSC-certified using low-VOC adhesives.
• MRc3: Materials Reuse
• MRc7: Certified Wood
Will this add value to your home? Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisal.com for your value questions.
FSC-Certified Bamboo Flooring
Nadurra bamboo flooring is available in formaldehyde-free and FSC-certified composite and solid bamboo styles. For commercial use, the company offers its Traffic Composite series, which is 180% harder than maple and is factory-coated with nine layers of Bona’s waterborne, commercial-grade polyurethane, making it appropriate for areas with heavy foot traffic. Nadurra bamboo flooring comes in multiple sizes and colors, and in vertical or horizontal laminate patterns.
• MRc6: Rapidly Renewable Materials
• MRc7: Certified Wood
• IEQc4.3: Low-Emitting MaterialsFlooring Systems