Technology With Style: New Developments in Hardwood FlooringKermans Flooring
Composite-engineered flooring contains wood only on the top surface, with virtually any type of composite material as the backing and core. The thin wood veneer on composite-engineered products may not qualify it as “real wood” for some consumers, but it can offer durability, water resistance and a good feel underfoot. If the top wearable layer is too thin, you’ll be unable to sand and refinish the floor more than once, if at all, unlike traditional hardwoods, which you can sand and refinish four to seven times, depending on plank thickness. Additionally, low humidity can cause the top layer of composite-engineered flooring to crack.
Unfinished or prefinished
Some prefinished hardwoods include subtly rounded, or beveled, edges that help mask any unevenness in the planks themselves or the installed floor. Because beveling leaves a minuscule gap between planks, however, it may be more likely to attract and retain dust, which may increase the amount of cleaning it requires.
In addition to natural and engineered woods, new environmentally friendly options include bamboo, cork and a composite material called Marmoleum, made from a combination of wood flour, limestone, jute and pigment.
Modern surface treatments can add visual interest, but for an even more striking interior, you also can select reclaimed wood, often from old gymnasiums or commercial buildings, and reproductions that give the look of age. Reactive stains quickly oxidize the tannins in wood to make new wood look like old hardwoods, typically using environmentally friendly salts such as iron chloride, also used to purify drinking water.
Traditional hardwood flooring uses knot-free lumber, but new options transform yesterday’s flaws into today’s design statement. Knots add what’s called “character” to hardwood flooring, ranging from knot-free clear boards to light character, all the way up to the knotty appearance of character grade.
Along with creating a customized look with surface treatments and textures, you can choose plank widths that range from traditionally narrow all the way up to 4″ or wider. Wider – and longer – planks make a dramatic statement in today’s open-plan interiors. Specialized installations can transform your floors with herringbone and chevron patterns or diagonally laid planks.
Today’s hardwoods broaden your design palette with materials, colors, textures, finishes and plank sizes to suit any style, room size and décor. For assistance in selecting the right choices to create the look you want, ask the design experts at Kermans Flooring to help you narrow down your options. Schedule a complimentary consultation or come in to see our lineup of hardwoods.