Hardwood: How It’s Made
Understanding the various processes of hardwood floor construction is an important factor in deciding which type of hardwood floor would be the best fit for your home. The most common types of wood from which floors are made are: red oak, white oak, maple, cherry, white ash, hickory, and pecan. The length of the pieces can vary dramatically. Flooring slabs can be as large as 8″ wide by 84″ long, and they can also be as small as 1 ½” wide by 12″ long.
Solid Hardwood Floors
These types of hardwood floors are made from a single piece of timber. These pieces of timber are meticulously conditioned and finished before they are cut into pieces that can be assembled into a complete floor. Generally, they are either air or kiln dried before they are sawed into flooring strips, normally ¾” in width. Most often, a tongue and groove method of installation is used. Installation is done by nailing the boards. Be aware that solid wood floors can contract during winter months and expand during the summer months, creating yearly-oscillating gaps between the floorboards. Also, solid floors are highly susceptible to moisture, and the planks can occasionally cup or buckle. Hence, it is highly important to acclimate the boards prior to installation. When installing the floor, it is important to leave a tiny amount of room for expansion around the planks to minimize negative ramifications of a change in climate.
Engineered Hardwood Floors
Differing from solid hardwood floors, engineered floors are made from at least 2 and up to 5 sheets of wood laminated together to form one plank. Most often, these plies are stacked in a cross-ply formation, assembled facing opposite directions. Due to this cross-ply design, engineered floors are less susceptible to moisture than a solid floor. The top layer of an engineered hardwood floor can be a different type of wood than the layers below, allowing the user to choose their desired color and wood grain. There are multiple options for installation practices. The pieces can be nailed down, stapled down, glued down, or even floated.
Longstrip Plank Hardwood Floors
Quite similar to engineered floors, longstrip floors are composed of several wood plies glued together. The core of these strips is softer, and the top layer is made of smaller pieces of wood laid side-by-side, generally in three rows. While longstrip hardwood floors are designed specifically for floating installation, they can also be glued or stapled down. Furthermore, this type of floor is extremely versatile, and can be installed over a variety of foundations and sub-floors at multiple grade levels. One of the most prominent advantages of this type of floor is the easy replacement of any damaged planks. We would consider it a privilege to fit your home with the wood floor that best fits your style and needs. Able to work within a wide range of budget figures, we focus on the needs of our customer and how to provide the best product in their ideal price range. For more information on hardwood flooring or to answer any questions you may have, feel free to contact us. If you are ready to start your project and you want expert assessment, advice, and pricing, take advantage of our free quote offer today.