Whatever type of project you are working on, whether it be office, restaurant, retail, hotel or common area, chances are high end wood floors and wall cladding are desired by the client. Premium, gorgeous wood floors and wall cladding seem to be what everyone wants. But, did you know that not all wood flooring and wall cladding are made equal? You may be surprised at the options you have to bring your vision to fruition. You see, you can go with the traditional Solid Hardwood or newer Engineered Hardwood, but at the end of the day, moisture will make the decision.

In the past, Laminate flooring was used in many commercial buildings, and now everyone is looking to replace it. You may be seeing this if designing or finishing out a remodel of an older building. Although Laminate is still the most inexpensive option, Kenmark has chosen not to carry basic laminate flooring options, because when it comes down to it, it’s just an inferior option to our other lines. Commercial projects of today demand better — solid hardwood or engineered hardwood flooring solutions.

But how do you decide between an Engineered Hardwood Flooring product or Solid Hardwood? This is where moisture comes into play.

If you have the freedom to choose, Solid Hardwood would probably be your preference. Just think about it, what’s in your grandmother’s 100-year-old house? What do DIYers hope to find under that shag carpet? Spoiler: It’s Solid Hardwood. It’s going to last the life of your project (and then some) with just the occasional refinishing.

However, Solid Hardwood floor reacts to seasonal changes and moisture in the environment, generally contracting when it’s cold and dry and expanding when it’s hot and humid. So acclimation of the flooring and knowing your subfloor moisture level is key to a successful installation, and often times it is wiser NOT to risk installing Solid Hardwood.
Engineered Hardwood flooring provides the perfect solution when moisture is present in a project environment. It’s made of layers of laminated plywood with a veneer of fine hardwood on top, allowing it to be refinished, renewed and repaired fairly easily, often without the need to replace planks or even the entire floor (something not even possible with Laminate). The stacking of the layers is designed to counteract the natural tendency of hardwoods to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to different environmental factors. This makes engineered hardwood flooring an excellent alternative in projects that have excessive moisture.
So wherever you are remodeling or breaking ground on a commercial project, check how much moisture your floors and walls will be exposed to. And know Kenmark can provide premium, gorgeous Engineered Hardwood products for flooring and wall cladding.