The Materials that Make Hardwood Flooring Tiles Great
Hardwood floors are classic design elements, and it’s easy to understand why. When you get to see the hardwood up close, you can marvel at its exquisite appearance and the unique marks that give it a distinct identity, and then when you step back and get a full look at the room they are used in, you get why homeowners continually opt to have hardwood flooring.
But why do hardwood floors look as spectacular as they do in the first place?
The answer lies in their material composition and in the type of high-quality work people have put in to ensure that each tile of hardwood flooring looks as exquisite and exceptional as it can possibly be.
Read on to learn more about what goes into making the best hardwood flooring tiles.
The Different Types of Hardwood Flooring Tiles
Before we dive deep into the materials that make up hardwood flooring tiles, let’s first take some time to learn more about the different types of this particular item.
There are three types of hardwood flooring tiles available:
- Solid Hardwood Flooring Tiles
- Engineered Hardwood Flooring Tiles
- Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring Tiles
It may be tough to see how they differ from one another, but they each possess certain distinguishing characteristics that can help them either fit in exceptionally well or not quite as well inside your home.
Type #1: Solid Hardwood
The defining characteristic of solid hardwood flooring tiles is that they come from planks fashioned from a single piece of wood. The planks can be cut in a variety of ways and then tongues and groove edges are added so that they will fit together once they arrive for installation at your home.
It is worth noting that not all solid hardwood flooring tiles are made from recently chopped down trees. Other tiles may be fashioned from old wood that has simply been refinished. That’s not a bad thing though, as even if the wood has been recycled, it will still be able to feature impeccable beauty and durability. Also, if you are keen on the efficient use of natural resources, going with recycled wood tiles for your home is not a bad idea.
Pros of Solid Hardwood Flooring Tiles:
- Some examples of solid hardwood flooring have been able to last inside homes for over 100 years, so you’re getting great value here.
- When you have solid wood flooring in your home, the time you spend cleaning up is significantly reduced.
Cons of Solid Hardwood Flooring Tiles:
- Homeowners sticking to a strict budget may find that solid hardwood flooring is simply not a realistic option.
Type #2: Engineered Hardwood
To create engineered hardwood floor tiles, makers glue together different “plies” of wood – these can include fiberboard, plywood, and even hardwood – and then, to give it a more attractive appearance, they lay a veneer on the surface. Typically, the veneer is created from a thin layer of solid hardwood.
The quality of an engineered hardwood tile is tied to how thick the veneer layer is. If the veneer is on the thicker side, that means that piece of engineered wood is also considered to be of high quality. Because of the material composition of engineered hardwood tiles, they can be used as the top pieces that cover different kinds of subfloors.
Pros of Engineered Hardwood Flooring Tiles:
- Excess moisture can wreak havoc on your hardwood floors. Engineered hardwood floor tiles are designed to not take in as much moisture as other types of hardwood tiles, so they may not be as prone to breaking.
- The exceptional stability featured by engineered hardwood floor tiles is part of the reason why they can work well when installed over subfloors.
Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring Tiles:
- If the veneer glued on top of the tile is on the thinner side, its appealing look may degrade faster when compared to a solid hardwood tile.
Type #3: Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood
Essentially, an acrylic impregnated hardwood tile is just like an engineered hardwood tile, except the former has been treated with a liquid acrylic known as methylmethacrylate. That’s a crucial dissimilarity between the two because the introduction of methylmethacrylate helps the acrylic impregnated hardwood feature greater durability.
This specific type of flooring tile is better suited to handling impact damage as well as those smaller cuts and bruises that may accumulate over time.
Pros of Acrylic Impregnated Hardwood Flooring Tiles:
- Aside from featuring great durability, com notes that there’s a wide range of design options for people to choose from when it comes time for them to pick their preferred set of acrylic impregnated hardwood tiles.
Cons of Acrylic Impregnated Flooring Tiles:
- This may be something you expected already, but because of all the additional work that goes into producing acrylic impregnated wood tiles, they can be on the more expensive side.
- Be sure that you are happy with the look of the tile you’ve chosen before you install them because these tiles cannot be refinished.
The Different Species of Wood Used for Flooring Tiles
After learning about the types of hardwood flooring tiles, it’s now time to focus on the types of wood that are used to make them. Your choice of wood actually matters quite a lot because each one brings different defining characteristics to the table, or rather, to the floor.
Species #1: Red Oak
Red oak is the hardwood species most people choose for their flooring; this wood features a kind of weathered look that is highly appealing. Another good feature of red oak is that different shades are readily available. Go with a darker shade of red oak if you want to create a cozy atmosphere inside your, or choose a lighter variant to feature a look that is more inviting. Oak is also more resistant to scratches and dents, so there really is no need to shy away from choosing this species.
Species #2: White Oak
The other kind of oak that has also proven to be a popular choice among homeowners is known as white oak. White oak shares a lot in common with red oak, right down to the general amount of color options available. The biggest difference between the two may be the fact that white oak is just a tad harder.
Species #3: Maple
Featuring even greater durability than the hardwood floor tiles made out of white and red oak are the ones that come from maple trees. Being highly durable certainly helps make a good case for why maple tiles belong in your home, but if you’re not a fan of the minimalist look this type of wood provides, then you may be better off checking out other options.
Species #4: Hickory
Hickory’s main selling points are its durability and versatility. This is one tough type of wood and if you know that your floors are going to have to handle plenty of traffic, it may not be such a bad idea to choose hickory for your home. ImproveNet notes that many flooring professionals believe that hickory features a kind of look that can work with a wide array of design schemes.
Species #5: Walnut
Walnut wood features a very specific kind of look that won’t work in all homes, but it’s distinctive and strong enough that you can build around it if you plan ahead. Be careful with walnut though as it’s not as durable as the other types of wood that have been mentioned previously, and it may also cost quite a lot of money to outfit your floors with walnut tiles.
Choosing a Finish for Your Hardwood Floor
You’ve settled on the type of hardwood flooring you want and have also selected a specific type of wood for your tiles to come from. Unless you’ve opted for the acrylic impregnated hardwood tiles, it’s now time for you to select what kind of finish you want for your floor.
This may come as a bit of surprise, but there are actually quite a few options available for you to choose from. If you don’t have a high budget, a wax finish could work well with your selected hardwood floor tiles. On the other hand, homeowners looking for the more eco-friendly option may want to go with a water-based polyurethane finish. There are various options available, so be sure to take your time before settling on your desired floor finish.
Many factors play into making hardwood flooring tiles look as fabulous as they do, and that’s a good thing because homeowners are presented with different ways to make their homes more inviting. Most hardwood flooring tiles have their own unique, inherent beauty. All you need to do now is to figure out which type of hardwood would be best in your home.