Most apartment and condominium buildings are constructed of solid concrete, steel and glass. For years the only option for people living in apartment & condominium buildings, that liked the beauty of hardwood; was to live with parquet floors... Parquet could be glued down and installed directly on the concrete.
Not everyone however, likes the busy patterns of parquet. Even the most elaborate design, and most interesting custom patterns become overbearing and too busy with time.
In times of rushing through life we all seek serenity and peace in our homes. We all want calm designs that create just right environment for our families. Now days, you can live your apartment and condominium life and still enjoy the beautiful look of spectacular hardwood flooring.
But "I want the real thing in my apartment and condominium", you say. Let me tell you why you should reconsider. Real hardwood floor is made of real wood. Wood is a living, breathing product that will, through out it's life, expand and contract. If installed in a correct manner and on a sufficient base, it will do so without creating visible gaps and groves, there will not be any movement and squeaking. Since real wood is usually installed on main and upper floors in a residential construction, it is installed on a ply-wood or OSB board, that does not promote the moisture build-up. Usually there are no problems.
When the same wood is installed in a apartment and condominium environment enclosed by concrete, the moisture issue comes up quite soon. Because an additional, raised sub-floor is required, to create a moisture barrier; it reduces the overall height of the floor-to-ceiling area. Not every one is happy about that. After all you did pay for those nine and ten feet ceilings.
If you are tempted to just go ahead and install a real hardwood floor on a existing sub-flooring in your apartment or a condominium, here is what will happen.
At first, your floor will look as gorgeous as you expected, then with change of season, the moisture build-up underneath the sub-floor will increase or decrease. Just this fluctuation will cause the sub-floor to contract or expand. In the Summer it will absorb the excess moisture in the air and water condensation on the concrete slab just beneath it. In the winter, when the air in your apartment or condominium is dry, the sub- flooring will be dried out as well.
Now, your floor is installed directly and nailed into that contracting and expanding sub-floor. After a while, the original support for the nails will no longer be there. Here is the other side of the medal; the floor boards on top of the sub-floor are doing exactly the same thing. They too, are contracting and expanding. This is normal, and in standard residential construction it is expected and precisions are taken to accommodate the future fluctuation of the floor, before and during installation.
Since those steps were not taken here, and the proper raised sub-flooring was not installed, you have a moving floor on your hands. Normal movement of the floor, combined with the contracting and expanding of the sub-floor, with time will only make the matters worse.
You guest it... your real wood floor will start moving and it will create groves and gaps. This is why, you should seriously consider other options for your hardwood floor decor in an apartment or a condominium. Even if you truly love the real hardwood floor, you should consider a compromise and should opt for a look of real wood with some added benefits and qualities.
Discover engineered hardwood flooring the only product that can be used in apartments and condominiums, without going into trouble of installing additional sub flooring, to accommodate the real wood installation.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring is especially formulated to withstand the fluctuations in moisture levels when installed directly on the basement floors. It is constructed of several layers of hardwood, in a cross grain layers.
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