Hardwood floors usually entail a greater investment than most other flooring options. This includes both from a material and installation position.
If hardwood is an option you are interested for your home, you’ve come to the right place.
For a long time, hardwoods have been the choice for many, many people. It continues to be one of the most popular and fastest growing of the flooring options. This is because hardwood meets many features and benefits that people are looking for when wanting a new flooring options. Of these, hardwood flooring by far meets the mark in the beauty category. The timeless, sophisticated look of a hardwood floor can add warmth and character to any home.
This is because hardwood has the natural characteristics that other types of flooring attempt to mimic. These floors offer a rich, inviting appearance that are not only beautiful to live with, but they can also add value to your home at resale time. Hardwood carries a level of elegance that is always a good selling point to any buyer.
Not to mention the variations in categories, options and applications are more diverse and enjoyable than ever.
As the demand for hardwood floors grows, so does the manufacturer’s ability to produce higher quality finishes and outstanding construction methods.
The best result of these advancements is that hardwood flooring can be installed over a wide variety of sub-floors when before there was never that option.
Types of Hardwood
Flynn’s offers you a showroom to help you best find your style of hardwood. We’ve even made this section for Hardwood flooring because shopping for the right hardwood with so many choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points can be intimidating.
Knowing the basic designs can be an excellent start that’ll help you as a consumer pick what is best for your needs.
You will be able to learn all about the wide variety of wood flooring options without the intimidation of being bombarded with information all at once. We will show options from the beautiful but affordable styles to the elegant and lower maintenance styles and everything in between.
Knowing the right blend of aesthetics, duty, and price is very important when choosing your ideal hardwood flooring so that it meets your needs.
Pre-finished wood flooring comes to you, ready to be installed. The hardwood boards have already been prepped at the manufacturing plant. This can often provide a harder and more protected surface. Another benefit to these pre-finished floors is that they offer a wider variety of wood species. These are such elegant looks and styles that other floors cannot imitate. Also, it is cost efficient as it will save hours of labor and cleanup. Another added bonus to this flooring is that you get an extended factory finish warranty with pre-finished floors.
The location of where the flooring will go is key. There are some limitations with hard wood floors and where they can and cannot be installed. This is especially true for the 3/4″ solid wood floors.
Solid hardwood floors are more prone to moisture and are normally not suggested for basements or projects where the flooring would be installed directly onto the concrete slab. To determine where these floors can be installed, it is important to note the different grade levels.
The different installation methods can help aide in determining where the hardwoods can be installed. Always check the installation methods before purchase.
Grain and Cut
When looking at the look and appeal of the hardwood designs keep in mind the grain and cut. Hardwood flooring styles are the result of which wood species are available. Red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory and pecan are some of the more popular choices amongst hardwood options.
Each species has its own unique graining and texture thus giving each style a different look and feel. The graining on the boards is a result of the way it’s been cut. When it comes to these cuts, there are two cutting processes that can be used. The first of these is the “sliced Cut” which shows a more uniform pattern. The “rotary Cut,” on the other hand, shows a larger and bolder graining pattern.
Within each species of hardwood there is an array of choices of color and finishes. This is why it is important to shop carefully to ensure that you know all of the options available to you in a certain wood.
When choosing a color, choose one that either coordinates or contrasts with your cabinetry and furniture.
Also keep in mind the intentional look you may decide on. Generally, darker woods give a more formal look to things while lighter, natural colors are more casual.
You should be aware that there are different types of finishes. For example, lower gloss levels are suggested for active rooms. What you get with the lower gloss or matte finish is a floor that helps minimize the appearance of dirt or scratches. That look of the high gloss finish is much more suited for a more formal décor.
Before, having hardwood floors were a big deal because the maintence level on them was very high. People would have to wax and scrub their hardwood floors to an extreme. These days are over (thankfully) and are pretty much gone forever. Manufacturers of pre-finished wood floors have developed impressive methods to quickly apply hard, durable, urethane-based finishes right at the factory. The manufacturers use ultra violet lights so that the pre-finished wood planks can have several layers of urethane applied within a matter of minutes. This is a huge leap in technology as it helps make hardwood floors both more affordable, and much easier to take care of.
Not only that, but even more recently, the manufacturers have started to add little chips of Aluminum Oxide directly on the floor’s finish. This tremendously raises the life of the urethane finish.
Most of the hardwood floors have several layers of finish applied to the surface of the wood. Many wood floor companies are applying 6-10 layers of a ultra-violet (UV) cured urethane. This is extremely beneficial because factory finishes tend to be more consistent, durable, and hard to duplicate at a job site.
Although there is this leap in technology, this does not mean you should wash your hardwood floor with a mop. It is still true that excessive water will ruin hardwood floors. Still, it does mean the hardwood floors won’t watermark like the old waxed hardwood floors. The UV cured urethane wood finishes simply make these floors easier to maintain than the old waxed hardwood floors.
When looking for a hardwood floor, there are variations in the size that can alter the look of the hardwoods in the home. The narrower board widths are referred to as “strips” and the wider board widths are known as “planks”. It is important because board width can visually impact a room and you need to be aware of what this could change in your home.
Overall there is a simple rule to follow just as the color of the wood had. Narrow width boards will expand a room, while wider boards work well in a larger room or area.
The ratings are done using the Janka Hardness Test. This is a test that measures the force needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball into half the diameter (or the radius) in a piece of wood.
When looking at the number scale, the higher the number is, the harder the wood is. This is a very accurate measure to test the stability of a type of wood against indentations, but only use this as a general guide when comparing various species of woods.
The construction process and finish also act in part to the durability and ease of maintenance of any type of hardwood floor.
Southern Yellow Pine (short leaf)
Southern Yellow Pine (long leaf)
Red Oak (Northern)
When Considering Hardwood
The elegance of a pre-finished hardwood floor offers beauty and value to any home. It is also easy to take care of and durable making it a popularized option of flooring. Each species of wood has its own unique characteristics. Interestingly, the conditions of nature in which the wood grew under make each floor exceptional and individualized.
Pre-finished hardwood floors are sanded, screened and stained at the manufacturing plants. These floors also have many layers of urethane sprayed onto the boards. After, they are UV dried for a very durable finish.
After years of use, the pre-finished floors can even be screened and recoated to rejuvenate the finish and revitalize the floor’s natural beauty that it had.
Each species of wood has its own characteristics. First of all, the color is established by which portion of the tree the wood originally came from, while the grain pattern is determined by the species of wood and how it was cut. Because of these being trees with all of their uniqueness attached, natural variations in the color and grain are normal and to be expected. These variations create the beautiful and unique look of a wood floor. It is exactly this natural difference in color and pattern that laminates try to mimic. They make your floor close to one of a kind and absolutely beautiful.
Wood floors will expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes, causing hairline cracks, slight height variations or both.
Be aware, hardwood flooring does not expand or contract equally in all directions. You will often see unevenness, but this is not at all a defect. It is just natural.
No sub-floors are absolutely level. It isn’t unusual to hear hollow sounds where the surface of the subflooring dips and ridges. This sound does not affect the integrity or installation of the hardwood and is also a natural thing that happens. Hollow sounds are normal and are one of the things that we get with the hardwood flooring. In no way is this a defect or lack of proper installation.
Exposure to sunlight will greatly increase the hardwoods natural tendency to fade, darken, or change shades over time. This is why window treatments are highly recommended as well as switching aroung your house furniture and area rugs in order to allow the floors to evenly age from UV exposure.