What is plank flooring? Right from the name itself, plank flooring is a type of wooden flooring for houses/apartments, where the wooden floors are installed in the form of planks of wood. Plank flooring is the most common form of wooden flooring being used throughout the world. This type of flooring is laid down by placing the wooden planks on the floor supporter joists with wooden pegs. Each plank is quite thick and wide, and is generally quite long lasting.
When it comes to plank flooring there are a number of details to be taken into account. Lapse in anyone of them would result in poor flooring, resulting in replacement of the flooring itself in the worst case.
Here are some of the important factors:
Types of wood –
There is a whole assortment of wood which is used for flooring, some of which are, oak, maple wood, etc. These woods are typically classified as the hardwood flooring. Woods like pine wood, walnut wood, flooring come under the category of softwood. Particularly in the region of North America, the most common wood used for flooring is the hardwood flooring. White oak wood is commonly used for plank flooring.
Wood Grains –
The grain patterns are formed on these planks due to the manner in which the logs are sawn. Typically the hardwoods are quite versatile here as they give off different grain patterns depending on how they are cut. The hardwoods are generally plain sawn, but are also sawn by other mechanisms to include a combination of different grain patterns, thereby offering more variety to the plank flooring.
Width of the Plank –
The woods used for plank flooring are offered in different widths to consider different customization options. Typically they are suggested to be of uniform width. There is no standard when it comes to defining the width of the plank, as it completely depends on the provider. In North America, they range from 5” to 10” in width.
Structure of the Wood – One of the most important considerations when deciding on the plank flooring is the structure of the wood, which plays a big role when it comes to the durability of the wooden flooring. Solid hardwoods are very traditional ones, but are quite rigid.
Over the years a modern structuring of wooden layers paved way to new structure of wood called the engineered wood. Here the top layer is hardwood, which is bonded together with other layers of hardwood specifically arranged longitudinally, radially and tangentially. This arrangement puts less stress on the wood during the expansion and contraction process, as a result of the variation in temperature.
Finish of the Wood –
This property defines the longevity of the plank flooring, after its installation. Typically there are two major types of finish Oil and Polyurethane. Oil is typical oil which is specifically developed to be applied on the wooden floors. Oil permeates to the wood and brings out the natural color and glow of the wood itself.
The big disadvantage here that oil is not dirt resistant and maintenance could be quite painful. Polyurethane, on the other hand, is plastic liquid which not only provides a great finish to the plank flooring but also forms a protective coat, thereby preventing the wood from scratches and dents, to a certain extent.