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
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
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
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.
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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