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You cannot stay unphased when confronted with a well-built, quality wooden floor. Decks and hardwood floors are becoming more and more popular. People all over the country are interested in upgrading their homes and yards (or gardens) with the unique look which wood brings to any location. When we are in a more pleasant kind of surrounding, we are less stressed. That’s a fact. The outside world affects us considerably, and there is really nothing quite like the clean look of wood to elevate the quality of life and help us get a bit closer to nature.
A deck is an external wooden floor made up of boards. These boards are laid down on a foundation of beams or columns. This foundation and its wooden boards are put in place by using bolts or by affixing them to the ground, concrete, or any tiles which are under the construction.
The quality of a deck changes in accordance with the materials which it’s made from. In the timber industry, there multiple types of wood, as well as synthetic wood. Such types include:
Softwood – pine (very popular in Israel), fir, douglas fir, and white monolithic wood. Softwoods are generally less dense than hardwoods (which is what contributes to their relative softness), and this means that they are less resilient in the face of weather and environmental damages. Furthermore, soft wood decks require higher maintenance, in the long term. We will discuss deck maintenance later on.
Synthetic wood – wood-like materials, which provide the look and feel of a natural deck without the actual timber. It is an alternative which is slowly gaining in popularity. A major advantage of the synthetic deck over natural wood is that decks made of PVC, polymer compounds of some kind, or different synthetic materials require no maintenance at all. Synthetic decks are also usually cheaper.
The deck’s raw material, the various treatments it has undergone, and the quality of its finish – these are the factors which will determine its price. Note: it is best to consult with a professional before closing on anything. You must take into account the kind of soil or tiles, the kind of foundation which exists, and the possibility of changes occurring to the deck or its surroundings. Wood which becomes warped, and synthetic materials which develop a kind of “dip” – for instance – are things which the customer needs to consider. This is why it is best to consult with an experienced professional, who will be able to provide an opinion and a wider, more long-term point of view.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Deck
A natural deck is fragrant, pleasant to the touch, and it provides a real country kind of feel. Some wooden decks are able to survive for decades without ever warping. Natural wood is expensive but it’s also prestigious. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, are cheaper, and they do not harm the rainforests.
What are some of the disadvantages of a deck? Some decks require more regular maintenance than others. A natural deck needs to be oiled at least twice a year (spring and summer are usually when that happens). Some decks are exposed to the elements and bad weather. Furthermore, the deck could become slippery and wet during the rainy season.
Parquet (French) is the given name for any type of indoor wooden floor, aka hardwood. It goes back to the 17th century and probably exists from before then. The hardwood floor is an excellent alternative to marble and stone floors. Like the deck we just spoke of, the parquet also provides the space with a very prestigious look and brings with it a different kind of atmosphere. This is the chief reason for installing hardwood floors – it provides a certain kind of quality to any area it occupies. It is harmonious, it is natural, and it blends in with a home environment. There are two main types of parquet floors:
Monolithic wood or whole wood – the original and unique parquet, made of unprocessed wood. This is the most natural and prestigious of the hardwoods. It is also one of the most durable and more insulating types, and it allows a person to walk barefoot even in the middle of the winter! A parquet has several different finishes which affect its quality and style. As an example, with a varnish finish, you will get a sleek-looking floor, which is easy to maintain. On the other hand, it is a finish which is more prone to damage, and it requires a professional to fix any damages. With an oil finish, you get a different look and feel, and its resilience is higher, but it is also more expensive.
In this category, there is also layered parquet – a floor which is constructed with multiple layers of wood. The price of a layered parquet rises and falls depending on the amount of layers it has. This parquet provides more options of color and texture, but it is considered to be of lesser quality than all-natural wood.
Laminate parquet – an artificial parquet which is made industrially. This is the cheapest kind of parquet, and it is made of synthetic materials.
— BestHomeDecorIdeas (@besthomedecor2) August 27, 2017
The main advantages of a laminate parquet are that it is cheaper, more eco-friendly, and highly durable. Pets will be able to make their peace with synthetic wood, which is seldom the case with natural wood. Dogs and cats love scratching the wood, and with all-natural wood, this could spell certain doom for your floor.
Maintenance for a laminate floor is also cheaper than that of natural wood. The greatest disadvantage which lamination possesses is that it is obviously not the real thing. If the aesthetics are of importance to you, it is best to invest in real natural wood.
Deck and Hardwood Floor Maintenance
We briefly mentioned some of the maintenance which goes into decks and hardwoods. This is the time to go a little deeper because higher maintenance could make or break your decision to install a certain kind of floor. The act of maintenance, its time, and its frequency – these all change in accordance with the raw materials, as well as treatments which the floor may have been subjected to prior to being installed.
As far as natural wood is concerned, you can expect the color to fade in the first few months, and then for the color to find its place and settle down within a year or so. Remember that natural, unprocessed wood may also secrete sap up to six months after being cut down. Sometimes trees arrive in a more dried state, and sometimes they are so fresh, it looks as though they arrived straight from the forest.
If you know for a fact that you won’t have the time or energy to invest and maintain your deck or floor, there is always the option of synthetic materials. If you go with a deck or hardwood floor made of real wood and then neglect its upkeep, it could turn into a dirty, gray, damage-laden, scratch-ridden board. Ain’t that a shame?