There are various factors to be considered buying floor tiles. Here they go.
1.Solid Hardwood -
Milled using a single lumber of wood, solid hardwood floors are loved for their sheer elegance, warmth, durability and strength. It is said that the beauty of these floors grows with time as they can be sanded and refinished end number of times throughout their life. These expand or contract with changes in temperature and humidity and hence not suitable for basement flooring. However, you can install them on ground floor and above. Though price of solid hardwood flooring type varies with the quality of wood used, but generally is expensive than laminates and engineered variety.
2.Engineered Hardwood -
These are constructed using multiple plies of wood with a solid layer on the top. The arrangement of wooden planks makes them comparatively better suitable for temperature and humidity changes and hence could be used at all floors of a residence.
3. Laminates -
Laminates are made by pressing composite wood together. Though they look similar to solid hardwood, but they lack on solid's hardwood inherent properties like durability, water resistance, strength and warmth. Laminates is the affordable of all the wood flooring varieties. It is of two types
MDF ( Medium Density Fiberboard) - Soft flooring, prone to water spills.
HDF ( High Density Fiberboard)- Harder, Less water absorbent and expensive than MDF
Prefinished, as the name suggests come to you with the stain and topcoat already done over it. Thus, while buying them you know what exactly you will be getting and can get it matched with the color palette of the house with sample swatches.
Site finished hardwood flooring comes as raw wooden planks and needs finishing for further use. Though, this increases installation troubles, but gives you an upper hand when customization of stain is concerned to suit the décor of the space.
Logs are cut in three different ways - plain sawn, rift sawn, and quarter sawn, thus giving three different grain patterns to the wood. Plain sawn is the most common type of cutting the wood and gives a Christian cathedral type of look and feel to the surface. Here the annular rings are 30 degrees or less. Quarter sawn comes with a straight grain pattern with the annular rings intersecting the face of the board at 60 or 90 degrees. With a unique look, rift sawn has annular rings between 30 to 60 degrees, with 45 degrees being the optimum. Plain sawn, being the easiest cut comes at much reduced price when compares to rift sawn, however, there is nothing like good and bad wood grain and depends upon the application. For a rustic feel plain sawn is preferable, but for an edgy looks, it is good idea to go for quarter and rift sawn.