One of the things homeowners always have to consider is the installation of the best type of materials for the flooring of their houses. There are numerous types of flooring solutions available in the market which makes it confusing for most of these homeowners. Interior designers help decide which type of flooring should be used on houses that have specific designs and layouts. However, it is still up to the homeowner to ultimately decide the one that fits the budget and the overall preference for the mood of the house. There are two types of flooring solutions that some homeowners find hard to decide on. These are parquet flooring and laminate flooring. This article will discuss the differences between these two and show why one would be the better choice over the other.
Things To Know About Laminate Flooring
When it comes to affordability, laminate flooring is one of the more famous choices that can be used as flooring for certain rooms of a house. The composition of this type of flooring uses multiple layers of synthetic products. The layers are carefully laminated to form a product that has good quality and can be used for longer periods of time if installed on an area that is compatible with it. The inner core of this type of flooring, usually called high density fiberboard (HDF), uses melamine resin and fiber board materials. This layer has a density above 0.85 g/cm3. These fiberboard materials are usually made from the waste and residue of wood products from the flooring manufacturers.
Laminate flooring is usually designed to mimic the look of wood and stone flooring. It uses a special design layer where the type of wood or stone design is printed to give the flooring panel a beautiful and elegant look. A wear layer is added on top of the design layer to protect it from getting scratched or stained. These synthetic materials ensure that laminate flooring becomes durable. There are two kinds of laminate flooring that are made depending on the method of manufacturing that was used. You may refer below for more information regarding the kinds of laminate flooring available in the market:
- Direct pressure laminate (DPL) is the most common kind of laminate flooring. It uses four layers of materials to create a flooring panel. The core layer uses a HDF panel to provide dimensional stability to the flooring panel. The design layer uses a high decorative print paper to copy the look of certain wood and stone designs. The topmost layer uses a melamine protective finish ensuring its wear resistance. The production of this kind of laminate flooring includes printing the design of the flooring panel on paper as its first step. All the layers are then pressed in one pass. This type of laminate flooring has a variant called high pressure laminate (HPL). This variant uses more impregnated paper and is laminated under a higher pressure. This variant is pressed under a pressure of 1,200 psi. Also, the temperature used for this variant is 340°F, and it takes 30 to 40 seconds to press the product.
- The other kind of laminate flooring is called printed direct laminate (PDL). In this kind of laminate flooring, the design is not printed on paper. The design is printed directly on the carrier board. Manufacturers use either roller printing machines or digital printing machines to print the design on the board. Resin or varnish is used by the manufacturer to protect the design.
There are many homeowners who prefer to use flooring materials that are made of real wood. However, wooden flooring is known to be more costly, especially if they are made out of materials coming from hardwood trees. Hardwood flooring panels are known for their elegance, beauty, durability and strength. These make them the most sought-after flooring solution for many individuals. For those who wish to use hardwood flooring but cannot afford to spend on buying hardwood flooring panels, they have the option to use parquet flooring instead.
Parquet flooring tiles are made completely from real wood, and the design would depend on the type of wood it was taken from. Parquet flooring may use hardwood or other types of real wood as its material. Its main difference with traditional hardwood flooring is that it is created in smaller sizes. Homeowners have the option to arrange the different tiles in ways that they would feel would look better for their floors. Some people even try to create repeating patterns or produce patterns that show geometric shapes to make unique floor designs. Parquet flooring that uses hardwood for its material has different kinds depending on how the flooring tiles are manufactured. Below are the different kinds of hardwood parquet flooring:
- The simplest kind of hardwood parquet flooring is one that uses unfinished solid hardwood as its material. Manufacturers use only the solid wood coming from the hardwood tree. They cut and shape the solid wood into the flooring tiles. This kind of hardwood parquet flooring is not stained or coated with protection.
- The pre-finished solid kind of hardwood parquet flooring is also made from solid wood coming from hardwood trees. However, this kind undergoes multiple processing steps before it is released on the market. After the manufacturer cuts and shapes the solid wood into flooring tiles, they are sanded and coated with stains and applied with a protective coating.
- The third kind is called engineered hardwood parquet flooring. For this kind, the flooring tiles are created by combining multiple layers or plies of wood veneer. The topmost layer or ply is usually made from the solid wood that comes from the hardwood tree. This layer is also used to determine the type of hardwood the parquet flooring tile is made of. The other layers or plies are made from soft wood or plywood. Engineered hardwood parquet flooring tiles are usually composed of 6-8 plies of wood veneer. A very strong adhesive is used to ensure that all the layers are completely bound together. The manufacturer also applies stains and protective coatings to this kind of hardwood parquet flooring. Doing this ensures that water or air will not be able to reach the wooden layers of the flooring tiles. This is important to know because water and air can have different effects on the wood veneers, which can cause irregularities to the flooring tiles.
Is Parquet Flooring Better Than Laminate Flooring?
Based on the characteristics of both types of flooring solutions, you may wonder if parquet flooring would be considered the better type between the two. You should also consider that the location and the circumstances of your flooring needs must first be checked before ultimately deciding on which to choose between them. There are various conditions that make parquet flooring the better option between the two. Below are some of the reasons and conditions that would make parquet flooring better:
- Areas that are constantly exposed to moisture
o Since laminate flooring uses HDF, it has a tendency to swell and blister when water reaches this specific layer. This can eventually ruin your flooring as time passes. With parquet flooring, you have an option to purchase engineered hardwood parquet flooring for areas that will be exposed to moisture. With the protective coatings and strong adhesive shielding the wood veneers from getting exposed to moisture, there will be fewer chances for the wood to be affected by water.
- Areas that are exposed to extreme climate changes
o Wood and laminate are porous materials. Both of these materials naturally are affected by climate changes. Flooring panels or tiles that use these materials have the tendency to expand in warmer climates, and they will also shrink when the temperature is lower. Canada is a country that is constantly affected by changes in temperature. However, the option of using engineered hardwood parquet flooring can negate the issues that can affect wood in relation to changes in the temperature. Same as the protection the wood veneer gets against water with the protective coatings and strong adhesive, these also protect the wood veneer from getting affected by hot and cold air. So there will be less risk for the flooring tiles to get damaged because the wooden material will not be able to change its size all throughout the year.
- Durability, strength, and maintenance of the materials
o Laminate flooring is susceptible to damages when it is exposed to very sharp objects. The topmost protective layer of the laminate flooring may get damaged and risk the possibility of getting the design layer affected by sunlight and water. When the design layer gets exposed directly to these external factors, it will eventually degrade in quality, which may lead to the need to replace the flooring panels. With parquet flooring, even if they are scratched or damaged by very sharp objects, they can easily be fixed by patching compounds for wood. Also, using hardwood parquet flooring gives the user the opportunity to refinish the flooring tiles. This will then extend the lifespan of the hardwood parquet flooring tiles.
Parquet Flooring Is Better In Certain Situations
When it comes to the flooring options for your house, you should never overlook the cost-effectiveness of certain types of flooring solutions. Parquet flooring may cost more than laminate flooring; however, based on some specific scenarios, using parquet flooring is definitely the correct choice in the long run. To avoid installing the wrong type of flooring solution to your house, it is highly advised that you get in touch with flooring experts to evaluate your property. You may contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624 if you wish to know the best type of flooring that you should use for your house.