There might not be a more difficult decision in the design world than selecting the right flooring for your home. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With that said, if you are looking for durability, longevity and style, most often, you can’t beat hardwood floors. The wide options of hardwood flooring available means that you are sure to find something to perfect your space.
While hardwood floors are elegant and timeless, they are not all created equally. When it comes to hardwood flooring, there are two main types – solid and engineered. Solid hardwood planks are created from a single thick piece of wood. Engineered hardwood has a core of plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer applied to the surface. While there is a lot to love about both of these options, each is made from 100% real wood. Unlike laminate or vinyl plank alternatives, no two pieces are ever exactly alike.
Traditional solid hardwood has been in demand for many years but recently, engineered wood floors have been hugely popular. Both options provide a beautiful finish so it can sometimes be hard to compare the two. But here are 5 key differences between solid and engineered hardwood.
Your budget usually drives your home project. It will help you determine which option is best for you. Generally, engineered hardwood is less expensive than solid hardwood but ultimately, the quality and species of the wood will be the largest price factor. Exotic varieties of solid hardwood are more expensive than engineered.
While the price range varies greatly, the cost of engineered hardwood is usually around $3-14 per square foot (but this will depend on the plank thickness and species of wood). The hardness and durability of the wood ultimately determines the final price but most solid hardwood floors cost between $8-15 per square foot.
Engineered hardwood is less likely to buckle or react to heat so there are a variety of installation options available. The fact that engineered wood does not react to changing temperatures, means that this alternative can be installed above or below ground level. Since the solid hardwood will expand and contract over time, this wood can only be installed on or above ground level.
Engineered hardwood can be installed quickly and in a variety of spaces This is your best option if you’re looking for a DIY project. Most styles of engineered wood can be glued or nailed down and in some cases is similar to laminate flooring, in that you can opt for a type that locks planks together without a fastener.
Solid hardwood will generally have a longer installation process. The flooring is attached with a specific flooring nailer then sanded and finished. The sanding process can be tough to navigate if you don’t have experience. Although in theory, you could do it yourself, hiring a professional will ensure that the job will get done quicker, neater and will last longer.
Both forms of hardwood offer durability and toughness – but solid wood still comes out on top as it is inherently sturdier as they must be permanently nailed or glued into your subfloor. In extreme temperatures, engineered woods have much greater structural stability, which delivers better resistance against buckling. While this can be a benefit, the durability of engineered wood is not comparable to solid forms because the surfaces on this engineered wood are quite thin and are more prone to chip over time.
Engineered floors are the better choice when it comes to moisture. Engineered wood is constructed with a plywood base so moisture is less likely to flex or warp the boards. The fibers in plywood run in a crosswise layer helping make it resistant to moisture build-up.
Solid hardwood floors are not usually recommended in areas where moisture is prevalent. So you probably want to avoid solid wood for your bathroom, laundry room or any areas that require regular mopping or have water around. Even still, solid hardwood can still resist moisture to some extent (especially if you can clean it up quickly) but this will depend on if the wood is prefinished or site-finished. Site-finished wood has a top layer that is sealed which can help absorb some of the moisture.
Most people are looking to support products that sustain a positive environment approach. In many cases, engineered hardwood is more eco-friendly than solid wood. The manufacturing process for engineered wood is less wasteful and requires less energy than most of the other flooring types. However, it isn’t to say that selected solid hardwood isn’t a sustainable option. You can still buy environmentally friendly solid wood, provided that it is purchased from a responsible supplier and certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
Ceiling color helps enhance the look and mood of your home’s interior and adds character. But how do you know what color to paint it? While most people would say white, have you seen how many shades of “white” there are? If you’ve never contemplated anything beyond the basic neutral, you might be missing out on an opportunity to add excitement and drama to a room. When you are choosing paint colors for your ceiling, consider what will best coordinate with your home’s architecture, wall color, trim and other furnishings.
The ceilings in your home represent 1/6th of the space in a room but it hardly ever gets more than a basic coat of white paint. While bright white is usually considered the safest option, it is certainly not the only choice. Here are some alternative choices to the basic white paint.
If you don’t want to have bold colors on your walls, a pop of color on the ceiling might be perfect for your space. By keeping the rest of the walls neutral, the bold color will help complement the space.
Square panels are another popular option for ceilings. There are many interesting design options but even a plain square design can add dimension to the room.
Usually wallpaper is for walls but it can just as easily be applied to the ceiling. If you love patterns, this is an easy way to add it to your room without having to cover every wall.
If you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling with exposed beams or other woodwork throughout your home, then why bother changing the look. But if these aren’t already part of your home’s structure, you can still add them as your design element with wood planks as your ceiling.
If an all white room feels too sterile but a pop of bright color isn’t your style either, a subtle color can help add dimension and interest to your room.
Last week we talked about how to create more of a division of space in an open floor plan. There are many different ways to use a divider to create this illusion. Whether it’s an open bookcase, curtains, or a glass partition, this divider can help keep noise levels down and help create privacy without cutting off the room completely.
This week we are going to talk about two simple things you can do with your space when trying to create zones for your interior.
Arranging your furniture is a great place to start and likely won’t even cost you a thing. By turning the backs of chairs and couches to the rest of your space is an immediate way to separate the area. You create intimate sections when you start to rearrange your furniture this way. So for example, if your living room is right next to your dining room, having your couch with it’s back to the dining table or facing chairs towards the fireplace, creates a natural feel of separation.
Another easy way to create a strong visually distinct area is adding an area rug. They not only enhance your decor and add softness to the space but they help absorb noise, which is important when multiple activities and groups are in one place. Making sure your rugs are the appropriate size is also essential. A great tip is that the rug should fit at least one piece of main furniture in the room. When in doubt, always go bigger!
An open floor plan is a design trend that shows no sign of slowing in popularity. But older homes often lack openness and instead have a bunch of separate rooms, not conducive to modern living. More and more older properties are being adapted in order to suit the growing desire for large, open, airy spaces. This layout offers a feeling of spaciousness without having to increase the home’s overall square footage. An open floor plan is defined as two or more rooms, excluding bathrooms and bedrooms, that are located within a larger common area.
While this open floor plan is popular amongst most homeowners, it can be hard to prevent the kitchen, living, dining and family areas from becoming blurred together and feeling disorderly. This will be a multi-part series on ideas to help maximize your open floor plan.
Using a divider. There are many options to help a natural separation to rooms.
The idea of using an open bookcase to separate areas serves as double duty – both storage and division. Leaving some open space on shelves allows light and natural brightness to filter through. Choosing a high-quality, sturdy furniture is important as you don’t want it to tip over. Always use an anchor or secure the freestanding unit to ensure it stays in place.
Curtains can also go beyond just window treatments. They can be used as a room divider as well. It will help create softness and enhance the room’s ambiance, especially if sheer.
A screen divider can be an elegant way to break up a room. It can also add an artsy vibe to your space and become a great conversation starter. Since you want to make it feel intentional, consider your surrounding design and other architectural elements when selecting patterns, colors and material.
A glass partition helps block noise while letting natural light filter between the spaces. If you choose to obscure the view to further separate the rooms, consider etched or textured glass. You can also create a full glass wall with doors. This keeps it feeling open while allowing another user to shut the door and use the space without distraction.
Do you think of your formal dining room as a waste of space? Not everyone has the need for a long dining room table that only gets used a handful of times throughout the year. There are plenty of things that you can do with the space to make the room more functional for you or your family.
As we have shifted away from the need for large formal entertaining spaces in the home, we have shifted towards designated work spaces. Having a home office is a luxury as the rise in remote work has increased and makes a huge difference in your ability to get your work done from home. This can require a small renovation if you want to add doors to the space but otherwise, won’t hinder future projects with the space.
If you are a book lover, turn your formal dining room into your own home library. Add bookshelves, big comfy reading chairs, bright lighting and a step stool or sliding ladder if your bookshelves go all the way to the ceiling.
The family room is a place for play and leisure, but if you have a growing family with little kids, this is a great way to keep toys in one room. Having storage and built in shelves is a great way to be able to hide the toys when company is over. This helps give your kids their own space that is separate from the rest of the house. A space that is designated for arts and crafts or even a swing or rock wall to enjoy.
Whether you’re into yoga, running on a treadmill, taking a spin class or weight training, this large space in your home might be the perfect in-home gym. Putting down rubber tile flooring and adding some equipment and a large tv and you’re set.
If you constantly find yourself using your dining room table more for crafts and other projects than actually eating meals, then maybe it’s a sign you need a craft room. Turning this pace into an area designated for crafts will help foster your imagination and help keep your crafting organized. Adding a craft table and storage shelves will help transform this space and keep all of your supplies handy and organized.
Instead of inviting friends over for a nice dinner in your formal dining room, have them over for a game of pool in your new game room. Yes, you could turn your space into a game room. Whether it’s pool, ping pong, pinball or even video games, you can turn your formal dining room into the ultimate entertaining space.