Wood floors are available in many different species but basically fall into two classes: unfinished and prefinished. Unfinished wood is installed, sanded in place, stained if desired, and finished with two to three coats of clear finish. New water-based finishes are superior to polyurethane in hardness, are nearly odorless, and do not discolor over time. There are various choices in types of finish from satin (less gloss) to high gloss. High gloss tends to show more wear and scratching and is not the best choice for high-traffic areas or homes with small children or pets. It takes a few days to install and finish this type of floor, so be patient and schedule the extra time required.
*Page 2- my article appearing in the June/ July issue of Richmond,Virginia’s Chesterfield Living, West Ends Best, and Hanover Lifestyles.
Prefinished wood flooring does offer a few advantages over unfinished. It’s a walk-away installation. When the floor goes down, it’s finished except for trim. The surface is factory finished and is generally superior to field- applied finishes. There is a downside, as there can be some edges of planks that are slightly unlevel. This is usually not too noticeable, but it can be an issue depending on the subfloor condition. There are options of different edge details of prefinished floor, so be sure you know which one you are getting.
TILE AND STONE
Natural stone—marble, granite, limestone, travertine, and slate—is always a beautiful choice in flooring. The durability of a particular stone is due in large part to its inherent hardness.Stain resistance is also a critical selection factor. Be sure to research the specific characteristics of the stone you are considering. Variations in manufacturing and the source of stone greatly affect material cost and account for the huge spread in pricing for the exact same product. Stone can have a polished, shiny surface, an unpolished, textured finish, or a semi-polished, honed texture with an almost dimensional apperance.
Styles of ceramic, clay body, and porcelain tile have changed dramatically over the past few years. There are countless options from traditional looks to rich, textured porcelains, gleaming iridescents, mosaics, glass tiles, and metallics. Border tile patterns and medallion motifs offer endless design possibilities and produce an elegant, classic, or contemporary aesthetic depending on the particular layout. For a more budget-conscious design solution, man-made tiles can sometimes produce installations that mimic natural stone.
Next post- conclusion… “Floor Plans- What’s Underfoot.”
*Thanks to Advertising Concepts, Inc. (ACI) and Richmond Navigator for publishing this article! http://richmondnavigator.com/blogs/around-the-house/floor-plans/