Wood Floor MaterialsMaking Wise Choices
Wood floors have become a much preferred choice for home owners who are engaging in home improvement projects. Surveys show that 47% of people prefer to have hardwood floors throughout their homes. In addition, a survey among homeowners showed that 90% would rather have either tile or hardwood in their kitchens.
Different wood floor materials can be used anywhere in a home and will vary according to the subfloor underneath. The construction of a hardwood floor and the wood floor materials used will also depend upon where in the house it will be installed and how much moisture on that level could cause gapping and warping. When speaking of subfloors, the ones over which hardwood flooring can be installed are concrete below ground, such as basements, concrete at ground level, and plywood either at ground level or above.
Generally, there are a number of different types of wood floor materials. Two of the popular ones are solid wood and engineered wood. Solid wood can be installed in any room that is above ground. It is solid through and through, from top to bottom. Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished over and over again. For this reason, this type of hardwood flooring installation is excellent for high traffic areas and rooms that get a lot of use. For instance, dining rooms and family rooms.
Engineered wood floors are another type of preferred wood floor materials. These are produced with layer upon layer of wood veneers. It cannot be refinished as many times as solid wood, but can be used anywhere, below or above ground.
Although hardwood floors and tile floor patterns are widely used these days, there are still people who prefer carpeting, at least in their bedrooms. In a survey conducted, 38% of people revealed that they are going to be installing carpet into their master bedrooms. Interestingly, many people believe that in order to decrease allergy symptoms in themselves or family members, carpeting must be removed from the home or avoided altogether. However, some studies have shown that carpeting actually decreases allergens in a room. The study involved removing 70% of the carpeting in participating homes. Upon this action, allergies actually increased by 30%.
Carpet textures are actually constructed in three ways. There is loop pile, cut pile, and loop and cut pile. Any one of these are perfectly suited to installation in the home. However, the most popular, up until the last ten years, has been cut pile. About ten years ago, Berber pile, which is a loop pile, began to climb the ladder of popularity as well.
There are several types of cut pile carpet. Saxony is constructed by twisting together multiple piles of yarn and then setting it with heat. This is the type of carpeting upon which every footprint is clearly seen, as are the marks of a vacuum. The shade of the carpet will also change when first brushed one way, then the other. While some may find this to be a negative, it is actually just a characteristic of the way the material falls.
Plush carpet is also referred to as velvet. It resembles velvet because it is a high density construction of staple yarn. It has a richer look than saxony carpeting, but also shares some of its components. Plush carpeting can be susceptible to the permanent reversal of the pile as well. When this happens, certain areas of the carpet may look as though they are wet. This is referred to as watermarking because of its appearance.
Textured carpeting is less likely to show footprints and vacuum marks. It is also referred to as “footprint free” and “stuffer box” carpeting. Although textured carpet shows much fewer footprint and traffic marks, all cut pile will show a certain amount. This happens because of steam setting the yarn. The yarn curls and is set that way. Because of this curling, the separate tips of the carpet, when brushed to one direction or another, will change the shade.
Frieze carpet is similar to textured in that it shows little in the way of footprints or vacuum marks. It is constructed of pile yarns in a high twist.
These four types of carpet are the most common and also the most affordable, in addition to being longlasting. References.