Hardwood Flooring

 

Hardwood Overview Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring adds a beautiful and natural touch to any home. Hardwood flooring, when properly installed, will definitely increase your home and resale value. Hardwood flooring is more durable and will last longer than any other type of hard surface, including ceramic tile. Hardwood  can be installed virtually anywhere in your home except perhaps areas that are subject to moisture such as a bathroom.

Hardwood flooring, depending on the finish, is virtually maintenance free. Hardwood can be kept looking brand new by sweeping or vacuuming as needed. You may occasionally need to spot clean heavier traffic areas a little more often, but generally speaking, it will be the easiest floor in your home to care for. Be sure and follow the manufacturers recommendations on anything beyond these basic cleaning tips.


 
Hardwood Styles

Hardwood flooring is available in a number of styles such as strip, parquet and wide plank, and many popular species such as pine, oak, maple, cherry, pecan, cork and  bamboo. All will have they're unique characteristics and come in a variety of colors. Installation methods may vary slightly for each type, but on average all can be glued down to a suitable and flat subfloor. Be sure and use an adhesive specifically recommended by the manufacturer. Warrantees will only be honored if specific guidelines are followed.

Hardwood flooring is constructed in either one of two ways, solid or engineered. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Solid wood floors are milled from one piece of product. Solid floors can be refinished any number of times and kept looking brand new. When installing by the nail down method over a concrete sub-floor, you will first want to make sure the concrete is relatively 'flat'. Next, use pressure-treated furring strips and shoot them in with a nail gun spacing them evenly. Install plywood over the strips by nailing and then nail and glue the solid wood to the plywood.

Engineered wood flooring consist of three or more 'cross-plys'. They tend to resist warpage and expansion due to moisture levels and humidity. The only real draw back to this type of construction is in regards to refinishing. The typical wear layer on an engineered plank is pretty thin compared to the almost unlimited wear layer of solid piece of plank. For this reason, there will be a limit on the number of times engineered plank can be re-finished.  You must keep in mind though that there may never come a time when you will need to re-finish at all. If care and general maintenance are followed, there is no reason you will ever need to.

Hardwood Finishes

Hardwood flooring can come either pre-finished, or unfinished. Pre-finished  means the product can literally go from the carton to your floor with no other steps necessary. No messy stains or smelly urethane to work with. This is a 'what you see is what you get' type of floor. Unfinished implies just that. You will need to determine not only the color you prefer, but also whether you want a wax finish or urethane look. Needless to say, it will involve much more time for the installation as there are more steps involved. An advantage though is that you keep control of important things such as color and finish. In making your selection, different edge treatments need to be decided. Square, beveled and micro edges all provide a unique look. In making this decision, be sure and see enough of each type edge on the floor, for each will have it's own unique dimensional styling.

There is also what the industry calls reclaimed and hand-scraped. These are becoming much more popular and more and more companies are providing them. No matter what though, the choices are endless. Below is a list of information pages concerning the varied types of choices you can make. Click on these links below for further detailed information. You can also visit our comprehensive directory by clicking on the links at the very bottom of this page.

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