Hardwood is one of the most popular and fastest growing floor covering choices. The natural characteristics of wood add depth and a visual appearance that many other types of floors try to duplicate. Rich, inviting hardwood floors can add value to your home at resale time. Hardwood types, options and applications are more diverse than ever. Manufacturer's now have the 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 sub-floors.
- one of America’s most popular floors
- can add warmth and character to any room
- rich and inviting
- beautiful to live with
- easy to care for
- add value to your home at resale time
- more diverse and delightful than ever
The number of hardwood choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points can intimidate even the most experienced shopper. Knowing the basic styles can provide you with a firm foundation upon which to begin your hardwood-shopping journey. Choosing your ideal hardwood style is all about knowing the right combination of aesthetics, performance and budget that meets the needs of your lifestyle.
Personal Style - designs: medallions, running on the diagonal, or creating borders
- ready for installation
- boards already sanded, stained and finished
- harder, better- protected surface
- wider variety of wood species
- save hours of labor and cleanup
- extended finish warranty
- allow you to have a custom job
- you choose the wood species
- it’s sanded and stained on site
- can level the surface after installation
- no extended finish warranty.
- look at installation site for location limitations
- solid floors - susceptible to moisture, not recommended for basements, or concrete slabs
Grain and cut
- styles are result of the species available
- species: red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory or pecan
- Each species has unique graining and texture
- graining on the boards determined by the way it has been cut
- two cutting processes. “Sliced Cut” -more uniform pattern and “Rotary Cut”- displays a larger and bolder graining pattern
- each species gives choices of color and finishes
- choose coordinating or contrasting with cabinetry and furniture
- darker woods- more formal
- natural colors- more casual
- different types for pre-finished or job site finished
- lower gloss levels- better for active rooms
- lower gloss or matte finishes minimize dirt and scratches
- high gloss finish for formal décor
- no more waxing and scrubbing
- pre-finished- hard, durable, urethane-based finishes
- chips of Aluminum Oxide added to increases the urethane finish’s life
- Floor protection
- factory finished: several coats applied to the surface
- many companies apply 6-10 coats of a ultra-violet (UV) cured urethane
- UV cured urethane: difficult to duplicate on a job site finish
- factory finishes - more consistent and durable
- do not wash your floor with a mop
- water is not a friend of hardwood
- floors won't watermark like old waxed floors
- UV cured finishes do make floors easier to maintain than waxed floors.
- uv-cured – factory finishes cured with Ultra Violet lights versus heat
- polyurethane – clear, tough and durable applied as a wear layer
- acrylic-urethane – different make up than Polyurethane, same benefits
- ceramic – advanced technology allowing ceramics to increase wear layer resistance
- aluminum Oxide – Added to urethane finish for increased abrasion resistance
- acrylic Impregnated – Acrylic monomers injected into cell structure for hardness, then finished with a wear layer
Job-site hardwood flooring
- start with a bare (unfinished) floor, than sand, stain, and finish
- if subfloor is acceptable you can have a custom stained
- can have a floor to match existing trim
- advantage: smoother floor between planks
- process is messy and takes several days
- Water Based Urethane – water used as part of the makeup of the finish
- Solvent Based Urethane – oil used as part of the makeup of the finish
- Moisture Cured Urethane – similar make up as solvent based urethanes, finish needs moisture to cure
Boards come in various sizes:
- narrower board widths called “strips”
- wider boards called “planks”
- board width visually impacts a room
- narrow boards expand a room
- wider boards work well in a larger room
- floors come in either a beveled edge, or a square edge
- each edge creates a specific look and feel
- square edge: edges all meet squarely for a uniform, smooth surface (contemporary and formal)
- eased edge: boards slightly beveled to length and/or the end joints, hides irregularities, plank heights, also called micro-beveled edge
- beveled edge: distinctive groove, informal and country décor, beveled edges sealed completely, dirt easy to sweep or vacuum out of the grooves.
Hardness – Janka hardness test
- measures the force needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball to half its diameter in a piece of wood
- higher the number the harder the wood
- one of the best methods to measure the ability of wood species to withstand indentations
- general guide when comparing various species
- construction and finish also important in the durability and ease of maintenance
WOOD SPECIES - HARDNESS RATING
One of the main benefits of hardwood flooring is that they are low maintenance floors that require only a little more maintenance than sweeping on a regular basis to remove dirt. Cleaners are only needed when cleaning spills, removing scuff marks or major cleanings like spring cleaning.
- Place walk off mats at every door that are regularly maintained.
- You can and should vacuum your floors daily.
- Use the correct floor cleaner.
- Don’t assume that any household cleaner should be safe for your hardwood floors.
- Cleaners should be applied with a terry cloth head mop.
- Less is more. Use only a small amount of cleaner.
- Only use wax on floors with a wax finish.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- For stubborn stains like chewing gum or candle wax try using a credit card.
- Use Technical Support.