The classic wooden flooring is still considered one of the most beautiful designs you can add to your house. It gives out a feeling of authenticity and warmth to your house. Wooden flooring is easy to partner with the different types of decorations you can add to your house. The first option that comes into mind is the use of hardwood flooring. Known for its extreme durability, it can last for a very long time especially when kept well-maintained. The issue though with hardwood is that it is also known to be expensive.
For those who wish to use wooden flooring but may be short on budget to pursue hardwood flooring, a different type of wooden flooring is still available. Though they do not have that extreme durability as hardwood but with proper installation and application of a protective coating, plywood flooring can be made durable enough to last for a longer time too. With so many types of plywood to choose from, Baltic birch plywood has been known to be a good substitute for hardwood flooring.
What Is Baltic Birch Plywood?
Birch plywood is a common type of plywood in the market. However, there is a special type called Baltic birch plywood, which is known to be an excellent material used in construction projects and also in the making of furniture. The difference can be seen between their plies. The plies in Baltic birch plywood almost double the plies available in regular birch plywood. True to its name, genuine Baltic birch plywood is usually produced in the Baltic region, most especially in Finland and Russia.
The production of Baltic birch plywood involves laminating together high-quality birch veneers. To maintain its excellent quality, the manufacturers make sure that there are no voids in its production. By doing so, there is no need to add wood fillers. Exterior grade glue is used for this type of plywood so that it can be used in an outdoor environment. Similar to other types of plywood, there are also different grades such as aircraft and marine grade.
Installation of Baltic Birch Plywood as Flooring
Prior to placement of plywood, you have to determine the areas that can fit whole sheets of plywood while cutting up smaller sizes for areas that have less space available to make an exact fit. When cutting the plywood, make sure to cut it straight and clean to avoid spaces in between the sheets. When everything is ready, you will then attach the plywood sheets to the subfloor. Adhesives, sealant, paint (depends on user preference) and protective coating are then applied as needed.
Usually, it takes multiple layers of protective coating, like polyurethane, to give excellent protection to the floor against scratches and make your plywood floor resist water damage. It is recommended to leave the floor to dry after a layer of coating is added. It takes 24 hours to dry, so when you wish to apply 2-3 layers of coating, then it may take up to 3 days before the floor becomes usable. You can opt to install the flooring by yourself, however, to avoid possible problems that may come up in the future, it is highly recommended to leave the installation of your flooring to professionals.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Baltic Birch Plywood Flooring?
For the installation of your flooring using Baltic Birch Plywood, it would be best if you would reach out to us so that we can discuss your actual setup to figure out your exact needs. However, to get an idea of the estimate of such a type of installation, we can consider the average costs in the current market. To serve as an example, let us assume the following variables which already include the whole package of cutting, finishing, and installation:
- Floor area: 1,550 square feet
- Baltic birch plywood size: 4’ x 8’ x 24mm (average price per square feet is CAD 8)
In this scenario, you just have to multiply the average price per square foot by the total floor area. The unit price already includes the labour and miscellaneous materials needed for all the necessary processes to finish the project. So the total cost for the project would be CAD 12,400.
Advantages of Using Baltic Birch Plywood for Flooring
Compared to other varieties of plywood, Baltic birch plywood is considered to be a bit more expensive. However, you have to consider other factors before deciding on going with the cheaper option. Below is a list of advantages that may persuade your decision to use this variety of plywood over its counterparts:
Can Withstand Wear and Tear
Baltic birch plywood is known to incorporate more plies as compared to other varieties of plywood of the same thickness or size. Having more plies in plywood increases its quality. For this to be possible, thinner plies are used. This makes it better for each ply to bond. This in turn makes it more durable and can withstand abuse and pressure. This is a quality of good flooring.
Consistently Thick and Strong
Strength is another factor that makes Baltic birch plywood a good option for your house flooring. This plywood does not contain any medium-density fiberboard (MDF). It is only composed of multiple layers of birch. This gives the plywood consistent thickness all throughout.
Glue Withstands External Factors
Glue is an important factor that determines the quality of plywood. A large percentage of the cost in the manufacturing of plywood is focused on the amount and type of glue used. Since this variety of plywood uses only exterior grade glue, it is built to withstand external factors like water, heat, and constant pressure.
There are no voids. These little spaces or holes in plywood can affect its integrity in the long run. Authentic Baltic birch plywood is known for its void-free structure. You have to be careful when purchasing this variety of plywood because you might miss checking between actual Baltic birch plywood and regular birch plywood. Regular birch plywood still contains small voids.
Great Surface for Staining
If you wish to add stains to your wooden flooring, Baltic birch plywood is known to be a good surface for such to be applied on. However, with its original light appearance being appealing as it already is, you may not have to add any beautifying stains to the flooring.
Easy and Safe to Install Screws
Being known to have uniform plies and a thicker face, it is easy to install screws to it. There is less to no chance that the wood breaks off when drilling holes into it. You can add fixtures to your room while easily bolting them to your Baltic birch flooring.
Child-friendly in the House
It is known to have no knots and jagged edges. This makes it child-friendly which is an important factor when considering the type of flooring to use in your house.
A Cheaper Alternative to Hardwood Floors
It is a cheaper substitute for hardwood flooring. Though there is a clear difference between durability and quality between the two, Baltic birch plywood is still good in its own right. The value of this variety of plywood cannot be overlooked. In addition, using plywood flooring for any type of room in your house is much more feasible. It would be not cost-efficient to use hardwood flooring in rooms that do not get affected by extreme changes in climate or frequent spillage from water, colas, or juices.
The main source for its plies, birch trees, are growing abundantly in the Baltic region. Birch trees also grow quite fast which makes them environment friendly as birch trees used to make plywood are replaced quickly by new trees.
Cost-effective in the Long Run
Having a wide range of choices that can be used as flooring for your house, you must first consider the budget you have available before looking at the quality of materials to be used. For those who would still choose wood flooring but cannot afford to buy hardwood flooring, then you can opt to use Baltic birch plywood. You need to consider that other than aesthetics, there are different factors to be considered before finalizing your decision.
In the end, you must choose which would not make you regret it in the future. It has been tested that with this variety of plywood, even after a few years have passed, there have been little to no signs of wear and tear. Lastly, do consider the costs against the benefits of having a professional team evaluate and install the flooring for you.
Costs incurred will not only be of monetary value as you will also have to consider the time, health, and safety of everyone involved during project implementation. In addition, if done by experts, there will be few to no errors made which will avoid future back jobs. Always feel free to contact our team for us to help you decide on your flooring needs.