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INTRODUCTION HARDWOOD FLOORING
Rich inviting hardwood floors are not only beautiful to live with, but they are also easy to care for and can add value to your home at resale time. Today’s hardwood has varieties that are more diverse and delightful than ever and as the consumer demand for hardwood floors has grown, so has the manufacturers’ abilities to produce better quality finishes and superior construction techniques.
We understand the features, advantages, and benefits that make hardwood a solid flooring choice. We want you to know all about hardwood, and to understand this versatile product, so you can decide if it is the smartest flooring choice for you. The elegant look of hardwood flooring can add warmth and character to any room.
HARDWOOD FLOOR TYPES
This is the most abundant growing species in the United States. The sapwood of Red Oak is white to light brown, while the heartwood has a pinkish-brown tone. It comes in four different grades: quartersawn, select, #1 common, and #2 common.
This is similar to Red Oak but is slightly denser and has longer rays. The sapwood is light colored, and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White Oak comes in the same four grades as Red Oak.
This is the hardest, heaviest, and strongest American wood. The sapwood of hickory is white, while the heartwood is pale to reddish-brown.
American Cherry grows primarily in the midwestern and eastern United States and is very hard and dense. The sapwood varies from a rich red to reddish-brown and will darken with age. The heartwood can be a creamy white.
Growing in the Pacific Northwest, maple tends to be light, but a very dense wood. Generally, there is no marked difference between the sapwood and the heartwood. Because of its density, maple is not intended for areas with high humidity.
This tends to be a soft wood that absorbs moisture very well and is recommended for areas of high humidity. The sapwood in pine is a light yellowish-white, while the heartwood tends to be yellowish-orange.
This has the same characteristics as pine, however, it is recycled from old buildings, usually barns.
This grows primarily in the eastern United States. The sapwood tends to be white, while the heartwood ranges from a deep chocolate to purplish-black.
This grows primarily in the southern United States and is known to be a very hard and durable wood. The sapwood tends to be pale and the heartwood is a reddish-brown. Mesquite usually contains many knotholes.
Bamboo flooring is easier on the earth, harder than some hardwoods, and resistant to flammability. Unlike hardwood, bamboo is not a product of trees. Instead, it is a fast-growing grass. Bamboo can grow from sprouts to harvesting in three to five years, thus an acre of bamboo can prove more flooring than an acre of trees. Bamboo can be an attractive alternative to hardwood because it is eco-friendly, is stable, and can be harder than other woods. Bamboo can be nailed down, glued down, or floated. It comes in planks and is installed just like engineered hardwood floors and can be installed over many types of subfloors.
HARDWOOD THINGS TO CONSIDER
Each wood has its own unique characteristics. The color of the wood is determined by what part of the tree the wood originally came from. The grain pattern is determined by the species and how the wood is cut. Natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected. All hardwood floors will fade, darken, or change shades over time. Exposure to sunlight will greatly increase this process. Window treatments are recommended as well as rotating rugs and furniture to allow floors to age evenly from sunlight exposure.
Wood floors will expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes. This can cause hairline cracks and slight height variations. It will not expand and contract equally in all directions. This is not considered a defect, but instead a result of using a natural product.Wood floors will expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes. This can cause hairline cracks and slight height variations. It will not expand and contract equally in all directions. This is not considered a defect, but instead a result of using a natural product.
There isn’t a subfloor that will be perfect. You may hear hollow sounds where your subfloor’s surface dips and ridges. This does not affect the integrity of the hardwood
There are many potential additional expenses that you may incur, such as furniture removal or replacement, demolition and disposal of old floor coverings, subfloor preparations, adhesives, product delivery, and installation.