wood floors


Wood Floors Overview

Wood floors have always been the main contributors of that 'inviting appeal' and warmth  in homes everywhere, and have traditionally proven very durable and easy to maintain. Wood floors are more popular today than ever before, due in large part to the increase in the number of companies manufacturing this type of flooring as well as the pricing, which is in line with other hard-surface flooring such as natural stone and porcelain tile.

Wood floors are available in either solid or engineered construction and can be either factory prefinished or be purchased unfinished, allowing you to custom finish it on the job-site. Manufacturers such as Anderson, Bruce, Tarkett, Award, Mannington, Shaw and Mohawk all manufacturer excellent quality products. There are many more companies that are not listed here that produce quality hardwood flooring. Please visit our flooring directory and guide for more information and additional resources.

Below is a list of the different terms associated with this type of flooring and what these terms mean. All types are available in a number of common and exotic species:

  • Solid Construction - Planks are cut from a solid block of wood. They are then processed into flooring with a general thickness of 3/4 inch. A tongue and groove is added and the pieces are then cut in varying lengths. Because of the tendency of solid products being more sensitive to moisture and humidity, this type of flooring should not be installed below-grade.

  • Engineered Construction - Several thin sheets (3 to 5 ply's)  of wood are laminated together and each layer (ply) is applied in the opposite direction of the one before it. This reversing of grain adds stability to the overall product, for hardwood tends to expand and contract depending on moisture levels. This type of flooring construction is the most dimensionally stable available today.

  • Prefinished - Whether solid or engineered construction, the product has a factory applied finish. Most manufacturers use a finish that is UV cured with ultra violet lights which creates a very hard and durable surface. They also provide a factory warranty which offers the homeowner peace of mind that their investment will stay beautiful long after the installation.

  • Unfinished - Generally speaking, only solid flooring will be offered un-finished. This will allow the homeowner the choice in not only stain (color), but whether to have a wax surface or urethane coating applied at the end. Wax surfaces, although more laborious, can always be kept looking new. Applied urethane products will produce a more maintenance-free finish, but after time will need to be re-applied.

  • Handscraped - Flooring with the look of old and reclaimed hardwood. If you like individual character markings such as dents, grooves (manually applied by hand) as well as anything else you'd expect in a 'used-looking' flooring, you will love the choice of Handscraped. It is available in both solid and engineered and comes factory finished.

  • Distressed - The same look as Handscraped, except that the markings are done solely by machine. This process tends to produce a more 'manufactured' look than the natural look of Handscraped.

  • Longstrip - Wood Strip Flooring that incorporates approximately 20 individual pieces in generally a 3 row series. This produces an effect of having installed 3 individual planks wide and several planks long. Designed specifically for a 'floating' installation, this flooring can be used in both above and below grade applications.


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