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Information about flooring, installation, trends, and more! 

Side-by-Side Comparison of Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring 

2/13/2020

THE LOOK: 

Hardwood                                     

Looks Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Wide variety of wood types and finishes

Engineered Hardwood 

Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Wide variety of finishes. Especially great for wide plank floors

MATERIALS:

Hardwood

100% wood - solid

Engineered Hardwood

100% wood - composite

DURABILITY: 

Hardwood

Varies by wood type, thickness, width, and finish

Engineered Hardwood

Varies by veneer type and thickness, board thickness, and finish

GOOD FOR PETS?:

Hardwood

Look for types that are recommended by the manufacturer for pets, take special precautions to protect floors

Engineered Hardwood

Look for types that are recommended by the manufacturer for pets, take special precautions to protect floors

EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION:

Hardwood

Prone to expansion and contraction

Engineered Hardwood

Does not expand or contract

MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE:

Hardwood

Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluctuation

Engineered Hardwood

Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluctuation, but less so than hardwood

CARE AND CLEANING:

Hardwood

Frequently sweep or vacuum, occasionally mop with approved cleaner and damp mop

Engineered Hardwood

Frequently sweep or vacuum, occasionally mop with approved cleaner and damp mop

REFINISHING & SANDING:

Hardwood

Can be sanded and refinished multiple times

Engineered Hardwood

May be sanded and refinished once, twice, or not at all depending on veneer

RADIANT HEAT COMPATIBILITY:

Hardwood

Compatible with a small subset of hardwood floors

Engineered Hardwood

Most are compatible, check with specific manufacturer

INSTALLATION OFF LIMITS:

Hardwood

Never below the table (basements). Avoid areas where moisture is present.

Engineered Hardwood

Use with caution in basements, bathrooms, kitchens (and consider better options like tile, vinyl, etc.)

INSTALLATION METHODS:

Hardwood

Nailed

Engineered Hardwood

Nailed, stapled, glued, floating

Side-by-Side comparison of Vinyl Plank & Laminate 

February 16, 2020


DURABILITY

Vinyl Plank 

Extremely durable. Heavy furniture can cause denting. Vinyl plank can tear when dragging heavy objects.

Laminate

Extremely durable. It is prone to scratching over time. May also chip at the corners with extensive wear.

WATERPROOF

Vinyl Plank 

Yes

Laminate

No

CLEANING

Vinyl Plank 

Can be cleaned using steam mops or wet mops. Non-abrasive, mild cleaners should be used.

Laminate

Can be cleaned with laminate-specific products or a steam mop. Wet mops should never be used. Acetone can be used to remove difficult stains.

MAINTENANCE

Vinyl Plank

No wax should ever be used on vinyl. No wax polishes can be used to restore shine.

Laminate

Laminate-specific product can be used to restore shine. Products can be used to repair scratches and chips as needed.

PET-FRIENDLY

Vinyl Plank

Yes

Laminate

Yes

STYLES

Vinyl Plank

Available in a variety of wood styles, including oak, mahogany, and cherry.

Laminate

Available in a variety of wood styles, including oak, mahogany, and cherry. Also available in travertine, ceramic, and stone styles.

INSTALLATION

Vinyl Plank

Floating or peel-and-stick

Laminate

Floating

PRONE TO FADING

Vinyl Plank

More prone to fading

Laminate

Less prone to fading

SIZES

Vinyl Plank

Typically 4-inches to 8-inches wide. Lengths typically up to 48 inches. Can be cut to size using a utility knife.

Laminate

Widths starting at 4 inches and can reach up to 16 inches. Lengths range from 36 to 48 inches. Can be cut to size using a handsaw or circular saw.

COLORS

Vinyl Plank

Available in many colors including white, gray, light and dark wood finishes, and black

Laminate

Available in many colors including white, gray, light and dark wood finishes, and black

A few simple tips to figure out the right color of your new floor!

January 15, 2020

1. Light Colors for Small Rooms

Are you installing hardwood in a smaller room? Try considering a lighter color. Light-colored wood floors will make the room appear larger. This is because it will make space seem open and airy. Two examples of this are beige or off-white hardwood. They’re also versatile when it comes to decorating the rest of the room. You can add lighter colors to your window treatments and decor or deflect sunlight. Or, you can add darker pieces for contrast.

2. Dark Colors Add Sophistication

Exotic woods and darker colors have become a trend. Bamboo is an eco-friendly, exotic option that tends to be darker in color, but Bamboo is not a great answer in South Dakota climate and ever changing acclimation to new seasons.  Darker woods add sophistication and elegance. However, they are not for every home. In many cases, darker floors make rooms look smaller. But, it’s very common to install it in the kitchen and bathrooms.

3. Patterned Wood

Do you like the shabby-chic or a rustic look? Patterned wood may be a fit for your home. Parquet is one type that’s been a mainstay in the category. The different shades complement many different styles and decor. But Parquet isn’t the only patterned wood. Reclaimed wood planks are also popular. These have a natural variance in their colors which leads to a richer texture. Some wood has darker knots than others. Hickory, Knotty Pine, and Mixed-Grain Cherry have a natural beauty because of their color variances. Laying the floor at an angle, or with a herring bone pattern changes the entire feel of your home. If you do decide on a patterned wood, think of the big picture. While it may look rustic and have character in your living room or family room, it may look out of place in a kitchen. You may think there’s a spill or stain when it’s only the wood’s natural color. This shouldn’t make or break your decision, but you should take it into consideration if you use softer lighting in your kitchen.

4. Consider the Sunlight

Natural light can change the appearance of wood flooring throughout the day. If you’re installing wood in a room with a lot of sunlight, it will look different in the daytime than it will at night. While most product like LVP and LVT are UV protected, talk to us here at simpleFLOORS and we will make sure it is the right product for you. The easy solution- if your heart is set on a particular material and color, you can limit the sun’s exposure by simply adding window treatments.

5. Take Samples Home

The only way you’ll know if you like a color — or don’t — is to take a sample home. At simpleFLOORS we let all of our customer take home samples.  We always recommend it actually.  Make sure you take samples of several colors you’re considering. Set them up in the rooms you’ll install them in. For the first couple of days, keep them apart from each other. Then, bring them closer to compare side by side.Put them near your furniture so you can picture how it will look with your decor. Move them closer to windows and light sources. Make sure you have consistent light bulbs in your rooms and areas also. Having a "warm" lightbulb and a LED "daylight" bulb in the same area, your floor will also look different and not a good depiction of the floors actual color.  Overall you’ll get an idea of how the natural sunlight affects the wood’s color throughout the day and your homes lighting at night..

The Finishing Touches

After you select which material is best for your home, and chat with one of us here at simpleFLOORS, choosing the best wood floor color will be easier. Hardwood, LVP, Engineered or even carpet- is an investment that will last years to come.  Here at simpleFLOORS we have expert installers as well as our staff that has the knowledge to guide you to making the right decisions.From start to finish, remember- the flooring process needs to not be overwhelming and stressful with endless options. Simple Floors makes it easy to find the best option for all flooring types.  We offer free estimates and expert advice.  We make flooring "simple".  When you work with simpleFLOORS, you become family.   We are located at 3400 S Sheldon Lane in Sioux Falls.  Our number is 605-553-9077.