Rich and inviting, hardwood flooring makes a distinctive statement.
Because of a great range of natural variations-from boards with extreme character, graining, and color variation to those that are evenly colored and consistent-lustrous hardwood can create a uniquely beautiful floor.
Your kind of floor. Warm, stylish, and original.
Features & Benefits of Hardwood Flooring
Beautiful and long-lasting, hardwood flooring make an elegant choice for nearly any room in your home.
When choosing hardwood, the color, character, and construction type are the important factors to consider.
The color of hardwood flooring ranges from quite light to intensely dark—and everything in between. While, as a rule, lighter floors work well in contemporary settings and darker floors are elegantly at home in more traditional rooms, choosing is essentially a matter of preference.
Naturally present in hardwood, grain variations help determine a wood’s “personality.” Dramatic grain suggests a rustic feeling. Historically, moderate grain variations are associated with the traditional. And hardwood with very little graining has a sleek, contemporary look.
There are two basic choices—solid or engineered. Solid planks are created from a single piece of wood and make a handsome floor that lasts for years. Engineered planks are made from several layers of wood (with a core of plywood or HDF) and are designed to withstand higher levels of humidity. This means they can go in some rooms solid floors can’t.
Note that there are many differences in finishes—gloss or luster level, scraping degree and technique, wire-brushing, etc. Ask our sales staff to show you samples!
We understand the features, advantages and benefits that make it a solid flooring choice – one of America’s most popular. Which is why we want you to know.
We want you to know all about hardwood; to understand and experience this versatile product so you can decide if it’s the smartest flooring choice for you.
Hardwood certainly answers the need for beauty in your home.
The elegant look of a hardwood floor can add warmth and character to any room.
In fact, the natural characteristics of wood add depth and a visual appearance that many other types of floors can only try to duplicate.
Rich, inviting hardwood floors are not only beautiful to live with, they’re easy to care for, and can add value to your home at resale time.
Types of Hardwood
Today, hardwood types, options and applications are more diverse and delightful than ever.
As the consumer demand for hardwood floors has grown, so has the manufacturer’s ability to produce better quality finishes and superior construction techniques.
The result of those advancements is that wood floors can now be installed throughout the home and over a wide variety of subfloors.
Knowing how hardwood is constructed provides you with an understanding of the hardwood floor. Knowing the different types that make up various hardwood floors also helps you understand and evaluate their performance aspects: why certain hardwoods are easier to install, why some wear better, longer, and why others are easier to replace.
Solid Wood Floors
Solid wood floors are one solid piece of wood that have tongue and groove sides. When we talk about solid wood floors, we tend to think of floors that are unfinished, but it’s important to know that there are also many pre-finished 3/4” solid wood floors.
And you should also be aware of the moisture factor.
Solid wood floors are sensitive to moisture and because so they are used in nail down installations and are not recommended for installation below ground level, or directly over a concrete slab.
The good news is that these floors can be refinished, or recoated, several times, which adds to their appeal and to their long life in your home.
In fact, there are solid floors that are over 100 years old that are still in good condition with rich patina and character – enhancing the beauty of the home.
Because they’re a natural product, hardwood flooring will expand and contract in response to seasonal changes in moisture. In the winter heating months, moisture leaves the wood causing the floor to contract, which creates small gaps between each plank.
In the summer months, when the humidity is higher, the wood will expand and the gaps will disappear. If there is too much moisture it may cause the wood planks to cup, or buckle. Not something you want in your home.
This is why it is important when installing a solid strip floor to leave the proper expansion area around the perimeter and to acclimate the wood prior to installation. This will help assure a lasting, beautiful application.
Each species of wood has its own unique characteristics. Color is determined by what part of the tree the wood originally comes from.
The grain pattern is determined by the species and how the wood is cut.
Natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected. Similar to natural stone, these variations create the beautiful and unique look of a wood floor. They make your floor close to one of a kind.
Engineered Wood Floors
Engineered wood floors are generally manufactured with 2, 3, or 5 thin sheets or plies of wood that are laminated together to form one plank.
These wood plies are stacked on top of each other but in the opposite directions. This is called cross-ply construction which creates a wood floor that is dimensionally stable and less affected by moisture than a 3/4” solid wood floor.
In the presence of moisture, solid wood planks will always expand across the width of the planks, rather than down the length of the boards.
The advantage of cross-ply construction allows the plies to counteract each other which will stop the plank from growing or shrinking with the changes in humidity.
The other advantage for you is versatility. You can install these floors over concrete slabs in your basement as well as anywhere else in you home.
Most engineered floors can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, or floated over a wide variety of subfloors, including some types of existing flooring.
Longstrip Plank Floors
Longstrip plank floors are similar to engineered floors and have several wood plies that are glued together.
The center core is generally a softer wood material and is used to make the tongue and groove. A hardwood finish layer is glued on top of the core.
The top layer can be almost any hardwood species and is made up of many smaller individual pieces that are laid in three rows.
This gives the effect of installing a board that is 3 rows wide and several planks long. Each longstrip plank looks like an entire section that has already been pre-assembled for you. This alone can create a unique look all your own.
Longstrip planks are designed for the floating installation, but most can also be glued-down, or stapled down. Because these floors can be floated they are extremely versatile – they can go over a wide variety of subfloors and on any grade level.
Like engineered floors, longstrip floors come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species.
Longstrip plank floors have another advantage. When damaged, they are easy to replace. That can be an important consideration for active homes.