Monday, October 2

Hardwood Flooring Basics

Are you remodeling your home? Are you building a new home? Is it a residential remodel or multi-unit or commercial project? If you are considering hardwood flooring, you have made the right choice.

It’s important to choose good hardwood flooring for any project. Issues such as lifestyle, decorating taste, and the area you live in will determine the choice you make.

Wood is a common flooring material manufactured from timber developed for use as flooring and comes in a variety of styles, colors, cuts, and species.

Three Types of Hardwood Flooring

  • Solid Flooring is one piece and offers the chance for customization as there are a variety of species, stains, and finishes available. This is an excellent option for areas of the home on the ground floor or above.
  • An engineered floor is a product made of pressed wood with grains running in different directions. It comes in 3 and 5 ply and works in locations of the home where the use of solid wood flooring is not an option such as utility rooms basements, kitchens, or bathrooms. As the grains run in different directions, it’s more stable than solid wood.
  • Floors injected with acrylic, create hardness and durability, which makes it perfect for commercial use, as in shopping malls and restaurants, but will also work in a busy home.

Styles of Wood Flooring

  • Strip flooring creates the illusion of a larger space because of the linear effect. It is usually 1 ½”, 2 ¼”, or 3 ¼” wide.
  • Plank flooring is also linear but comes in wider widths. The common widths for plank flooring are 3”, 4”, 5”, or 6”.
  • Parquet flooring comprises wood pieces that create a geometric design.

Grades of Wood

Because of new innovations of recent years, you can now have wood floors anywhere in your home or business. Where you want to use it, will determine the wood flooring you can install.

  • Clear wood is defect-free but may have some minor imperfections.
  • Select wood contains natural elements such as knots and variations of color and is almost clear.
  • Common woods have more natural characteristics, such as color variations and knots, which add character to a room because of these features.
    • Common wood No. 1 has a variegated appearance, with knots, flags, and wormholes in light and dark colors.
    • Common wood No. 2 emphasizes all the characteristics of the wood species and is very rustic in appearance.

All grades of wood are strong and serviceable, but each creates a different look. The appearance of the wood determines what grade it is.

  • First grade wood has the best appearance, with limited character marks and natural color variations
  • Second grade wood has variegations, with wood characteristics of the species
  • Third grade is wood has all the wood characteristics of the species and is rustic in appearance

Cuts of Wood

The angle of the cut of wood is what determines the appearance of the finished product. It can be plain sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn.

  • Plain sawn is the most common method of cutting a board. More variations result because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious.
  • When wood is quarter sawn, it produces fewer feet per log, is more expensive, but wears out evenly.
  • Rift sawn is cut like quarter sawn, but the angle of the cut is slightly different.

Hardwood flooring such as Soen Hardwood Denver adds value and beauty to your home while providing you with durability and enjoyment for years to come.


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