April 11, 2022
The Brief History of Wood Flooring
The Drivers Behind the Innovation in Materials
Real hardwood flooring can be easily sanded down and refinished, giving it a long life time. However, it is costly to purchase, install and maintain, requiring a certain level of humidity to prevent cracking. The demands on wood as a natural resource are also very high. It is the real deal and still very popular.
The industry begged for a lower maintenance, cheaper version of solid hardwood floors, so engineered hardwood was born. This solution helped with lowering maintenance and care for the floors but was still expensive for consumers.
Then came laminate floors – a wood particle blend with image layer on top to mimic the look of hardwood. High definition prints and embossing techniques improve the look of laminate, well, the biggest problem is its tendency to swell with moisture.
Porcelain tile caught onto this desire for wood-looking floors, so there has been an increasing trend in wood-like tile. Tile is great because it’s very durable and water resistant but is cold to the touch and the rock hard surface can be tough on the feet. Tile also has a more complex installation requiring mortar and grout.
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) was then been invented. LVT is vinyl constructed into planks to mimic a wood-looking floor and is waterproof, which solves the problem with laminate. It is cheaper to install with both floating floor click-system or glue down options, but it can shrink or buckle with cold and heat.
This leads us to the latest innovation in wood-like flooring – SPC flooring.