Wood Flooring – Hardwood & Softwood: All You Need to Know
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People are now shifting to new technology, renewable and environment-friendly materials, because of increase in global warming! Wood definitely provides a greener option, amongst all the flooring materials. Wood flooring provides everlasting beauty and classic interior to a home. They are available in different textures, patterns, species and colours to suit with any kind of interior. Though they have high installation cost, over the long run, they are economical as compared to carpets, which have to be replaced periodically.
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Wood is a porous material obtained from the stem of trees. Since ancient times, wood has been primarily used as fuel and perhaps as first construction material. It is used as the building material for more than 10,000 years. With the advent of technology and research, nowadays various species of wood are being used in construction in different forms and for different purposes.
Also Read: Types of Wood and their Uses
Wood Flooring can be classified based on the wood, which is used in the flooring. Wood can be classified as hardwood and softwood depending on the trees from which it is obtained. Hardwood is hard and durable as compared to softwood. Softwood comes from evergreen trees, while hardwood is obtained from deciduous trees.
Hardwoods are angiosperm trees whose fruits have hard shells. Generally, deciduous trees which lose leaves periodically produce hardwoods. They are very dense, which makes them hard and strong. Hardwood flooring is very long lasting and has more resistant to wear and tear as compared to softwood flooring. It can last a lifetime or even more, by taking proper care and maintenance. Hardwood is generally used in both solid from as well as the engineered form of wood flooring.Hardwood trees are very difficult to grow; they take many years to grow fully and yield wood. Thus, they are very expensive.
Most popular hardwoods used in flooring:
Softwoods are gymnosperm trees whose fruits do not have hard shells. They are obtained from evergreen trees. Their seeds are not covered. They spread through the air and grow easily as compared to hardwood trees. Thus due to abundance in their availability, they are cheaper. Softwoods are soft and lightweight. They can be easily scratched and dented. Solid softwood is generally not used in flooring, but as in engineered wood flooring, softwood is used. Softwood is generally used in making doors, windows, paper, medium-density fiberboards, etc.
Softwood flooring can be used in areas where foot traffic is low such as bedrooms. Softwood flooring has less durability, but if you consider budget it is a cheaper option than hardwood flooring. By sealing softwood flooring with a good quality sealant, its durability can be increased.
Most popular softwoods used in flooring: